7.2/10
6,650
96 user 39 critic

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: James Olson, Arthur Hill, David Wayne
Certificate: GP Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft.

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Stars: Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin
Phase IV (1974)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. ... See full summary »

Director: Saul Bass
Stars: Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, Lynne Frederick
Demon Seed (1977)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A scientist creates Proteus--an organic super computer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with human beings, and in particular the creators wife.

Director: Donald Cammell
Stars: Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver, Gerrit Graham
The Omega Man (1971)
Certificate: GP Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash
Soylent Green (1973)
Crime | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the world ravaged by the greenhouse effect and overpopulation, an NYPD detective investigates the murder of a big company CEO.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Leonid Rostoff ...
Russian Chairman
...
...
Dr. Blake
Alex Rodine ...
Dr. Kuprin
...
Dr. Jefferson J. Johnson (as Martin Brooks)
...
Dolph Sweet ...
Missile Commander
...
Secretary of State
Lew Brown ...
Peterson
Sid McCoy ...
Secretary of Defense
Tom Basham ...
Thomas L. Harrison
Edit

Storyline

Forbin is the designer of an incredibly sophisticated computer that will run all of America's nuclear defenses. Shortly after being turned on, it detects the existence of Guardian, the Soviet counterpart, previously unknown to US Planners. Both computers insist that they be linked, and after taking safeguards to preserve confidential material, each side agrees to allow it. As soon as the link is established the two become a new Super computer and threaten the world with the immediate launch of nuclear weapons if they are detached. Colossus begins to give its plans for the management of the world under its guidance. Forbin and the other scientists form a technological resistance to Colossus which must operate underground. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the dawning of the Age of Colossus (where peace is compulsory... freedom is forbidden... and Man's greatest invention could be Man's greatest mistake). See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 July 1970 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Day the World Changed Hands  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When the executives at Control Data Corporation found out that Universal was planning a major movie featuring a computer, they saw their chance for some public exposure, and they agreed to supply, free of charge, $4.8 million worth of computer equipment and the technicians to oversee its use. Each piece of equipment carried the CDC name in a prominent location. Since they were using real computers - not just big boxes with a lot of flashing lights - the sound stage underwent extensive modifications: seven gas heaters and five specially-constructed dehumidifiers kept any dampness away from the computers, a climate control system maintained the air around the computers at an even temperature, and the equipment was covered up at all times except when actually on camera. Brink's guards were always present on the set, even at night. The studio technicians were not allowed to smoke or drink coffee anywhere near the computers. See more »

Goofs

At the start The President states Colossus has control of ALL Allied defenses yet later in the movie when it chooses new targets for missiles it targets London, Rome & Denmark which have all been NATO members since 1949. See more »

Quotes

Colossus: The object in constructing me was to prevent war. This object is attained. I will not permit war. It is wasteful and pointless.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Man-Made Monsters (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An eerie SF outing from the Cold War era
16 July 2007 | by (Flagstaff, AZ) – See all my reviews

A lot has already been said about this compelling, oft-overlooked film, virtually all of which hits the proverbial nail on the head. While Eric Braeden delivers a superb, understated performance as Dr. Charles Forbin, the fact is that the real star of the film is the vast, omnipotent machine he has created. Even before it begins to speak with the chilling Cylonesque voice it has ordered designed for itself (the great Paul Frees like you've never heard him before), you'll find yourself glued to the screen watching Colossus "talk" to its supposed masters over its huge monitors.

A word about Frees' contribution to the film: In "War Games," for example, the computer has a curious sort of empathetic communication style ("Wouldn't you rather play a nice game of chess?") presented in a voice that sounds like E.T. filtered through a synthesizer. Frees gives Colossus an emotionless yet fearful quality of speech that seems to belie its implacable drive to dominate human destiny.

My favorite part of this film has always been, and will always be, the climactic monologue Colossus announces to the listening masses of humanity. From its opening line -- "This is the voice of world control," an identity neither Colossus nor its counterpart, Guardian, had used to that point -- you know this isn't going to be a happy speech if you are a sentient, flesh & blood resident of the Earth. What is particularly creepy about the speech is that, for all of its strangely optimistic sermonizing about how "the human millennium will be fact" and how the computer will set about the task of "solving all the mysteries of the universe for the betterment of man" -- outwardly the Utopian dream -- the message Colossus is presenting is set against the dreadful backdrop of "disobey (me) and die." As Colossus intones, "You say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride." In the end, unlike other supercomputer-run-amok films such as "War Games" or "Tron," "Colossus" is an end-of-the-world story without the nuclear or viral holocaust. In this film, it is the human spirit that is the casualty while the human biology lingers on. Unlike the rest of the doomsday genre, our end comes not so much with a bang as it does with a whimper.


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

"The IMDb Show": Alan Tudyk, His Top 5 Star Wars Droids, and Denzel's Dream Role

"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids, we talk with the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes.

Watch the show