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The Adding Machine (1969) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Elmer Rice (play)
Jerome Epstein (written for the screen by)
View company contact information for The Adding Machine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 September 1969 (USA) See more »
The motion picture that adds up to an excursion into the absurd.
An accountant whose job is about to be taken over by a computer starts to re-examine his life and his priorities. | Add synopsis »
(2 articles)
Phyllis Diller: 1917-2012
 (From IMDb News. 20 August 2012, 12:36 PM, PDT)

Paddie O'Neil obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 25 March 2010, 11:57 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Swell! See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)

Milo O'Shea ... Mr. Zero

Phyllis Diller ... Mrs. Zero

Billie Whitelaw ... Daisy Devore

Sydney Chaplin ... Lieutenant Charles

Julian Glover ... Shrdlu
Raymond Huntley ... Smithers

Phil Brown ... Don
Paddie O'Neil ... Mabel
Libby Morris ... Ethel

Hugh McDermott ... Harry

Bill Nagy ... Lawyer

Carol Cleveland ... Judy

Bruce Boa ... Detective
Kenny Damon ... Joe
John Brandon ... First cell jailer

Hal Galili ... Second cell jailer
Tony Caunter ... Third cell jailer
Bill Hutchinson ... Judy's lover
Helen Elliot ... Second apartment girl
C. Denier Warren ... Jury foreman
Tommy Duggan ... Judge
Gordon Sterne ... Yard guard
Lola Lloyd ... Coffee girl

Nicholas Stuart ... District Attorney
George Margo ... Gateman
Janet Brown ... Fat Woman
Allan Surtees ... Apartment tenant

John Bloomfield ... Apartment tenant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janie Baron ... Thin Woman
Jean-Pierre Bernard ... Christian
Joëlle Bernard ... Janine
John Cook ... Husband

Shirley Cooklin ... Apartment tenant
Anthony Harwood ... Apartment tenant
Cal McCord ... Apartment tenant
Christine Pryor ... Apartment tenant
Mike Reid ... Yard guard

George Roderick ... Hot Dog Vendor

George Roubicek ... Graveyard Lover (scenes deleted)
Helena Stevens ... Apartment tenant
Harry Fielder ... Yard Guard (uncredited)
Ian Selby ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

Directed by
Jerome Epstein 
Writing credits
Elmer Rice (play "The Adding Machine")

Jerome Epstein (written for the screen by)

Charles Chaplin  uncredited

Produced by
Jerome Epstein .... producer
Original Music by
Mike Leander 
Lambert Williamson 
Cinematography by
Walter Lassally (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Gerry Hambling 
Art Direction by
Jack Shampan 
Costume Design by
Gabriella Falk 
Makeup Department
Alan Brownie .... makeup artist
Stephanie Kaye .... hair stylist
Production Management
L.C. Rudkin .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray Corbett .... assistant director
Brian Bilgorri .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
John Lageu .... assistant art director
Michael Pittel .... set dresser (as Mike Pittel)
Sound Department
John Blunt .... sound mixer (as Jon Blunt)
Charles Bowers .... sound editor
Bert Coot .... sound mixer
Brian Marshall .... sound recordist
Roy Norman .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Ronnie Fox Rogers .... camera operator (as Ronnie Fox-Rogers)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ruth Knight .... wardrobe mistress
Editorial Department
Brian Sinclair .... assistant editor
Music Department
Mike Leander .... conductor
Lambert Williamson .... conductor
Other crew
Dennis Brandt .... researcher: 1930's
Pat O'Donnell .... production secretary
Arno Rudolf .... production accountant
Tom Taylor .... titles: Caravel Studios
Helen Whitson .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix:
Canada:PG (Ontario) | UK:A | USA:M

Did You Know?

Muhammad Ali was suggested for Lt. Charles.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited into The Clock (2010)See more »
How Small We Are, How Little We KnowSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Swell!, 29 December 2010
Author: gengar843 from United States

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whether or not Elmer Rice was interested in bashing the business world, that comes across as secondary in this film. Sure, the dismal life of the office clerk is nothing to write home about, but it honestly was not as heart-wrenching as Mr. Zero's home life. In fact, if we wanted to make a federal case of it, we could pin Zero's anger on his wife. So, what is primary? I think this film reached beyond Rice's play into quite a few plateaus of its own. First, it definitely brings to light the science vs. religion angle with more oomph. For instance, the lieutenant's monologue concerning monkeys and men is more than a little presumptuous, since it either doesn't consider that the idea of a Creator necessarily makes evolutionary theory just a little flimsy, or else it decides to have its cake and eat it too! Another moment is, of course, Shrdlu's dilemma, which is too delicious to examine clinically.

Second, there is more than a little hip enlightenment going on here. Whether you include Planet of the Apes, or Watermelon Man, or Rhinoceros, it's apparent that the late 60's/early 70's were a breeding ground for tough playwright-to-screenplay initiative. It is very cool to watch a film from 1969 bring the sensibilities of 1930's New York to life with every bit of exaggeration and yet authenticity. From the dress to the jargon and accents, there is a briskness here that will either abrade or excite you. I found the latter to be true for me. There is also the camera work, which I think is quite good, and ritualistic for the decade in question.

Third, I think it is quite noticeable that some industry competition is at work here. Perhaps I read too much into things, but the director seems to be giving Billy Wilder, and perhaps even Woody Allen or Kubrick a run for his money. Sure, the budget is low, but that only makes me want to invoke Val Lewton! Now, just for pleasure, how great is Justin Glover, who looks so much like Crispin Glover you'll pinch yourself (ow!), but they're not related... I don't think. And Billie Whitelaw is to me a dream here, a perfect character and a terrific actress with a look that is so now extinct, it makes one wistful.

That's all, folks.

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