As John Murdoch awakes one morning from uneasy dreams, he finds himself in a bathtub, transformed into a murderer of prostitutes. A doctor named Daniel P. Schreber calls to warn him about an ominous group known as the Strangers, and Murdoch flees into the night-time city in search of his memories; he remembers neither the crimes he has allegedly committed, nor his own past. With the help of his wife and the detective who is investigating him, Murdoch discovers a plot by extraterrestrial invaders – to try to uncover the secret of human individuality, the Strangers have turned the city into a “sleep laboratory”, where they manipulate people’s memories and change reality at will ... The world as a product of the will and a film citation. Dark City is a bravura turn that morphs the more fantastic part of early German film history into the reconstructed setting of a 1940s film noir. Motifs from Metropolis, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu merge as seamlessly with one another as human identities do in evoking the “terrors of a hitherto unknown kind” described by Daniel Paul Schreber (1842 – 1911), writing about his “nervous illness”.
by Alex Proyas
with Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O‘Brien
USA / Australia 1998 English 100’ Colour Rating R16


  • Rufus Sewell
  • William Hurt
  • Kiefer Sutherland
  • Jennifer Connelly
  • Richard O‘Brien


Director Alex Proyas
Screenplay Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, David S. Goyer based on an idea by Alex Proyas
Cinematography Dariusz Wolski
Editing Dov Hoenig
Music Trevor Jones
Sound Ian McLoughlin, Roger Savage
Production Design George Liddle, Patrick Tatopoulos
Special Effects David Pride, David Young
Art Director Richard Hobbs, Michelle McGahey
Costumes Liz Keogh
Make-Up Lesley Vanderwalt
Producers Andrew Mason, Alex Proyas

Produced by

Dark City Productions, Ltd

Additional information

Copy: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg

Alex Proyas


Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017