D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)

PG  |   |  Family, Sci-Fi  |  14 June 1985 (USA)
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Reviews: 37 user | 13 critic

A seemingly normal young boy turns out to be a top secret military-created robot with superhuman abilities.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joyce Richardson
Dr. Ellen Lamb
Elaine Fox
Dr. Jeffrey Stewart
Ron Frazier ...
General Graycliffe
Howie Fox
Mr. Nesbitt
Turtle Fox
Sherie Lee Fox
Mr. Bergen (as Ed L. Grady)
Tucker McGuire ...
Mrs. Bergen
Richard Hammatt ...
Dr. Mulligan
Charlie Gudger ...
Basketball Kid #1


A young boy is found wandering without any memory of who he is. A family takes him in and begin to look for clues to help him find his way home. In the meantime, they notice that the boy seems to have certain special abilities, not usually found in kids his age, or even fully-grown adults. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He can fly a jet, race a car and outsmart a computer. The government created him and now they want him destroyed. See more »


Family | Sci-Fi


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 June 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

D.A.R.Y.L. - A múlt nélküli fiú  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In response to whether acting is work or fun, Barret Oliver states in a 1985 "Star Log" interview: "I think it's fun, but it really is a job. In D.A.R.Y.L. (1985) there was a part where I had to freeze to death and they didn't even use it. It can get kind of frustrating. See more »


No USAF aircraft have ever been equipped with a self-destruct mechanism. See more »


Andy Richardson: Dr. What is this?
Dr. Jeffery Stewart: Daryl is not... well he never was completely human.
Andy Richardson: What?
Dr. Jeffery Stewart: Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform. Daryl is an experiment in artificial intelligence. All I can say is he was never meant to leave here and he was certainly not to be with people like yourself.
Turtle Fox: Holy shit! He's a robot?
Dr. Jeffery Stewart: He's more than that Turtle. He's a lot more. See this is the information that we program in Daryl's head and this is where he discharges learned information into the main-frame memory banks.
Turtle Fox: Wow!
Joyce Richardson: I ...
See more »


Referenced in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006) See more »


Somewhere I Belong
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Performed by Teddy Pendergrass
Produced by Nile Rodgers
Available on Elektra/Asylum Records & Tapes
See more »

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User Reviews

Eighties sci-fi fun!
19 October 2007 | by (Dundee, Scotland) – See all my reviews

'D.A.R.Y.L.' is an adorable little sci-fi children's film from the Eighties and will certainly conjure feelings of nostalgia in those who watched it as children. The film revolves around ten-year-old Daryl, who is found wandering alone in the wilderness and is fostered by childless couple Joyce and Andy Richardson. He quickly befriends their neighbours' son Turtle and goes from strength-to-strength in his new home. However, it soon becomes apparent that Daryl isn't quite normal. His intellect is vast, he has excellent sporting reflexes and acts in an oddly adult manner. Then, when two military scientists turn up at the Richardsons' home to retrieve him, it turns out Daryl is not a human child but a Data Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform, created in a science lab to serve the military. When the military orders that Daryl be destroyed, the fight to save him and return him to the family home where he was loved is on...

Barret Oliver plays the title character of Daryl, gives an effective performance and nicely depicts his character gradually changing from being odd and awkward to acting like a typical boy of ten. Mary Beth Hurt and Michael McKean, as Joyce and Andy, also give good depictions of foster parents desperate for a child, uncertain about the strange nature of Daryl yet coming to love him as if he were their own. Josef Sommer plays the scientist who begins to question the boundaries of what is considered human once he starts to know Daryl, the robot he created, properly. And Ron Frazier, as General Graycliffe who is intent on seeing Daryl destroyed, depicts his character in a suitably loathsome light!

Besides the nostalgia factor for those in their twenties and early thirties, this film will not only be enjoyable for children of today but, as we live in the computer age, brings up very relevant issues that they can consider such as what being a human means and why blood relations doesn't always matter when it comes to family. Daryl, for younger viewers, is the equivalent of Data from 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' so perhaps making this film a good choice for parents wishing to introduce their young kids to the sci-fi genre.

This is definitely an Eighties kids' classic but also one for all the family.

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D.A.R.Y.L. Fan Fic dchipman
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DARYL will appear in DVD format this year (2004) acadmon
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