7.3/10
21,773
92 user 15 critic

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | TV Movie 20 June 1999
History of Apple and Microsoft.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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3,218 ( 1,609)

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at Amazon

Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Captain Crunch
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Mrs. Wozniak
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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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Dan Kottke
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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.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

20 June 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Szilícium-völgy kalózai  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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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

When Wozniak accidentally sets fire to his computer made from spare parts, just as the local newspaper arrives to cover the story, a brief shot of the newspaper article (Boy Laughs as Computer Burns) follows, part of the text states "Steve's freind Steve Jobs" - with 'friend' misspelled as 'freind'. 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...
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Crazy Credits

Janja Vujovich is credited as "Post Sound Goddess". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010) 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

Awkward But Fascinating
2 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

This is an engaging historical-fiction look at the development of the famous computer companies Apple and Microsoft. The performances are terrific, but the film suffers from trying to handle several main characters and cover a lot of historical events. It is also unfortunate that there are three main characters all named "Steve."

The story is told from the perspective of Steve Wozniak (Joey Slotnik), who is portrayed as a gentle head and caring foil to Noah Wyle's brilliant but cruel portrayal of Steve Jobs, Wozniak's Apple co-founder. Anthony Michael Hall obviously has a wonderful time playing the weaselly Bill Gates.

The title is a pun referencing both the buccaneering style Jobs celebrated at Apple, and the idea of unethically 'pirating' the computer developments of other engineers. The film's main point is that both Apple and Microsoft gained their key functionality, the image-based screen display of a computer system (GUI) and the 'mouse' pointing device, by 'pirating' the ideas. Apple swipes them from Xerox, then Microsoft swipes them from Apple.

This is a personality study and not a technical review, and while that may make it more accessible the film doesn't make it entirely clear why Jobs provides so much access to Gates and his crew (presumably Gates is supposedly modifying his computer language, BASIC, to work on the Apple?)

I'd have to know a lot more about Wozniak, Jobs, and Gates before judging them from this film, which is especially hard on Jobs. Wyle portrays him as a selfish and arrogant adolescent, exploiting and manipulating friends and subordinates. Altogether the film is worth watching, but bittersweet and possibly slanted.


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