Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Total Recall (1990)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Total Recall (1990)

In Paul Verhoeven's big-budget, violent science-fiction action thriller based on Philip K. Dick's story We Can Remember it For You Wholesale:

  • the amazing special effects, production and art design
  • the scene of construction worker Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) taking a vacation through a strange travel agency named Rekall, Inc. - a 'virtual' trip to the planet of Mars - with the sales pitch from Bob McClane (Ray Baker) that actually revealed the film's plot ("By the time the trip is over, you get the girl, kill the bad guys and save the entire planet")
  • the early scene in which he defended himself from his treacherous, attacking agent wife Lori (Sharon Stone)
  • the scene of the subway shoot-out in which widescreen scans showed skeletal shapes and weapons
  • the segment in which Doug extracted a large bugging device from his brain via his nostril
  • the scene on Mars in a sleazy red-light district bar when confronted by mutants and a three-breasted hooker named Mary (Lycia Naff)
  • the later scene in which Doug mercilessly shot his conniving wife in the head - with the one-liner: "Consider that a divorce!"
  • the scene in which Quaid appeared to be killed by gunfire from evil mercenary Vilos Cohaagen's (Ronny Cox) thugs - but he laughed and was revealed to be only a deceptive hologram as he shot them from behind
  • the film's ending when Cohaagen, Quaid, and beautiful brunette love interest Melina (Rachel Ticotin) were spewed out into the airless atmosphere of the reddish planet of Mars - and their eyes bulged and faces swelled due to the lack of oxygen
  • the film's ambiguous ending in which the scene faded to a brilliant white as Melina and Quaid kissed -- was everything part of the VR dream vacation implant, or was what he experienced real? Did he get lobotomized, to bring him back to reality?


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z