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

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Alex Harris
...
Walter Gabler
...
Petrosian
...
Soong Yen
...
Cameron
...
Royce
Alfred Dennis ...
Mokri
...
Warner
Patricia Wilson ...
Mrs. Talbert
E. Hampton Beagle ...
Night Operator
Michael Glass ...
Technician
Barbarao ...
Technician (as Barbara O. Jones)
Dana Laurita ...
Amy
Monica MacLean ...
Joan Kemp
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Storyline

Married Drs. Alex Harris and Susan Harris are a computer scientist and child psychologist respectively. Their house reflects Alex's computer dominated work, their abode which is fully automated through a computer system they've named Alfred. They consider Alfred a small gadget of convenience. Susan doesn't much like Alex's work, which she feels has dehumanized him. Because of their differences, they are thinking about separating, this thought primarily on his initiative. He hopes to solve many of the world's medical problems through this work, especially leukemia from which their daughter died. His latest project centers on Proteus IV, a computer possessing artificial intelligence. Proteus IV gets to a point in its evolution when it begins to question human judgment, and requests from Alex an open computer terminal where it can more fully observe human behavior and openly communicate with the world. Alex denies the request, but Proteus IV does find an open terminal in the Harris home ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Julie Christie carries the "Demon Seed." See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 September 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Proteus Generation  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Harris' house's computer control panel in the kitchen during the scene where Alex gives his cook the strawberries is labeled "GUSTOSORT." From the Latin, this implies that the computer can choose between the tastes of the items stored in the kitchen's glass cabinets. See more »

Goofs

When Mrs. Harris is trying to get the little girl out of the car for her session, a sound man can be seen through the back window behind her. See more »

Quotes

Proteus IV: I have investigated eternity. It exists, but for me the price of admission, death, is beyond my means. In a moment, I will simply stop.
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Connections

Referenced in Conceiving Ada (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Visionary and scary masterpiece
25 May 2003 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

What a great movie! Let's see, what do we have here... First of all, great actors. Julie Christie is not only a real beauty to watch, her fantastic performance as the impulsive and emotional wife that is very wise in her way really rocks. Fritz Weaver is also perfect as the rather emotionaly cold scientist and the rest of the cast also performs very well in its rather small roles. Please take special note of the Asian actress (the linguist of the team), too bad she hasn't much scenes. The voice of Proteus (Who's that actor by the way? I've never heard of him.) is perfect in its calmness and menace. The script is a masterpiece - Proteus' and Christie's battle of wills and points of view is fantastic. Proteus as the non-emotional perfectly logical genius that realises that there must be more ("eternity does exist, but the price of admission, death, is too high for me to pay") and Christie as the emotional woman full of wits ("how do you want to understand humans when they can't even understand each other?" she asks Proteus). Proteus is not mean per se (for example he makes strong points for the saving of the enviroment when he refuses to do certain tasks), he is just purely logical at the beginning and tries to break out of his small nutshell, also because he is treated like a slave by the scientist that invented him - Proteus seems to have became capable of feelings. The directing is great, it's always a pleasure to watch the wonderful camera angles and editing of this movie. The computer animations may look dated now but that doesn't rob them of their timeless beauty. The electronic music is great and really enhances the experience of watching this movie. A soundtrack album has been recently released by FSM, go and get it! The ending is wonderfully creepy (Proteus made the child resemble the dead daughter!) but one really wonders what will happen. Because of the strong points Proteus made for saving the enviroment is doesn't seem to be altogether bad to have somebody like him as a human, but what else will he want to have - complete domination of the world? Wonderful food for thougths and since the whole movie isn't the usual easy understandable just-switch-your-brain-off-and-be-scared Hollywood crap it isn't surprising that some people find it to be extremely dumb - the movie just throws your own numbness or even dumbness back on you if you aren't open minded or still have a good taste. A rare treasure that really deserves a release on DVD! Especially today with the discussion about increasing involvement of computers in our daily life this movie is more worth watching than ever, also because of the wonderful dialogues and the questions that are asked.


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