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Colossus: The Forbin Project
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The ultimate computer creates the ultimate terror in this chillingly real sci-fi suspense thriller. When electronics genius Charles Forbin creates a massive computer complex that is capable of independently regulating the national defense of the United States, it appears that no enemy will ever be able to penetrate its sovereign borders.
But such a promising thought turns into a stunning nightmare when its discovered the Russians have built an equally sophisticated computer and that these two "doomsday machines", have linked, sharing classified information and top secrets. Desperately, Forbin and his Soviet counterparts try to stop the all-knowing monster computers from seizing command of the worlds nuclear missile stockpiles.
NEW Interview With Actor Eric Braeden
NEW Audio Commentary By Author Jeff Bond
Original Theatrical Trailer
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The use of good, but not over the top, actors gave an eerie feeling of reality to this film.
It is 1966 with the complexities of nuclear war we must turn to artificial intelligence to handle the multitude of factors in a reasonable time. We must keep in mind that this computer "Colossus" (named after the real life machine by Turing) can only do our bidding.
What is this? Colossus has discovered another entity in Russia (Guardian), and requests to converse with it. Well we can always pull the plug (yeah sure.) To counter the threat of being socially separated the computers threaten to launch nuclear missiles. At the U.S. and Russia. Getting increasingly pushier Colossus, after requesting voice recognition and voice synthesis (a spooky sixties version of voice synthesis), goes on to regulate the lives of the people who created it; of course it is for their own good.
One can put up with nuclear war if need be, but regulating lives is intolerable. Something must be done. Watch and see what unique solutions are planned. Will they succeed? Who are you rooting for?
Forbin has developed a super-computer to cope with America's intense Cold War with the USSR. Times are intense. Even the actor who plays the president looks a little like Kennedy. And they power up Colossus, rather than act as a defensive grid against the Russians, he decides to take matters into his own hands.
The computer has been programmed to prevent war. What better way than to take over Man himself and become its caretaker. Forbin is not happy with this. When Colossus demands to be hooked up to its Russian equivalent, Guardian, it expects its demands to be met. When refused, Colossus starts lobbing a few nukes around to show he means business!
Most of the movie centers around a secret underground that attempts to undermine the super-computer's defense and missile system through making the nukes duds. The computer gets a voice and announces to the world that his is the voice of reason - and the chilling dialogue about Man being at peace - either in harmony or dead - makes for some pretty intense writing.
The film tends to play lots of jazz music and a few bongo drums which really adds to the campy and "hokey" quality of the film. Makes the viewer take the film less seriously.
The ending is quite interesting as the machine orders Forbin to help it out and Forbin shouts "Never!" Quite intense.
In many ways one of the better computer vs. Man stories. I understand that a remake is in the works. Figures!
Eric Braedon stars as the reluctant scientist Forbin who realizes what Frankenstein must have felt like as his creation is unleashed into the world. Wracked by guilt he concludes that resistance is teh best way to fight his creation. Even Colossus realizes that Forbin is the most deadly human yet his best chance at caring for Man.
I was disappointed that the DVD had no special features at all!
CAST & CREW:
James Bridges (screenplay)
D.F. Jones (novel "Colossus")
Cast (in credits order)
Eric Braeden ... Dr. Charles Forbin
Susan Clark ... Dr. Cleo Markham
Gordon Pinsent ... The President
William Schallert ... CIA Director Grauber
Leonid Rostoff ... Russian Chairman
Georg Stanford Brown ... Dr. John F. Fisher
Willard Sage ... Dr. Blake
Alex Rodine ... Dr. Kuprin
Martin E. Brooks ... Dr. Jefferson J. Johnson (as Martin Brooks)
Marion Ross ... Angela Fields
Dolph Sweet ... Missile Commander