Enemy Mine (1985)




Copy editors are our friends.


For a somewhat updated take, you must check out “Hunter/Prey”.

Compared to Enemy Mine it’s quite a polished movie, despite having a tiny fraction of the budget. And it even features Erin Gray. Sort of.


I loved this movie, too. I should rewatch it. Does it stand up better than The Never Ending Story? I was real excited to watch that with my kiddo and it just wasn’t anywhere nearly as good as I remembered it. The Princess Bride, that is just as great as ever, though.


Don’t let @Falcor hear you say that.


It just wasn’t as good as I remembered… sorry, Falcor! You were still good though!


Just rewatched “Big Trouble in Little China” with the girlfriend. Those cocktails must have been pretty strong, because she laughed all the way through. I guess it helps that Jack Burton is a primary source for Brock Sampson, something I hadn’t thought of before.


While I liked the movie, I LOVED the book. The last third of the book was about Davidge losing Jerry’s son Zammis and going back to Earth to become the world’s foremost authority on the Drac language and religion, just so he can make enough money to go to the Drac homeworld and find Zammis.
After finding the long shunned and traumatized Zammis, he is able to fulfill his promise to Jerry, to sing Zammis’ lineage and formally induct him into the Jeriba line.
It’s a lovely story, and in the movie it’s replaced by a ten-minute fight scene.


I did not know that about Brock Sampson. Another movie I’ll have to rewatch soon, as it was another favorite as a young’un. It used to come on one of the local channels… TBS, I guess… and watch it whenever it came on.


Yes, the book was amazing. I’ve recommended the book to anyone who enjoyed the movie, and to quite a few who’ve never seen the movie. Davidge has a very distinctive, grumpy voice that I don’t think comes across in the movie, simply because, to really get it, there would have to be constant, rather than intermittent, narration.

I don’t blame the filmmakers for the changes they made simply because I think the novel’s version would have dragged down the preceding action/adventure style of the film. I do wish, though, that they’d retained the Mickey Mouse scene as it was originally written.


Yeah. I think I figured out why. The producer, who had never read the original story, glanced through the script and said “Where’s the mine? It says enemy mine in the title; I want to see a mine.” So they dropped in a mine/slave-labor action sequence in place of the much more subtle cultural question that it should have ended with.

Fine adaptation most of the way through, falls apart at the end.


For the same premise but in a presentation that stands the test of time, try Hell In The Pacific. Quaid, Gosset, and Wolfgang Petersen (whoever that is) are good, but Lee Marvin, Toshiro Mifune, and John Boorman are great.
Oh, look, the whole thing is on youtube

bonus: it’s bilingual. Marvin and Mifune speak only their mother-tongues.


There’s the Star Trek TNG version Darmok that is a great side version of this.


I love that episode, with a whole people who speak in metaphors and it takes Capt. Picard ages to figure that out. Yet, amazingly, those metaphors are expressed in standard English… it’s amazing how much the English language has evolved on so many different planets in the Trek verse!


Well there is the universal translator.


For a more humorous variation on the same theme there’s also the film Situation Hopeless…But Not Serious.


Yeah, but they even do that when no federation people are around with their translating comm badges. They did that all the time with the Klingons for example or the Romulans, too…but at least there is an explanation for most of this. I guess Doctor Who had a similar problem, and now it’s been explained away by the power of the Tardis.


There’s only one good answer.


Your TV was translating. At least Star Trek had the concept of a universal translator. Stargate just had everyone speak English. Well, the Unas didn’t. But they showed up in an episode called Enemy Mine. It’s all connected.


There was an episode of Deep Space Nine in which some previously unknown aliens landed on the station. Apparently there was a central station computer that could, after they talked enough, process and translate their language. But, yeah, Star Trek isn’t always known for its consistency.

Interestingly the Doctor Who problem was explained at least as early as The Masque of Mandragora, for all those who wondered why Renaissance Italian courtiers spoke with contemporary British accents.