Jurassic Park is an American science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg and the first in the Jurassic Park franchise. The film is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton, with a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp.
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.
John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), the founder and CEO of bioengineering company InGen, has created a theme park called Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, a tropical island near Costa Rica, populated with cloned dinosaurs. After a park worker is killed by a Velociraptor, the park's investors, represented by lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), demand that experts visit the park and certify it as safe. Gennaro invites the mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) while Hammond invites paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). Upon arrival, the group is stunned to see three Brachiosaurus and a herd of Parasaurolophus in the distance.
At the visitor center, the group learns during a laboratory tour that the cloning was accomplished by extracting the DNA of dinosaurs from mosquitoes that had been preserved in amber. The DNA strands were incomplete, so DNA from frogs was used to fill in the gaps. The dinosaurs were all cloned genetically as females in order to prevent breeding.
The group is then joined by Hammond's grandchildren, Alexis "Lex" and Timothy "Tim" Murphy (Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello) for a tour of the park, while Hammond oversees the trip from the park's control room. The tour does not go as planned, with most of the dinosaurs failing to appear and a Triceratops becoming ill. As a tropical storm approaches Isla Nublar, most of the park employees depart on a boat for the mainland and the visitors return to the electric tour vehicles, except Ellie, who stays with the park's veterinarian to study the Triceratops.
During the storm, Jurassic Park's computer programmer, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), who has been bribed by a corporate rival to steal dinosaur embryos, deactivates the park's security system to allow him access to the embryo storage room. Most of the park's electric fences are deactivated, leading the Tyrannosaurus rex to attack the tour group. Grant, Lex, and Tim narrowly escape while the Tyrannosaurus devours Gennaro, injures Malcolm, and pushes one of the vehicles over an embankment. On his way to deliver the embryos to the island's docks, Nedry becomes lost, crashes his Jeep, and is killed by a Dilophosaurus.
Sattler assists the park's game warden, Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck), in a search for survivors, but they only find Malcolm before the Tyrannosaurus rex returns. They escape in one of the vehicles. Unable to decipher Nedry's code to reactivate the security system, Hammond and the park's chief engineer Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) opt to reboot the entire park's system. The group shuts down the park's grid and retreats to an emergency bunker, while Arnold heads to a maintenance shed to complete the rebooting process. When he fails to return, Sattler and Muldoon head to the shed themselves. They discover the shutdown has deactivated the remaining fences and released the Velociraptors; Muldoon distracts the raptors while Sattler turns the power back on. She discovers Arnold's severed arm and escapes. Soon after, the raptors ambush and kill Muldoon.
Grant, Tim, and Lex discover the broken shells of dinosaur eggs. Grant concludes that the dinosaurs have been breeding, which occurred because they have the genetic coding of frog DNA—West African bullfrogs can change their sex in a single-sex environment, making the dinosaurs able to do so as well. On the way back to the visitor center, the trio encounter a herd of Gallimimus, when suddenly the Tyrannosaurus emerges from nowhere and kills one. Grant, Tim and Lex reach the visitor center, and Grant leaves them there as he goes searching for the others. After finding the bunker, Grant and Sattler head back to the visitor center, where the children battle two Velociraptors. The four head to the control room, where Lex restores full power, allowing the group to call for help. While trying to leave, they are cornered by the raptors but escape when the Tyrannosaurus suddenly appears and kills both raptors. Hammond arrives in a jeep with Malcolm, and the entire group flees together. Before they board a helicopter to leave the island, Grant decides not to endorse the park, a choice with which Hammond concurs.
- Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, a leading paleontologist.
- Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, a paleobotanist.
- Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician and chaos theorist.
- Richard Attenborough as John Hammond, InGen's billionaire CEO and the park's creator.
- Ariana Richards as Alexis "Lex" Murphy, Hammond's granddaughter.
- Joseph Mazzello as Timothy "Tim" Murphy, Hammond's grandson.
- Bob Peck as Robert Muldoon, the park's game warden.
- Martin Ferrero as Donald Gennaro, a lawyer who represents Hammond's concerned investors.
- Wayne Knight as Dennis Nedry, the disgruntled architect of the park's computer systems.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Ray Arnold, the park's chief engineer.
Michael Crichton originally conceived a screenplay about a graduate student who recreates a dinosaur; he continued to wrestle with his fascination with dinosaurs and cloning until he began writing the novel Jurassic Park. Even before publication, Steven Spielberg learned of the novel in October 1989 while he and Crichton were discussing a screenplay that would become the television series ER. Spielberg considered that what really fascinated him was that Jurassic Park was "a really credible look at how dinosaurs might someday be brought back alongside modern mankind", going beyond a simple monster movie.
To create the dinosaurs, Spielberg at first thought of hiring Bob Gurr, who designed a giant mechanical King Kong for Universal Studios Hollywood's King Kong Encounter. Upon considering that the life-sized dinosaurs would be too expensive and not all convincing, Spielberg instead decided to look after the best effects supervisors in Hollywood.
Universal paid Crichton a further $500,000 to adapt his own novel, which he had finished by the time Spielberg was filming Hook. Crichton noted that because the book was "fairly long" his script only had about 10 to 20 percent of the novel's content; scenes were dropped for budgetary and practical reasons, and despite the gory descriptions, the violence was toned down. Malia Scotch Marmo began a script rewrite in October 1991 over a five-month period, merging Ian Malcolm with Alan Grant.
Filming began on August 24, 1992, on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi.
Composer John Williams began scoring the film at the end of February, and it was recorded a month later. John Neufeld and Alexander Courage provided the score's orchestrations. Like with another Spielberg film he scored, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Williams felt he needed to write "pieces that would convey a sense of 'awe' and fascination" given it dealt with the "overwhelming happiness and excitement" that would emerge from seeing live dinosaurs. In turn more suspenseful scenes such as the Tyrannosaurus attack earned frightening themes. The first soundtrack album was released on May 25, 1993. For the 20th anniversary of the release of the film, a new soundtrack was issued for digital download on April 9, 2013 including four bonus tracks personally selected by Williams.
- The T-Rex which appeared in the film was quoted by Spielberg as "the star of the show".
- When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Ford Explorer in the first attack, the glass was not meant to break, producing the noticeably genuine screams from the children.
- The Tyrannosaurus' roars were a combination of dog, penguin, tiger, alligator, and elephant sounds.
- Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
- Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones, was offered and turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant
- There are only 15 minutes of actual dinosaur footage in the film: 9 minutes are Stan Winston's animatronics, 6 minutes of it is ILM's CGI.