Twelve Monkeys


Character: Jeffrey Goines
Release Date: 29 December 1995
Directed By: Terry Gilliam
Written By: Chris Marker, David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples
Genre: Drama/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Tagline: The future is history
MPAA Rating: R
Produced by: Atlas Entertainment, Classico, Universal Pictures
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Budget: $29,000,000 (estimated)
Filming Dates: 8 February 1995 – 6 May 1995

Bruce Willis…James Cole
Brad Pitt…Jeffrey Goines
Madeleine Stowe…Kathryn Railly

Filming Locations:
Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Maryland, USA
Camden, New Jersey, USA
City Hall – Broad and 15th Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Delaware Generating Station, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Eastern State Penitentiary – 2124 Fairmont Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Garrett-Jacobs Mansion – 11 W. Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Girard College – 2101 S. College Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial Hall – 42nd and Parkside, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Met Theatre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Mount Vernon, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Philadelphia Convention Center – 1700 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Renfrew Center – 475 Spring Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Richmond Generating Station – 3901 N. Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Ridgeway Library – 901 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Senator Theatre – 5904 York Road, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (exterior)
Upperco, Maryland, USA
Wanamaker’s Department Store – 1313 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Westport Power Plant, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet

Trivia & Facts:
Director Terry Gilliam first met Bruce Willis while casting his film The Fisher King (1991). He was impressed by the sensitivity shown by Willis in the scene from Die Hard (1988) where McClane (Willis) talks about his wife while pulling glass from his feet. Talking to Willis, Gilliam discovered that this part was ad-libbed by Willis. Gilliam remembered this, and was convinced to cast him in this film.

Terry Gilliam gave Bruce Willis a list of “Willis acting clichés” not to be used during the film, including the “steely blue eyes look”.

Features a fresnel (flat) lens, as did Brazil (1985), also directed by Terry Gilliam.

Director Terry Gilliam and producer Charles Roven had several arguments about how the film should end. Gilliam wanted to finish on the shot of Railly looking at young Cole while Roven preferred the scripted final scene in the parking lot outside the airport. In an attempt to dissuade Roven, Gilliam proposed an immensely complex setup involving two cranes on top of one another and a vast sea of cars in the hope that Roven would veto it as being too expensive. Roven not only okayed the shot but Gilliam so loved the result that he used it to end the film.

The scenes in the insane asylum were shot in Eastern State Penitentiary, a now-unused prison in Philadelphia.

In a scene where Cole is drawing blood from himself, the shadow of a hamster in a hamster wheel can be seen on the wall. This scene would normally be shot in 5 minutes, but took a whole day because the hamster would not move, and Gilliam is such a perfectionist that he insisted that even this detail should work as intended. For the rest of the production Gilliam’s perfectionism was nick-named “the Hamster Factor”.

A quick clip from The Andromeda Strain (1971) featuring a monkey in the throes of death, is seen on the dayroom television during a news report about the cruelty of using animal subjects in medical research.

The Army of the Twelve Monkeys is inspired by a passage in L. Frank Baum’s novel, “The Magic of Oz”, in which the Nome King and Kiki Aru convince twelve monkeys they will have an endless supply of food if they become human soldiers for them.

The voice of a reporter on the radio says, “This is Roger Pratt reporting.” Roger Pratt was the film’s director of photography.

Right after Dr. Leland Goines gets off the phone with Dr. Railly, Dr. Peters can be seen handling a tray of seven vials filled with a golden liquid. Twice in the movie, a passage of The Book of the Revelation is quoted referring to seven golden vials filled with God’s wrath.

The revolver that Cole is handed at the end is a Cavalry Model Le Mat, as used by the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Director Trademark: [Terry Gilliam] [bookends] begins and ends with young Cole’s eyes.

Inspired by Jetée, La (1962)

Although this was inspired by Chris Marker’s classic short, Jetée, La (1962), director Terry Gilliam had not seen it when this was made.

Toward the end of the film Cole and Railly are watching Vertigo (1958). The scene that is shown heavily influenced the film Jetée, La (1962) which inspired Twelve Monkeys. There is also a version of that same scene shown in La Jetée.

The two newscasters shown in the film were actual newscasters on Philadelphia’s Channel 10 news at the time of filming.

Terry Gilliam was afraid that Brad Pitt wouldn’t be able to pull off the nervous, rapid speech. He sent him to a speech coach but in the end he just took away Pitt’s cigarettes, and Pitt played the part exactly as Gilliam wanted.

The Airport scene at the end of the movie was filmed at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Looking at the bodies in the aftermath of a fight Bruce Willis says, “All I see are dead people.” Of course, “I see dead people” is the most famous line from 1999’s The Sixth Sense (1999), which starred Bruce Willis.

Throughout the movie, actual monkeys appear on camera. From the “monkey and a roast beef sandwich” to zoo animals. Some people suggest 12 different monkeys appear in the film.

The final cut didn’t do too well in the test screenings and so those involved discussed making major changes to the movie, but Terry Gilliam eventually decided to keep it as it was. When released it went on to make over five times its budget.

Brad Pitt was signed to this movie for a relatively small salary, when he was still an “up and coming” actor. By the time of the movie’s release, however, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Legends of the Fall (1994), and Se7en (1995) had been released, making Pitt a top-salary actor.

The “TV Ball” prop was notoriously problematic, with either the electronics or hydraulics breaking almost every time it was used.

Bruce Willis took a lower salary than his star-status would normally entitle, partly because of budget restrictions, but mostly because he wanted to work with Terry Gilliam. Actually Bruce did the movie for free. It was only after the movie was released that he was paid.

