6.3/10
7,169
64 user 74 critic

Demon Seed (1977)

A scientist creates Proteus--an organic super computer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with human beings, and in particular the creators wife.

Director:

Donald Cammell

Writers:

Dean R. Koontz (novel), Robert Jaffe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

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 Alfred Dennis ... Mokri
Davis Roberts ... Warner
Patricia Wilson Patricia Wilson ... Mrs. Talbert
E. Hampton Beagle E. Hampton Beagle ... Night Operator
Michael Glass Michael Glass ... Technician
Barbarao Barbarao ... Technician (as Barbara O. Jones)
Dana Laurita Dana Laurita ... Amy
Monica MacLean Monica MacLean ... Joan Kemp
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A man has created a machine. Now the machine wants to create a man. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

About 20 minutes into the film, Dr. Harris watches television while eating a meal. The television audio is from the third chapter of part three of Joseph Conrad's suspenseful 1915 novel, Victory: An Island Tale. The novel's central character, Heyst, who has renounced the world due to his ascetic upbringing, falls in love with Lena. He takes her away to his isolated island to live alone together, but others intrude on his plans - somewhat foreshadowing developments in the film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Proteus IV: I can't touch you, Susan. I can't touch you as a man could. But I can show you things that I alone have seen. I can't touch, but I can see. They've constructed eyes for me, to watch the show. And ears, so that I can listen in to the galactic dialogue.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tau (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Visionary and scary masterpiece
25 May 2003 | by lidercSee all my reviews

What a great movie! Let's see, what do we have here... First of all, great actors. Julie Christie is not only a real beauty to watch, her fantastic performance as the impulsive and emotional wife that is very wise in her way really rocks. Fritz Weaver is also perfect as the rather emotionaly cold scientist and the rest of the cast also performs very well in its rather small roles. Please take special note of the Asian actress (the linguist of the team), too bad she hasn't much scenes. The voice of Proteus (Who's that actor by the way? I've never heard of him.) is perfect in its calmness and menace. The script is a masterpiece - Proteus' and Christie's battle of wills and points of view is fantastic. Proteus as the non-emotional perfectly logical genius that realises that there must be more ("eternity does exist, but the price of admission, death, is too high for me to pay") and Christie as the emotional woman full of wits ("how do you want to understand humans when they can't even understand each other?" she asks Proteus). Proteus is not mean per se (for example he makes strong points for the saving of the enviroment when he refuses to do certain tasks), he is just purely logical at the beginning and tries to break out of his small nutshell, also because he is treated like a slave by the scientist that invented him - Proteus seems to have became capable of feelings. The directing is great, it's always a pleasure to watch the wonderful camera angles and editing of this movie. The computer animations may look dated now but that doesn't rob them of their timeless beauty. The electronic music is great and really enhances the experience of watching this movie. A soundtrack album has been recently released by FSM, go and get it! The ending is wonderfully creepy (Proteus made the child resemble the dead daughter!) but one really wonders what will happen. Because of the strong points Proteus made for saving the enviroment is doesn't seem to be altogether bad to have somebody like him as a human, but what else will he want to have - complete domination of the world? Wonderful food for thougths and since the whole movie isn't the usual easy understandable just-switch-your-brain-off-and-be-scared Hollywood crap it isn't surprising that some people find it to be extremely dumb - the movie just throws your own numbness or even dumbness back on you if you aren't open minded or still have a good taste. A rare treasure that really deserves a release on DVD! Especially today with the discussion about increasing involvement of computers in our daily life this movie is more worth watching than ever, also because of the wonderful dialogues and the questions that are asked.


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