STARRING: Eric Braeden, Susan
Clark, Gordon Pinsent, William Schallert, Alex Rodine, Leonid Rostoff
1970, 100 Minutes, Directed by: Joseph Sargent
is the height of the Cold War and the United States has built an enormous
computer aptly named “Colossus” to control all its nuclear weapons. This
effectively removes any decision-making and / or control from humans including
even the youngish Kennedy look-alike President.
Even if you haven’t read any
science fiction at all, you will know that this is a Bad Idea, and it is obvious
that no-one in his administration has seen what HAL was up to in
2001: A Space Odyssey, least of all the computer’s
creator Charles Forbin. (Ah, it was probably a hippie thing anyway . . .)
Soon it becomes apparent that
there has been a major security leak and that the Russians have also built
themselves a similar supercomputer to handle their defense. Now the world’s two
major nuclear stockpiles are completely in the hands of computers. Definitely
not a good thing, and it is only a question of time until the two computers
start going haywire, but not in quite the way you would expect.
computer-gone-amok thriller has a few plot twists up its sleeves and by the end
you’ll remember just how much movies from the 1970s differ from the ones making
their way to the megaplexes nowadays. Hint: it won’t end the way you suspect and
it will actually have something to say in the process . . .
Sure, Colossus: The Forbin
Project has dated rather badly not just with the Cold War being long over,
but as regards technology (dig those computers with the spool tapes, etc.),
fashions, etc. However, it still has something to say about the nature of
political power and control as well as human nature that is sadly still relevant
to this day.
Slow and talky at first,
Colossus will reward the patient viewer who isn’t looking for any flashy
Recommended for serious
(Colossus: The Forbin
Project is based upon a novel of the same name by D.F. Jones.)