6.7/10
144
5 user 3 critic

The Adding Machine (1969)

An accountant whose job is about to be taken over by a computer starts to re-examine his life and his priorities.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mr. Zero
...
...
Daisy Devore
...
Lieutenant Charles
...
Shrdlu
Raymond Huntley ...
Smithers
Phil Brown ...
Don
Paddie O'Neil ...
Mabel
Libby Morris ...
Ethel
Hugh McDermott ...
Harry
...
Lawyer
...
Judy
Bruce Boa ...
Detective
Kenny Damon ...
Joe
John Brandon ...
First cell jailer
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Storyline

An accountant whose job is about to be taken over by a computer starts to re-examine his life and his priorities.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The motion picture that adds up to an excursion into the absurd.

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Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 September 1969 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the director of this film Jerome Epstein, it was the idea of comedian Charles Chaplin to portray the scenes in Heaven the way they turned out in the film, with hot dog stands among other things. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Clock (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
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User Reviews

 
The Machine Revealed
1 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The key to understanding "The Adding Machine" is understanding that the original play (on which it is based) is not about life, but about business. Like Willy Loman's in "Death of a Salesman," Mr. Zero's name is a description of the man himself; he's a zero, a nothing. His reward for years of faithful service to the company is that his job is eliminated, even when he is clearly too old to go out and get another job. He's just a number to them. But this brutal reality continues in the hereafter. Following his execution, Zero finds himself in the Elysian Fields, where he can do whatever he wants. Or can he? Told that he has to go back (to life), he protests that he's done his time. He is then asked, "Do you suppose they go to all the expense of making a soul just to use it once?" Even in Eternity, Zero is a nothing, a thing to be used over and over until he's good for nothing but the scrap heap. "The Adding Machine" is a very human story, direct in its condemnation of the brutality of the business world, yet still disarming--and distracting--enough to be funny. Then again, perhaps the final laugh is on us......


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