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Coneheads (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Barron
Screenplay by Tom Davis
Dan Aykroyd
Bonnie Turner
Terry Turner
Based on Coneheads sketches from Saturday Night Live
by Lorne Michaels
Produced by Lorne Michaels
Cinematography Francis Kenny
Edited by Paul Trejo
Music by David Newman
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • July 23, 1993
Running time
87 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million
Box office $21.3 million[2]

Coneheads is a 1993 American science-fiction comedy film from Paramount Pictures, produced by Lorne Michaels, directed by Steve Barron, and starring Dan AykroydJane Curtin and Michelle Burke. The film is based on the NBC Saturday Night Live comedy sketches about aliens stranded on Earth, who have Anglicized their Remulakian surname to “Conehead”. Michelle Burke took over the role played by Laraine Newman on SNL. The film also features roles and cameos by actors and comedians from SNL and other television series of the time.

Three years after the release of Coneheads, screenwriters Bonnie & Terry Turner and star Jane Curtin revisited the premise of aliens arriving on Earth and assimilating into American society with the TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun, with Curtin instead playing a human character.


Upon discovering a UFO in American airspace, the National Guard sends fighter jets to investigate, who fire on the unresponsive craft and cause it to crash into the Atlantic Ocean, near Manhattan. The aliens from the planet Remulak aboard, Beldar and his wife Prymaat, survive. Assigned by Highmaster Mintot, Beldar was to conquer the earth for Planet Remulak. Beldar becomes an appliance repairman, and upon discovering his undocumented status, his boss Otto gets him a false identity from local gangsters, which quickly alerts the INS. Ambitious INS agent Gorman Seedling and his sycophantic assistant Eli Turnbull unsuccessfully attempt to capture the couple. Prymaat informs Beldar she is pregnant. The Coneheads are informed that a rescue ship will not be arriving for many years, and despite their odd appearance and metallic voices, attempt to blend in to human society. Beldar and Prymaat saved a lot of money move to the suburbs.

After their daughter Connie’s birth, they adopt the surname Conehead and buy a home and move to suburban Paramus, New Jersey, where Beldar opens a driving school. Meanwhile, Gorman terminates his pursuit of the Coneheads after getting a promotion, but a U.S. Senate inquiry, citing the heavy expense, demands the case be properly concluded.

The now-teenaged Connie, who has grown up among Earth’s norms and culture, simply wants to fit in with her peers, though her father greatly objects, especially when she begins seeing auto mechanic Ronnie Bradford.

Gorman and Eli track the Coneheads to their home, posing as Jehovah’s Witnesses to enter. During the conversation, Prymaat discovers their communication device to Remulak is beeping and notifies Beldar that ‘the Big Phone’ has contacted him, causing him to promptly eject the two. He is then notified of their approaching rescue vessel.

After Connie is told of their imminent rescue, she informs her parents she wants to stay on earth with Ronnie. The INS arrives to arrest the Coneheads. Ronnie helps stall the agents while the rescue vessel arrives just in time, and Gorman and Eli are taken aboard with the Coneheads.

On Remulak, Beldar is welcomed home, presenting the Highmaster with various Earthly ‘gifts’, including Gorman and Eli as slaves. Initially satisfied with Beldar’s accomplishments, Mintot notices that Beldar’s sharp teeth have been capped (something Otto had advised Beldar to do to blend in), accuses him of treason and sentences him to fight the ferocious Garthok, greatly distressing Prymaat.

After the Garthok easily and gruesomely kills other condemned criminals, Beldar uses his Earthly golfing skills to hit a rock into the Garthok’s mouth, causing it to choke. The Highmaster pardons Beldar and honors Beldar’s request to return to Earth and have Gorman as his slave. Eli stays behind and becomes Mintot’s new flunky. Departing for Earth with Prymaat, Connie, and Gorman in tow, Beldar soon prioritizes Connie’s feelings over planetary conquest by faking an Earth attack, ordering his invasion force to retreat and proceed to their secondary target in another part of the galaxy, while making it look like a superior weapon has destroyed his spaceship. For rescuing him, Gorman agrees to give the Coneheads Green Cards. The Conehead family settles down to a happy life on their adopted planet.

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