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Pirates of Silicon Valley (2005)

Anthony Michael Hall , Noah Wyle , Martyn Burke  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Michael Hall, Noah Wyle, Joey Slotnick
  • Directors: Martyn Burke
  • Writers: Martyn Burke
  • Producers: Nick Lombardo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NSCS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,579 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pirates of Silicon Valley" on IMDb

Special Features

Introduction by Noah Wyle

Editorial Reviews

The revolution came when we weren't looking. It happened in a garage. In a dorm room. In countless hours of effort, imagining and intrigue. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates were changing the way the world works, lives and communicates. The event-packed saga of the quirky visionaries who jump-started the future unfolds with exhilarating, cutting-edge style in Pirates of Silicon Valley. Noah Wyle (ER) portrays Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone) portrays Gates in this chronicle of the fierce and often humorous battle to rule the fledgling personal computer empire. "The story is almost Shakespearean... it's a tale of lust, greed, ambition, love and hate," writer/director Martyn Burke reflects. And it's a success story unlike any other.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into a revolution. November 21, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I watched the movie as it aired on tv, and enjoyed it so much I rented it a number of times when it released. Taking only 90% to be near historical accuracy, it still has captivated me enough to make me pre-order the re-publication of the book "Fire in the Valley" by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, on which the movie is based, just to find out what the movie left out. This movie gives such an insight into a true revolution, taking the computers out of the hands of corporate types, and giving them over to the masses. Noah Wyle is Steve Jobs in this movie. His acting brings to life one of the most influential people of the time. Anthony Michael Hall does a superb job of showing Bill Gates as the capitalistic businessman in its trueist form. The only reason I don't give it a 5 star rating is that I feel they spend a little too much time on Steve Jobs' personal drug trip. This was time that could have been better spent explaining what has happened since 1997, when Jobs came back to Apple. Or, they could have led up to the Gates vs. United States trial. All in all a great movie. Rent it, Buy it, show it to your kids. This is current history, and it is relevant to today.
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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
In the first few minutes of the film, we see Steve Jobs pacing the floor on a Boston stage (year 1997--shortly after his return to Apple), and above him is the gigantic image of Bill Gates smiling down (smirking?) at him, while we hear the voice of Steve Wozniac (the Woz) in the background say, "How did we get from there to here?" And there, dear readers, lies the tale of the century.
Kudos for the director, the casting director, and the fine performances from Hall and Wyle. In this film, we see the rise of the personal computer from two of most important players of the era, and along the way, we are shown how deeply power and wealth corrupts. Those of us that lived through this period are well acquainted with the first personal computers. Indeed, many of us have heard enough rumors concerning Steve Jobs' late night tantrums as he walked the halls of his empire, to know that this film depicted both him and Steve Wozniac fairly honestly. As far as the depiction of Bill Gates, there are those that agree and those that disagree. Obviously, artistic license was used on both sides. Steve Wozniac mentioned that he was surprised how accurately the movie portrayed the personalities, but indicated they got many of the dates screwed up (check his web site, he has many interesting comments concerning the movie).
As the title aptly suggests, both Steve and Bill gained their initial fame not just from their own creative genius (although both are considered geniuses), but as much from "borrowing" -- Jobs from Xerox PARC, and Gates from Apple Computer.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The great american success story, timing is everything! February 27, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This takes you from beginning to present day.
Shows Paul Allen (who now OWNS the Seahawks and Trailblazers pro teams) Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc. etc. Dropping out of college to pursue a slow burning fire that would become the personal computer/windows software that we know today.
What is interesting is that it shows who talks and who works. Gates lies a lot, pretty much living by the saying "telling people what they want to hear" while Paul Allen grinds away at making code.
On the other end it's the same somewhat, rogue cannon Steve Jobs handling the business part while we get a sense that Steve Wozniak is a true tech who goes above and beyond Jobs' rantings to produce the final product.
What is so funny is the irony of this movie:
Loan Officer: "Sorry Mr. Jobs, but we don't think the ordinary person will have any use for a computer".
HP: "You think people are interested in something called a mouse?".
Xerox: "We build it and then they can come right in here and steal it from us? It's just not fair, this operating system is a result of our hard work!".
Jobs to Gates: "You're STEALING FROM US!!!"
Assistant to Gates: "Do you realize Apple has a pirate flag over their front door, and they just gave us 3 prototypes of their operating system?"
Jobs: "I don't want people to look at it like a monitor and mouse, I think of this as art, a vision, people need to think outside the box".
Jobs: "You stole it from ussss!" Gates: "No it's not stealing, you see, it's like we both have this neighbor, and he leaves his door open all the time. You go over there to get his TV, only I've gotten their first..and now you're calling me the thief?!".
Just some of the excerpts that make this movie a classic and show you everything that went down when a bunch of college dropouts set out and changed the world in which we live today.
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4 of 0 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely great! June 3, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hugely enjoyable and quite accurate (by most accounts) telling of the rise and ultimate clash of two modern tech titans, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Canadian Martyn Burke deserves great credit for both writing and directing this gem. While made for television, this is better by far than most made-for-theater Hollywood productions. The 70's and 80's music fits especially well; tremendously appropriate songs and soundtrack for the story. And the use of the famous Apple "1984" commercial, compared with the vision of a huge, televised Bill Gates hovering over a humbled Steve Jobs is absolutely brilliant.

