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TRON (1982)

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A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

Director:

Steven Lisberger

Writers:

Steven Lisberger (screenplay), Steven Lisberger (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,490 ( 1)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Kevin Flynn / Clu
Bruce Boxleitner ... Alan Bradley / Tron
David Warner ... Ed Dillinger / Sark / Master Control Program
Cindy Morgan ... Lora / Yori
Barnard Hughes ... Dr. Walter Gibbs / Dumont
Dan Shor ... Ram / Popcorn Co-Worker
Peter Jurasik ... Crom
Stuart Thomas Stuart Thomas ... Peter / Sark's Lieutenant (as Tony Stephano)
Craig Chudy Craig Chudy ... Warrior #1
Vince Deadrick Jr. Vince Deadrick Jr. ... Warrior #2 (as Vince Deadrick)
Sam Schatz Sam Schatz ... Expert Disc Warrior
Jackson Bostwick ... Head Guard
David S. Cass Sr. David S. Cass Sr. ... Factory Guard (as Dave Cass)
Gerald Berns ... Guard #1
Bob Neill Bob Neill ... Guard #2
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Storyline

Hacker/arcade owner Kevin Flynn is digitally broken down into a data stream by a villainous software pirate known as Master Control and reconstituted into the internal, 3-D graphical world of computers. It is there, in the ultimate blazingly colorful, geometrically intense landscapes of cyberspace, that Flynn joins forces with Tron to outmaneuver the Master Control Program that holds them captive in the equivalent of a gigantic, infinitely challenging computer game. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Electronic Gladiator See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 July 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

TRON: The Original Classic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,761,795, 11 July 1982

Gross USA:

$33,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film was an initial failure, the arcade video games based on it proved to be a tremendous hit and actually out-grossed the film. See more »

Goofs

When Alan walks to Dillinger's office at the beginning, the sounds of the footsteps do not match Alan's steps. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boy in Video Game Arcade: All right, give me room. Here we go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Certain versions of the European/American re-release have the explanatory title cards establishing the viewer into the world of the Programs and Users. See more »

Alternate Versions

The light cycle sequence originally had background music. This alternate scene is present on the special laserdisc edition. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chuck: Chuck Versus the Lethal Weapon (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

1990s Theme
Written and Performed by Journey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film that The Matrix wishes it was
26 November 2004 | by mentalcriticSee all my reviews

In 1982, the concept of artificial intelligence was advanced enough that a gamer could easily defeat a computer opponent if he memorised the sequence of moves that the AI followed. A computer capable of handing the intense mathematical calculations CGI entailed often took up an entire room. Video games were strictly two-dimensional, and often consisted of video displays that a legally blind man could make out the individual pixels in. Yet they were considerably more fun than most of the annoyances we have to bear with today. The reason for this is as simple as it is obvious. In 1982, programmers realized that graphics are not what make a game fun because graphics could not be made as "real" as they are now.

Tron fell flat at the box office because the concepts it dealt with were not in the public consciousness. Home computers from many manufacturers were duelling for market share, and the idea that the market could one day all be controlled by one monolithic corporation was far from anyone's mind. This little fact is what keeps Tron relevant nearly twenty-five years later. However, as the information age grew into focus, the number of films that openly steal from Tron are numerous. They try to capture the same level of excitement and intrigue, but they fall down because of an inability to make the audience care about the characters.

Tron begins with simple interactions between the world of the programs and the world of the humans, some of which are programmers, or users as they are called here. The sequence in which one user, Flynn, is sucked into the world of the programs, well, let's just say that the Wachowski brothers obviously watched it very carefully before they penned the screenplay for The Matrix. Only in this case, it is done with much more credibility and impact.

Many have talked about the curse that plagues film adaptations of video games. Tron was the first of many films to have a video game adapted from it, the reasons for which should be clear when one watches the game sequences. During the middle act of the film, Flynn is made to compete in a couple of video games, the first of which, while quite clearly based upon Pong, was adapted more or less element-for-element into a crude tennis game. The latter is more notorious, however. The concept of bicycles that create walls behind them as they move, into which one tries to run an opponent, is one of the simple concepts that kept old 4-bit video game machines like the Atari 2600 profitable for so long.

It has been said that it is difficult to understand what is going on, which is hogwash. Once you learn some of the basics of computing, or rather the concepts that Microsoft would like to keep hidden from the user such as input-output addresses and the like, and learn to pay attention to dialogue, it is incredibly easy to follow this story. It is, in fact, one of the best renderings of computer concepts on the big screen to date, which is a sad indictment upon Hollywood when you consider how far technology in both areas has come since 1982.

I gave Tron a ten out of ten. It entertained me immeasurably when I was a child growing up on the cusp of VHS technology. As an adult who is having endless fun with the recordable DVD technology, it entertains me even more. Few things grow more relevant with time, in both happy and sad ways, but Tron is amongst them. If every science-fiction film in which computers and artificial intelligence figured heavily were up to this standard, film critics would have a lot less to do.


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