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D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)

Mary Beth Hurt , Michael McKean , Simon Wincer  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Beth Hurt, Michael McKean, Kathryn Walker, Colleen Camp, Josef Sommer
  • Directors: Simon Wincer
  • Writers: Allan Scott, David Ambrose, Jeffrey Ellis
  • Producers: Burtt Harris, Gabrielle Kelly, John Heyman
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O38
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "D.A.R.Y.L." on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The series D.A.R.Y.L. explores the life of a young boy named Daryl who demonstrates profound talent in all areas of his life. From solving advanced mathematics to dominating difficult video games on his first try, Daryl continues to awe everyone in his town including his foster parents. Consequently, the government has a hidden interest in Daryl that threatens his very existence.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I am thrilled this film is out on DVD. I was about Daryl's age when this film came out, and I just loved it. It was ahead of its time in its exploration of humanity versus technology. Daryl is a part human, part robotic child, who, as you may guess has many special talents that other children do not have. He is abandoned by a scientist and left on his own, until he is adopted by a foster family. Of course, the military wants him back, and the argument ensues as to whether Daryl is a mere lab rat, or if he has developed to such a degree that there is nothing that distinguishes him from other humans. The story is very magical, and while there are many twists you will anticipate well-before, the real magic is in the performances, especially that of Barret Oliver, who was one of the best child actors of the 80s, and beyond. He breathes life into Daryl, and his melt-your-heart smile brings such genuine pathos into the story. I am a little annoyed that the DVD art has Michael McKean and Mary Beth Hurt above the title because the movie belongs to Barret Oliver. Having seen it again in adulthood, I felt that rush of nostalgia for family films that are warm and magical, yet do not insult the intelligence. With the holidays coming up, this is a movie kids will love and adults may as well. It's fast paced, charming, and has some genuine tear-jerking moments. I have noticed amid the reviews it has been compared several times to Spielberg's A.I. While I think A.I. is a brilliant film, and the comparison's are inevitable, they are VERY different films. A.I. is far too dark, disturbing, and philosophically complex for younger viewers. D.A.R.Y.L. is the kind of movie I miss, a technically well made, beautifully acted, and magical film. It stirs the imagination, and avoids degenerating into cynicism, a trait all too common in today's films. Do yourself and your children a favor and treat them to this film. You will not regret it and I assure you, neither will they.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCITING MOVIE FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS September 14, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is an exciting and intelligent film for everyone. Do not let
the box cover art make you think this is a kiddie film only. It
is a neat little film that teaches many lessons. D.A.R.Y.L. is
actually a child robot that is too perfect a child and a scient
ist working with him wants him to have a life outside the gov
ernment lab. D.A.R.Y.L. winds up with a foster family, makes a
life long friend has an exciting finale. This is a uniformly
well-made and acted film with excellent special effects on what
was a shoe-string budget. This film is as enjoyable as most of
Disney's big budget offerings. Also it shows that a wonderful
film without gratuitous trash and language can be made.
The film works so well because of the performance of Barrett
Oliver as D.A.R.Y.L. He gives the presence of the perfect, loving child. He also was in The Neverending Story and Cocoon
parts one and two. Strangely he seems to have disappeared from
film in his teens. I would like to see him in more films
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of those movies from way back in the day that I saw in the theater when it first came out when I was in fourth grade that remind of me of when life was much simpler. I recently rented it for nostalgia value, and it's interesting now to watch it with an adult perspective on its undertones and propagandistic elements which it has in common with certain other movies of around the same time. I find it interesting to observe the attitudes of the filmmakers and to be aware of the fact that their aim is not just to tug the heartstrings but to tug them in a certain direction.
Innocent-looking little boy is dropped off in the middle of nowhere by a man in a car who then proceeds to drive it over a cliff. Fortunately, there is a professional, loving institution not far away for just such cases, and the boy, after being picked up by a kindly old couple and given some lumberjack clothes, is whisked away into its hallowed halls (As a sidenote unrelated to my central thrust, throughout the post-modernist 90's, pop culture has so steeped us in irony and misanthropy that to go back in time and find none of the above has a jarring effect on the contemporary psyche; this accounts for my tone!). Before you can cough twice, he is spirited away to Everytown, U.S.A., to foster at the home of the filmmakers' Ideal Parents: warm, unassuming backyard barbecuers; not religious, magnanimously tolerant of bad language in kids and promiscuity in teenagers. Long story short, this kid is Special and we watch him blossom amidst an Everytown background of Baseball, Elementary School... even an ATM machine makes an appearance.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching film all the family can watch and enjoy July 26, 2000
By Kali
Format:VHS Tape
A heart-warming story about a genetically engineered child whose brain is a computer processor and his physical strength is that of a young adult. Daryl as he is called, however, was not created to interact with other people, least of all a childless family who grow to love him when he put into their care. His "escape" into the real world (aided by a military scientist who gets a dose of conscience) teaches him things he would never have learnt in the artificial world he was being raised in. Befriended by Turtle, an ordinary child, Daryl is integrated into family life, and soon acquires emotions, such as love, friendship and compassion, the very things he was denied in his artificial world. There are many touching scenes such as Daryl purposely pretending he can't hit the ball properly during a baseball practice so his adopted mother will feel wanted and needed by him. Eventually however Daryl is returned to his origins, to a world that is now alien to him, and his knew found emotions and ethics soon make him redundant in the eyes of his creators. However Daryl's changes have been noticed by a once hard line scientist who realizes that the boundary between computer and child have been breeched and to terminate his existence is to murder a child, even if the child has somewhat usual mental and physical capabilities such as driving cars, flying military planes and creating an effective escape stragegy that will help him return to the family and friends he has grown to love. The final scene in the movie is poignant as Daryl bought back from the brink of "death" by yet another scientist who also now realizes that Daryl is in fact a child and not a super-computer and his return to his adopted family is heart-wrenchingly touching. Read more ›
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