The dual narration is brilliant too, using the Steve Wozniak character to narrate the Apple story, while the Steve Ballmer character narrates the Microsoft side of things. Sure, there are major oversimplifications of many characters, and while a Paul Allen character is an active presence here - we learn virtually nothing about him as a person. But so what? As the commentary on the DVD points out, there's an almost Shakespearean feel to much of this. The focus is on the events surrounding the ultimate clash for PC superiority between Apple and Microsoft, and on Jobs himself, to a lesser extent on Gates. With no attempt to fully flesh out the other players (and none needed, in the particular story that's being told/dramatized). A few weakish scenes are included, but not many; virtually every scene adds a dimension to the plot and to the ultimate conclusion. The pace is very good, very strong. Noah Wyle gives a terrific performance as Steve Jobs; Anthony Michael Hall is also excellent as Bill Gates. And the DVD has a brief but interesting and entertaining introduction by Wyle; be sure to view it.

As to any "inaccuracies", from what I can tell those are very, very minor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great blast from the past
Remember when this premiered. Still love it!!!
Published 10 days ago by Kameron Peeks
5.0 out of 5 stars Up There With The Social Network and ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the...
Have to see it. One of those you can watch many times.
Published 23 days ago
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for whoever likes Apple products
5 stars for order and delivery. 4 stars for movie content
Published 1 month ago by Tam
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird Format
*Weird Format* Doesn't play on my DVD/Blue-Ray Player. Had to watch on my Windows 7 Laptop. Doesn't play in Ubuntu Linux, either. Very limited viewing. Be warned.
Published 1 month ago by Paulieo
1.0 out of 5 stars The DVD was of very poor quality. Sound bad and in the end went ...
The DVD was of very poor quality. Sound bad and in the end went out completely. Film slipped and missed several places. Very poor. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Virginia Mathis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
VERY PLEASED
Published 1 month ago by Grattano1
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
enjoyed this movie couldn't find it anywhere
Published 2 months ago by jeff green
5.0 out of 5 stars Beats out all the new movies about Steve Jobs...
With all the new stories about Steve Jobs, this has to be the best out there. Sure it doesn't cover the details of his second coming (LOL), but the origins are superbly scripted... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good video
Published 2 months ago by sweldon
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirated of Silicon Valley
A GREAT movie. Loved all of it. I will be watching it over and over again. Very interesting also.
Published 2 months ago by Cats4lorie
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