They Live

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Publication.png They Live 
1988They Live poster300.jpg
Publication date4 November 1988
Subjectssocial control
Local copyBroken Link: [[{{{local}}}]]

They Live is a documentary.[1] It could be described as an allegory for corruption and white collar crime. The movie does contain one of the longest fighting scenes in movie history between a black and a white dude, one trying to convince the other that the world he sees is real. An observation that could be made is that in real life (who is trying to convince whom), it is rather the other way around.

Box office

Robbie Graham in his book Silver Screen Saucers writes:

Unfortunately for Carpenter, his film's searing political vision may have been a key contributing factor to its undoing at the box-office. They Live was pulled just two weeks after its 4 November 1988 release date. While Carpenter blamed audiences who "don't want to be enlightened," co-star Keith David had a more conspiratorial take on the film's failure: "not that anybody's being paranoid," said the actor, "but it was interesting that They Live was number one at the box office... and suddenly you couldn't see it anywhere - it was, like, snatched".[2]
Putting on the truth sunglasses


  1. According to Roddy Piper ([1]), who was an actor in it, and John Carpenter. Carpenter, once asked if the movie "has still some relevant social commentary", he answered: "Oh that's never ended. That's still with us. They live is a documentary, about what's going on now." - ~ 28:55
  2. Silver Screen Saucers, page 76, Keith David's comments feature in a 'making of' documentary on the Region 2 DVD release, Momentum 2002