6.7/10
146
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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(play), (written for the screen by)
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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.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

23 September 1969 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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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

Peanuts and Popcorn
(uncredited)
Music by Frank Talley
Published by Boosey & Hawkes
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User Reviews

 
A little too stage-bound to entirely work
5 June 2013 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Mr Zero has a terrible home life and a robotic work life. He is rewarded for years of faithful service at the accountancy firm where he works with the sack. He is replaced by an adding machine. In blind fury he murders his boss and is executed for his crime. He ends up in a sort of half-way heaven where he is told he must return to Earth and live another life seeing as souls don't come cheap.

It's not really very surprising to learn that this film was based on a play, as it's very stagey and uncinematic. I guess the title doesn't so much refer to the device that replaces Mr Zero so much as it is meant to describe the man himself. After all, he seems to live a very robotic life and is treated with utter indifference by those around him. He might as well be a machine for all the difference it would make. So there are certainly ideas under the surface of this satirical comic fantasy that's for sure. Unfortunately, I found it somewhat uninvolving overall. I think it was down to a combination of the stagey presentation and the alienating characters. The acting is certainly good, with Phyllis Diller in particular making a mark as Mr Zero's awful wife. Watch out too for a blink-and-you'll-miss-him appearance by former Eastenders actor and stand-up comic Mike Reid in a role as a prison guard.


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