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Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  20 June 1999 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 16,472 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 11 critic

History of Apple and Microsoft.

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(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: Pirates of Silicon Valley (TV Movie 1999)

Pirates of Silicon Valley (TV Movie 1999) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Wozniak
Gema Zamprogna ...
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Ed Roberts
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Therapist
Richard Waltzer ...
Homebrew Tech
Harris Mann ...
Longhair #1
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Longhair #2
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Storyline

This is a semi-humorous biographical film about the men who made the world of technology what it is today, their struggles during college, the founding of their companies, and the ingenious actions they took to build up the global corporate empires of Apple Computer Corporation and Microsoft Inc. Written by Flotis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Good artists copy... Great artists steal.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

20 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pirates of Silicon Valley  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the 1999 Macworld conference, shortly after the premiere of this TV movie, the introductory comments were made not by Steve Jobs, but by Noah Wyle, reprising his role in this movie. The real Jobs emerged shortly after and traded jokes with Wyle. See more »

Goofs

After John Sculley tells the group that someone needs to make a toast, as Steve Wozniac turns to Mike Markkula, the shadow of the camera is obvious across Mike's face, and it fades away when the camera backs up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Steve Jobs: I don't want you to think of this as just a film - some process of converting electrons and magnetic impulses into shapes and figures and sounds. No. Listen to me. We're here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here? We're creating a completely new consciousness, like an artist or poet. That's how you have to think of this. We're rewriting the history of human thought with what we're doing.
Ridley Scott: Right. Well, Steven, at the moment I'm a touch more worried about getting...
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Down Tonight
Written by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch
Performed by KC & The Sunshine Band
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User Reviews

Two extraordinary individuals help create modern computing
28 September 2004 | by (Lowell, MA) – See all my reviews

A flawed but intriguing character study of two of the most extraordinary individuals of our modern technological era.

The movie is historically inaccurate. Nevertheless, it manages to capture the essence of how much of modern computing came to be: the cluelessness of Xerox about what its own computer scientists were doing; Steve Jobs' artistic vision at Apple; and Bill Gates' ruthless business practices at Microsoft. And you will be fascinated by how these men got where they are today.

The movie isn't very kind to either Jobs or Gates, emphasizing their negative qualities. Steve Jobs is presented as a visionary, but also as a slavedriver and someone who refuses to accept that he's the illegitimate father of a young girl.

Gates is portrayed in an even less flattering way--as some kind of outright sociopath who is driven to destroy all those who try to do business with him. Still, as long as you recognize that the portrayals are negatively slanted, you will be rewarded by witnessing the interplay among the famous triangle: Adele Goldberg (not explicitly named in the movie), the leader of Xerox's research team; Steve Jobs, who ripped her off and incorporated those technologies in the new Macintosh; and Bill Gates, who ripped off Jobs and incorporated those technologies in the newer Windows product.

The movie does suffer from several historical inaccuracies. I believe that at least some of those inaccuracies were deliberate--attempts to oversimplify the historical record in order to shorten the length of the movie. For example, the movie makes it appear that Apple's first attempt at a computer with a modern graphical user interface--the Lisa--was a tremendous success, when in fact it was a commercial failure. But portraying it as a success made it simpler to explain why Bill Gates got interested in dealing with Apple at that time.

While the movie is long, it would have been even better as a two-day or three-day miniseries. That would have enabled some of the historical record to be explored at greater depth, eliminating the need for this deliberate vast oversimplification.


77 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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