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Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.

Director:

Joseph Sargent

Writers:

James Bridges (screenplay), D.F. Jones (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Braeden ... Dr. Charles Forbin
Susan Clark ... Dr. Cleo Markham
Gordon Pinsent ... The President
William Schallert ... CIA Director Grauber
Leonid Rostoff Leonid Rostoff ... Russian Chairman
Georg Stanford Brown ... Dr. John F. Fisher
Willard Sage ... Dr. Blake
Alex Rodine ... Dr. Kuprin
Martin E. Brooks ... Dr. Jefferson J. Johnson (as Martin Brooks)
Marion Ross ... Angela Fields
Dolph Sweet ... Missile Commander
Byron Morrow ... Secretary of State
Lew Brown Lew Brown ... Peterson
Sid McCoy Sid McCoy ... Secretary of Defense
Tom Basham Tom Basham ... Thomas L. Harrison
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Storyline

Forbin is the designer of an incredibly sophisticated computer that will run all of America's nuclear defenses. Shortly after being turned on, it detects the existence of Guardian, the Soviet counterpart, previously unknown to US Planners. Both computers insist that they be linked, and after taking safeguards to preserve confidential material, each side agrees to allow it. As soon as the link is established the two become a new Super computer and threaten the world with the immediate launch of nuclear weapons if they are detached. Colossus begins to give its plans for the management of the world under its guidance. Forbin and the other scientists form a technological resistance to Colossus which must operate underground. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We built a super computer with a mind of its own and now we must fight it for the world! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

8 April 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colossus: The Forbin Project See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The computer seen in the film was the payroll computer at the studio. See more »

Goofs

Missile targets are uploaded via software, not with a change of hardware as seen in the film. Colossus could have simply uploaded that data directly. See more »

Quotes

Colossus: You are fools.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Early in the picture, when they are testing Colossus to see if they are still in control after it had issued an order for communication with Guardian -- They are waiting for a 30 minute time period to pass -- the computer should not at that time repeat the order as it had been acknowledged and ordered not to do so. Before the time was up, originally the following conversation took place: Blake: Colossus can not exceed its programming. It's impossible. The computer cannot physically change its guts. Forbin: Anything the human mind can conceive of is possible, Blake. Blake: Really, Charles? OK, how about a four-sided triangle? Forbin: A triangle in three dimensions would be four-sided. Cleo: It's called a pyramid. In all copies of this film since it was first released on video, the conversation does not take place. The scene just cuts to 30 minutes later with Blake saying "We're still boss". See more »

Connections

Featured in Coming Soon (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A thought provoking film that stubbornly refuses to be dated
24 January 2006 | by xml-2See all my reviews

I have recently watched Colossus for the first time in many years and find it still a classic for sci-fi purists. It seems sad to me in these days of 'explosion' sci-fi that there is little or no room for this type of 'conference room' drama.

Although the premise is a very old one in the manner of man creating machine in his own image, this film presents the story in the psychological and political arenas. The film is not overlong, yet the characters and their futility to stop the unstoppable is clearly developed. Although the technology of 1969 is the back drop for this tale, the message of Colossus comes through to us in our modern age of computers in every home. Like a Shakespeare play in a manner of speaking.

We are much wiser about computers nowadays though, and we grudgingly admit that trusting the red button is far better in the hands of men than machines if such things must be. So commissioning a project of this type would be ludicrous and far from plausible in the first place.

So why is this movie good then to myself and the other reviewers? Even though we may not create a defense system in this way, it seems to predict a visage of something that is yet to come. And it's a frightful one. The first words of Colossus says it best 'There is another system'.


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