When James is escaping from the asylum, he runs past a security guard who is reading a tabloid, its cover is the now famous photo of the fictional “batboy” that was supposedly found in a cave in the 1990s. The story, about a society outcast ahead of his time, was made into an off-Broadway hit musical.

When Kathryn Railly first gets a call about Cole she is attending a poetry recital. The work being read is a quatrain from “The Rubaiyat” by Persian born poet and astronomer Omar Khayyam. The quatrain being read is: Yesterday This Day’s Madness did prepare; To-morrow’s Silence, Triumph, or Despair: Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why: Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

When Cole wakes up in the future to the doctors singing “Blueberry Hill,” the painting above him is “Valley of the Yosemite”, by Albert Bierstadt.

Artist Lebbeus Woods claimed that the interrogation chair in the movie closely resembled his 1987 illustration “Neomechanical Tower (Upper) Chamber” and managed to get a court to stop the movie 28 days after its release. He eventually settled with Universalfor a six-figure sum.

Interrogation room is inspired by the works of Lebbeus Woods

In the 24 hour Hitchcock Theater, Katheryn transforms herself with a blonde wig. Hitchcock had a notorious obsession with blonde actresses in his films.

Terry Gilliam’s first choice for the lead role was Jeff Bridges, whom he had enjoyed working with on The Fisher King (1991), but the studio wanted a bigger star, so he cast Bruce Willis.

From the gallery

Jeffrey Goines: There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s only popular opinion.

L.J. Washington: I don’t really come from outer space.
Jeffrey Goines: Oh. L. J. Washington. He doesn’t really come from outer space.
L.J. Washington: Don’t mock me my friend. It’s a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent,

Jeffrey Goines: Telephone call? Telephone call? That’s communication with the outside world. Doctor’s *discretion*. Nuh-uh. Look, hey – all of these nuts could just make phone calls, they could spread insanity, oozing through telephone cables, oozing into the ears of all these poor sane people, infecting them. Wackos everywhere, plague of madness.

Jeffrey Goines: There was this guy, and he was always requesting shows that had already played. Yes. No. You have to tell her before. He couldn’t quite grasp the idea that the charge nurse couldn’t make it be yesterday. She couldn’t turn back time, thank you, Einstein! Now, *he* was nuts! *He* was a fruitcake, Jim!

Jeffrey Goines: You know what crazy is? Crazy is majority rules. Take germs, for example.
James Cole: Germs?
Jeffrey Goines: Uh-huh. In the eighteenth century, no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person, anyway. Ah! Ah! Along comes this doctor, uh, uh, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He’s trying to convince people, well, other doctors mainly, that’s there’s these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. Ah? He’s trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do you call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, cut to the 20th century. Last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole. I go in to order a burger in this fast food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. Jim, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it’s all OK. “What about the germs?” I say. He says, “I don’t believe in germs. Germs is just a plot they made up so they can sell you disinfectants and soaps.” Now he’s crazy, right? See? Ah! Ah! There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s only popular opinion.

James Cole: Look at them. They’re just asking for it. Maybe the human race deserves to be wiped out.
Jeffrey Goines: Wiping out the human race? That’s a great idea. That’s great. But more of a long-term thing. I mean, first we have to focus on more immediate goals.

Jeffrey Goines: Sorry. Uh, sorry. I, I, I got a little agitated. The thought of, uh, escape had crossed my mind, and then suddenly – suddenly – suddenly I felt like bending the fucking bars back, and ripping out the goddamn window frames and eating them – yes, *eating* them! Leaping, leaping, leaping! Colonics for everyone! All right! You dumbasses. I’m a mental patient. I’m *supposed* to act out! Wait’ll you morons find out who I am! My father’s gonna be really upset, and when my father gets upset, the ground SHAKES! My father is God! I worship my father!

Jeffrey Goines: You are a total nutcase, completely deranged, delusional, paranoid. Your thought process is all fucked up. Your information train is jammed, man!

Jeffrey Goines: There’s the television. It’s all right there – all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We’re not productive anymore. We don’t make things anymore. It’s all automated. What are we *for* then? We’re consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you’re a good citizen. But if you don’t buy a lot of stuff, if you don’t, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally *ill*. Fact, Jim, fact – if you don’t buy things – toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers…

Jeffrey Goines: Do you realize where he thinks he comes from?

Jeffrey Goines: When I was institutionalized, my brain was studied exhaustively by the guys of mental health. I was interrogated, I was x-rayed, I was examined *thoroughly*. [turns head and coughs] Then, they took everything about me and put it into a computer where they created this model of my mind. Yes! Using that model they managed to generate every thought I could possibly have in the next, say, 10 years. Which they then filtered through a probability matrix of some kind to – to determine everything I was gonna do in that period. So you see, she knew I was gonna lead the Army of the Twelve Monkeys into the pages of history before it ever even occurred to me. She knows everything I’m ever gonna do before I know it myself. How’s that?

James Cole: I’m here about some monkeys.
Jeffrey Goines: Monkeys?
James Cole: Monkeys. Yes. Twelve of them.

Jeffrey Goines: Who cares what psychiatrists write on walls?

Jeffrey Goines: …and if you forget one thing, I will have you shaved, sterilized, and destroyed!

Jeffrey Goines: [sighs] Get out of my chair!

Dr. Leland Goines: My God, Jeffrey. You truly are insane.
Jeffrey Goines: No I’m not.

External Links
Official website

SB Store (US)
12 Monkeys (Special Edition DVD)
12 Monkeys (Blu-ray)
12 Monkeys (HD DVD)
12 Monkeys (Collector’s Edition)
12 Monkeys (DVD)

SB Store (UK)
12 Monkeys (Widescreen – Uncensored)
Twelve Monkeys (Blu-ray)
Twelve Monkeys (HD-DVD)