7.9/10
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24 user 68 critic

World on a Wire (1973)

Welt am Draht (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi | TV Movie 14 October 1973
Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His ... See full summary »

Writers:

(novel), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,770 ( 629)
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gloria Fromm
...
Eva Vollmer
Karl Heinz Vosgerau ...
Herbert Siskins (as Karl-Heinz Vosgerau)
Wolfgang Schenck ...
Franz Hahn
Günter Lamprecht ...
Fritz Walfang
...
Rupp, Journalist
Adrian Hoven ...
Professor Henry Vollmer (as Adrian Hooven)
Ivan Desny ...
Günther Lause
...
Hans Edelkern
...
Mark Holm
...
Maya Schmidt-Gentner
Ingrid Caven ...
Uschi, secretary
...
Einstein
Rudolf Lenz ...
Hartmann
Edit

Storyline

Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His successor Dr. Fred Stiller experiences odd phenomena. A good friend, Guenther Lause, disappears in the middle of a conversation and a week later nobody has ever heard of him. And those fits of dizzyness - Stiller cannot believe himself to be fool. There has to be an explanation for all this. Could Simulacron have something to do with it? Written by Oliver Heidelbach

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 October 1973 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

World on a Wire  »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 950,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer/Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder's only work of Science Fiction. See more »

Goofs

In the second part of the film, the scene at Fred's cabin: When the camera moves surrounds the cabin, at one point the shadow of the camera is clearly projected on the wooden wall. See more »

Connections

References Alphaville (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Amara terra mia
Music: Domenico Modugno
Lyrics: Enrica Bonaccorti
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Artificial reality movie with a different focus
28 June 2009 | by (The Divided States of Earth) – See all my reviews

The SF premise isn't unique (although it pretty much was back then), but the focus is a completely different one than in other artificial reality films. Especially during the first part it is an elaborate crime picture, that uses the SF premise to tell an unusual crime story in which the forced detective tries to solve a mystery with the obstacle of vanishing characters and unhelpful witnesses who don't have to lie to be unhelpful. Instead of an unreliable narrator we have an unreliable world.

In part two we follow the main character's struggle for sanity and it turns more into a psychological examination of a character in an extreme situation. He knows his very existence is nothing more than electrical impulses, how does he deal with this knowledge? He knows that there is a world that is more real than his, but he is trapped in an artificial world, a world where nobody can understand him. The problem of thinking of knowing something essential about the world that nobody else knows or wants to believe is a very real one that many of us can identify with. For me the film transports this hopelessness very well, with its dreary, artificial atmosphere which also supports the factual artificiality of the film's world.

Other than 'The Matrix' or 'The Thirteenth Floor' it's little concerned with evoking a sense of awe for its artificial reality plot, instead it very much focuses on the psychological aspects. Philosophy is only in so far interesting in that certain philosophical concepts are essential in how they shape and alter the character's perception of the world.

Arguably it is longer than it has to be (which isn't a problem if you are as captivated by it as I was) and part 2 runs pretty low on steam.


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