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TRON (1982)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 80,524 users  
Reviews: 265 user | 149 critic

A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: TRON (1982)

TRON (1982) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Tony Stephano ...
Peter / Sark's Lieutenant
Craig Chudy ...
Warrior #1
Vince Deadrick Jr. ...
Warrior #2 (as Vince Deadrick)
Sam Schatz ...
Expert Disc Warrior
Jackson Bostwick ...
Head Guard
David S. Cass Sr. ...
Factory Guard (as Dave Cass)
...
Guard #1
Bob Neill ...
Guard #2
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Storyline

Hacker/arcade owner Kevin Flynn is digitally broken down into a data stream by a villainous software pirate known as Master Control and reconstituted into the internal, 3-D graphical world of computers. It is there, in the ultimate blazingly colorful, geometrically intense landscapes of cyberspace, that Flynn joins forces with Tron to outmaneuver the Master Control Program that holds them captive in the equivalent of a gigantic, infinitely challenging computer game. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the future video game battles will be a matter of life or death. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 July 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

TRON  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$33,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-writer Bonnie MacBird first studied computer programming with paper and pencil in the 1960s during junior high school. While attending Stanford she made punch cards for use on a PDP-11 minicomputer at night when students were allowed access, and played a rudimentary version of Pong with lights on the computer's control board. Before joining Steven Lisberger's company, MacBird worked as a mid-level story executive at Universal Studios where she tried unsuccessfully to get their story department to put their records in a database. It was MacBird's suggestion to Lisberger that they get computer pioneer Alan Kay as a consultant on the film they were developing. MacBird sent versions of the script via acoustic coupler to Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where Kay helped her edit them on the company's early version of a personal computer called the Alto. MacBird believes this makes her the first screenwriter to edit a screenplay on a computer, but chose the closest approximation to industry standard Courier font available so the studio would think it was typewritten. The character of Alan Bradley was based in part on Kay, and, along with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, the lab in the film was based on Kay's lab at Xerox PARC. Kay and MacBird married in 1983. See more »

Goofs

When Flynn runs through the computer halls shortly before he gets scanned in the computer, you see a crew member sitting behind a Cray 1 supercomputer and several others reflected in the glass on the same Cray 1. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boy in Video Game Arcade: All right, give me room. Here we go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A section of the end credits is in Taiwanese. See more »

Connections

Referenced in South Park: Quintuplets 2000 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Only Solutions
Written and Performed by Journey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film that The Matrix wishes it was
26 November 2004 | by (Southern Hemisphere) – See all my reviews

In 1982, the concept of artificial intelligence was advanced enough that a gamer could easily defeat a computer opponent if he memorised the sequence of moves that the AI followed. A computer capable of handing the intense mathematical calculations CGI entailed often took up an entire room. Video games were strictly two-dimensional, and often consisted of video displays that a legally blind man could make out the individual pixels in. Yet they were considerably more fun than most of the annoyances we have to bear with today. The reason for this is as simple as it is obvious. In 1982, programmers realized that graphics are not what make a game fun because graphics could not be made as "real" as they are now.

Tron fell flat at the box office because the concepts it dealt with were not in the public consciousness. Home computers from many manufacturers were duelling for market share, and the idea that the market could one day all be controlled by one monolithic corporation was far from anyone's mind. This little fact is what keeps Tron relevant nearly twenty-five years later. However, as the information age grew into focus, the number of films that openly steal from Tron are numerous. They try to capture the same level of excitement and intrigue, but they fall down because of an inability to make the audience care about the characters.

Tron begins with simple interactions between the world of the programs and the world of the humans, some of which are programmers, or users as they are called here. The sequence in which one user, Flynn, is sucked into the world of the programs, well, let's just say that the Wachowski brothers obviously watched it very carefully before they penned the screenplay for The Matrix. Only in this case, it is done with much more credibility and impact.

Many have talked about the curse that plagues film adaptations of video games. Tron was the first of many films to have a video game adapted from it, the reasons for which should be clear when one watches the game sequences. During the middle act of the film, Flynn is made to compete in a couple of video games, the first of which, while quite clearly based upon Pong, was adapted more or less element-for-element into a crude tennis game. The latter is more notorious, however. The concept of bicycles that create walls behind them as they move, into which one tries to run an opponent, is one of the simple concepts that kept old 4-bit video game machines like the Atari 2600 profitable for so long.

It has been said that it is difficult to understand what is going on, which is hogwash. Once you learn some of the basics of computing, or rather the concepts that Microsoft would like to keep hidden from the user such as input-output addresses and the like, and learn to pay attention to dialogue, it is incredibly easy to follow this story. It is, in fact, one of the best renderings of computer concepts on the big screen to date, which is a sad indictment upon Hollywood when you consider how far technology in both areas has come since 1982.

I gave Tron a ten out of ten. It entertained me immeasurably when I was a child growing up on the cusp of VHS technology. As an adult who is having endless fun with the recordable DVD technology, it entertains me even more. Few things grow more relevant with time, in both happy and sad ways, but Tron is amongst them. If every science-fiction film in which computers and artificial intelligence figured heavily were up to this standard, film critics would have a lot less to do.


130 of 205 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The Matrix - a rip-off of Tron? geosanhar
'Just like the old arcade grips.' curlew-2
6.6 how ridiculous are you, folk ? seha
Disney hiding '82 Tron because of primitive effects... butcherofbakersfield
Who was the hero? MrsRupertGraves
what was Flynn's hand helled game? stitchfan82
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