13 user 47 critic

California Typewriter (2016)

TV-PG | | Documentary | 2 September 2016 (USA)
1:28 | Trailer

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California Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. The film is a meditation on creativity and technology featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others.


Doug Nichol
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Silvi Alcivar Silvi Alcivar ... Herself
Ken Alexander Ken Alexander ... Himself
Tom Hanks ... Himself
Martin Howard Martin Howard ... Himself
Jeremy Mayer ... Himself
John Mayer ... Himself
David McCullough ... Himself
Jett Morton Jett Morton ... Himself
Herbert Permillion Herbert Permillion ... Himself
Richard Polt Richard Polt ... Himself
Anthony Rocco Anthony Rocco ... Himself
Sam Shepard ... Himself
Darren Wershler Darren Wershler ... Himself
Mason Williams Mason Williams ... Himself


California Typewriter is a story about people whose lives are connected by typewriters. The film is a meditation on creativity and technology featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard, David McCullough and others.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


the revolution will be typewritten




TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site


France | India | Canada | USA



Release Date:

2 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maszyna do pisania See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$238,000, 28 November 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Entropy Begins in the Office
Music by The Boston Typewriter Orchestra
Performed by The Boston Typewriter Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Halfway Decent but Nowhere Near Great
6 July 2018 | by marsaloneSee all my reviews

First off let me just say that this film is smack dab in the middle of my wheelhouse: I love typewriters (have a small collection) and love documentaries. With all of my predisposition to love this movie, I felt bored stopping it in the middle and watching the rest a day or two later. It just isn't very compelling.

It's like every subject is just superficially addressed. There is not a lot of substance or depth here. This documentary could have been much better. Tom Hanks' enthusiasm is palpable and infectious, unfortunately he isn't in the film enough. John Mayer comes across really well but nothing he says is ever challenged. I'm thinking about how he just says you get nothing physical from writing lyrics in Word. Mayer could just hit the print button and have a hard copy. There has got to be something else driving him to use a typewriter. Plus he is using a daisy wheel electronic typewriter whereas just about all other machines in he film are manuals with maybe the mention of Selectrics.

I would like to have seen talking heads debate between the usage of manual vs. electric vs. electronic typewriters. Some mention of Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski who had a foreboding message about technology and used a manual Smith Corona to write his Manifesto. Seriously the most infamous typewriter lover of the past 20 years and no mention of him or his ideas which would've fit right in with this movie.

Instead this is just a fluff piece on typewriters and their advocates that's really weak and boring even to someone who loves the subject matter.

Truth be told the filmmakers should have just focused on the typewriter repair shop and maybe 5 or 6 of their clients. A lot of these typewriter lovers are freaks and weirdos with all sorts of craziness going on. Using the the repair shop as a hub to explore the lives of the wackiest of its clients would no doubt be very entertaining.

Good production values, some nice jazz on the soundtrack and some decent talking heads bumps this up to a 6.

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