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Conceiving Ada (1997)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  19 February 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 352 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 13 critic

Emmy Coer, a computer genius, devises a method of communicating with the past by tapping into undying information waves. She manages to reach the world of Ada Lovelace, founder of the idea ... See full summary »

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Title: Conceiving Ada (1997)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emmy Coer
Timothy Leary ...
Lady Byron / Mother Coer
John O'Keefe ...
John Perry Barlow ...
John Crosse
J.D. Wolfe ...
Nicholas Clayton
Owen Murphy ...
William Lovelace
David Brooks ...
Children's Tutor (David)
Esther Mulligan ...
Ellen Sebastian ...
Dr. Fury
Mark Capri ...
Joe Wemple ...
Priest / Talk Show Host
Chris von Sneidern ...
Musician In Elevator
David Eppel ...


Emmy Coer, a computer genius, devises a method of communicating with the past by tapping into undying information waves. She manages to reach the world of Ada Lovelace, founder of the idea of a computer language and proponent of the possibilities of the "difference engine." Ada's ideas were stifled and unfulfilled because of the reality of life as a woman in the nineteenth century. Emmy has a plan to defeat death and the past using her own DNA as a communicative agent to the past, bringing Ada to the present. But what are the possible ramifications? Written by James Callan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

19 February 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clone of Ada  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A director's statement in the film's production notes says that the film was "structured around the idea of a double helix". "Every scene," the notes say, "was structured and shot using a DNA image as a model for actors' placement and camera movement." See more »


Ada Augusta Byron King, Countess of Lovelace: I'm not at all certain that half a life is better than no life at all.
See more »


References Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Great, but maddening
3 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

I found this movie important, enthralling, and maddening. Important, because Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, deserves iconic status today. After all, she was the first computer programmer on record. Ada's character is well-portrayed by Tilda Swinton, who gives her both excellent clarity and a fascinating wild side. The backdrops on the past sections are recognizably digital, but lushly colorful.

The maddening part comes from the modern sections, where we are given a modern programmer who contacts Ada through her computer. This narrative drags the movie down, because it's just not as interesting as Ada. The dragging bothered me, because I really wanted to love this movie.

Throughout the movie, women are explored as complex characters, while men are rendered as arbitrarily cruel caricatures. Oh, well, turnabout is fair play, I suppose, but it didn't enhance my appreciation of the film.

Overall, I'd say, see this film. Ada Lovelace is important to our generation. Grit your teeth and sit through whatever you don't like.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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