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Demon Seed (1977)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 15 April 1977 (USA)
A scientist creates Proteus--an organic super computer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with human beings, and in particular the creators wife.


Donald Cammell


Dean R. Koontz (novel), Robert Jaffe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Christie ... Susan Harris
Fritz Weaver ... Alex Harris
Gerrit Graham ... Walter Gabler
Berry Kroeger ... Petrosian
Lisa Lu ... Soong Yen
Larry J. Blake ... Cameron
John O'Leary John O'Leary ... Royce
Alfred Dennis ... Mokri
Davis Roberts ... Warner
Patricia Wilson ... Mrs. Talbert
E. Hampton Beagle E. Hampton Beagle ... Night Operator
Michael Glass Michael Glass ... Technician
Barbarao ... Technician (as Barbara O. Jones)
Dana Laurita Dana Laurita ... Amy
Monica MacLean Monica MacLean ... Joan Kemp


Married Drs. Alex Harris and Susan Harris are a computer scientist and child psychologist respectively. Their house reflects Alex's computer dominated work, their abode which is fully automated through a computer system they've named Alfred. They consider Alfred a small gadget of convenience. Susan doesn't much like Alex's work, which she feels has dehumanized him. Because of their differences, they are thinking about separating, this thought primarily on his initiative. He hopes to solve many of the world's medical problems through this work, especially leukemia from which their daughter died. His latest project centers on Proteus IV, a computer possessing artificial intelligence. Proteus IV gets to a point in its evolution when it begins to question human judgment, and requests from Alex an open computer terminal where it can more fully observe human behavior and openly communicate with the world. Alex denies the request, but Proteus IV does find an open terminal in the Harris home ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Never was a woman violated as profanely... Never was a woman subject to inhuman love like this... Never was a woman prepared for a more perverse destiny... See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the 1997 re-write of the novel "Demon Seed," author Dean Koontz has Alex Harris bestowing the name "Adam Two" upon his supercomputer/A.I. intelligence system. However, the computer dislikes that name, and chooses to associate itself instead with the Greek mythological figures, Prometheus and Proteus. It believes that its purpose is to bring advanced knowledge to humanity (as the mythical Prometheus introduced humans to fire,) but finally chooses its own name, Proteus, as an homage to an entity which can change at will, to become anything which it wishes to be. See more »


When Mrs. Harris is trying to get the little girl out of the car for her session, a sound man can be seen through the back window behind her. See more »


Marlene: I'm alive.
See more »


Featured in Starfilm (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Orchestral portion of the score is just one in a series of amazing efforts from the late Jerry Fielding
16 January 2005 | by dvdspdSee all my reviews

My mixed (at best) feelings about the film as a whole are reflected in the range of previous comments. My response to the contributions of composer Jerry Fielding, however, is unadulterated awe. The harmonic richness and complexity of his music sometimes seemed wasted on the films they accompanied - i.e. "Funeral Home", "Grey Lady Down, some of the Michael Winner collaborations et al - both the attention to detail his scores displayed and the complexity of response his music evoked were simply not supported by what was on screen. In fact, some of these films probably could have been served just as well if not better either by a relative hack or simply by a composer more able to work at "half-mast" on a given project - i.e. Goldsmith, Williams etc. Fielding's effectiveness was not restricted to scoring intense and/or violent scenes - witness his brief, exquisite interludes early and late in ""Junior Bonner", the heartbreakingly beautiful music underscoring Warren Oates' tortured efforts to express his feelings to Isela Vega in "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" or for that matter the many gentle moments of respite in "The Wild Bunch" itself. Still, some of the most imaginative and memorable marriages of sound and image in the history of film are provided by Fielding in just such intense contexts, often in scenes anticipating or immediately following violence and especially scenes of violation – i.e. the rapes of "Straw Dogs", the near rape of "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia", the rough sex / bondage of "The Nightcomers", or the not-in-itself particularly violent but perhaps even more disturbing – more violating – situation played out in "Demon Seed" 's centerpiece. However unbelievable or even ludicrous this scene's premise - or the "science" underlying it - may seem, the emotional journey the film's protagonist is forced to take is massive and mind bending (the scene turning into something somewhat reminiscent of the penultimate scene of 2001). Fielding's music is more than up to the task, amply supporting and even expanding the scope of this journey.

Anyway, I think I've expended enough syllables. Fielding is one of the extremely small group of film composers whose work is just as absorbing and memorable with or without the image. So, to all those who are interested – follow the IMDb links and search … and look and listen …

P.S. As a previous poster has noted, the soundtrack recording is available on a cd pairing it with the score from "Soylent Green" by Fred Myrow. It was released by FSM (Film Score Monthly) on their Silver Age Classics label.

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Release Date:

15 April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Proteus Generation See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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