1 user

Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari (2017)

3:22 | Trailer
Before Google, Yahoo and even Apple, before the Silicon Valley cliché of informal dress code, skateboards running the corridors and wild creativity became commonplace, one company embodied ... See full summary »


Tomaso Walliser


Tomaso Walliser





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bil Herd Bil Herd ... Self - Narrator
Nolan Bushnell ... Self
Manny Gerard Manny Gerard ... Self
Ray Kassar Ray Kassar ... Self
Al Alcorn ... Self
Ralph H. Baer ... Self (as Ralph Baer)
Joe Decuir Joe Decuir ... Self
David Crane David Crane ... Self
Howard Scott Warshaw Howard Scott Warshaw ... Self (as Howard Warshaw)
Dannis Koble Dannis Koble ... Self
Ed Rotberg Ed Rotberg ... Self
David Rolfe David Rolfe ... Self (as Dave Rolfe)
Steve Russel Steve Russel ... Self
Chuck Peddle ... Self
Steve Wozniak ... Self
Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Jack Tramiel invented Commodore in the 1970's, he envisioned computing for the masses and not just the upper classes. Spearheading the personal technology revolution and combatting ... See full summary »

Director: Tomaso Walliser
Stars: Chuck Peddle, Jack Tramiel, Steve Wozniak
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.

Director: Zak Penn
Stars: Zak Penn, Joe Lewandowski, Robert Rentschler
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The Commodore Story of the PET Vic20 C64 and Amiga from engineers, games developers and how Commodore influenced the first 8-bit generation users.

Director: Steven Fletcher
Stars: Rob Hubbard, Dave Haynie, Ron Nicholson
Documentary | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Shows how the classic board game has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, and follows the colorful players who come together to compete for the coveted title of Monopoly World Champion.

Director: Kevin Tostado
Stars: Zachary Levi, Philip Orbanes, Ken Koury
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Follow the rise and fall of the King of Arcades as one man pursues his dream against all odds.

Director: Sean Tiedeman
Stars: Ralph H. Baer, Tim Balderamos, Greg Bond
Documentary | History | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Plastic Galaxy explores the groundbreaking world of Star Wars toys. Through interviews with former Kenner employees, toy experts, and collectors, it looks at the toys' history, their influence, and the feelings they elicit today.

Director: Brian Stillman
Stars: Tom Beaumont, Tom Berges, John Booth
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A documentary that explores the history, influence, stories, and lasting impact behind the art. The film profiles D&D artists - both past and present and also features former company insiders, game designers, authors, and fans.

Directors: Kelley Slagle, Brian Stillman
Out of Print I (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A documentary exploring the importance of revival cinema and 35mm exhibition - seen through the lens of the patrons of the New Beverly Cinema - a unique and independent revival cinema in Los Angeles.

Director: Julia Marchese
Stars: Patton Oswalt, Seth Green, Kevin Smith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A documentary that tells the history of The Fantastic Four (1994), which was executive produced by Roger Corman.

Director: Marty Langford
Stars: Carl Ciarfalio, Roger Corman, Joseph Culp
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Unable to purchase a $50,000 digital projector, a group of film fanatics in rural Pennsylvania fight to keep a dying drive-in theater alive by screening only vintage 35mm film prints and working entirely for free.

Director: Alexander Monelli
Stars: Jeff Mattox, Virgil Cardamone, Matt McClanahan
Documentary | Animation | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Learn how video games are made, marketed, and consumed by looking back at gaming history and culture through the eyes of game developers, publishers, and consumers.

Director: Jeremy Snead
Stars: Sean Astin, Al Alcorn, Peter Armstrong
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

"Life After Flash" looks at the roller coaster life of Sam J Jones since his role as Flash Gordon, his struggles and successes, and the aftermath of when he went up against one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood.

Director: Lisa Downs
Stars: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Brian Blessed


Before Google, Yahoo and even Apple, before the Silicon Valley cliché of informal dress code, skateboards running the corridors and wild creativity became commonplace, one company embodied the digital economy lifestyle and business style: the one firm coming out of the Age of Aquarius was Atari. The story of Atari is two-thirds the story of Nolan Bushnell, founder and visionary, and one-third the first and probably biggest boom and bust of the new economy some 20 years before the new economy even existed. Atari was showing that technology is cool, way before the personal computer revolution took place and they were reaching out to an ever-growing audience with something that is still cool today: video games. Atari literally introduced the digital world to the mass consciousness. Nolan Bushnell and Atari have a huge collection of firsts: the first successful video game company, the first coin-op video game ever, the first general purpose console to win the market, the first marriage ... Written by Junk Food Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Production date at end of credits listed as XXMVII = 20 1000 7 or 1000-20 + 7, should be MMXVII = 2000 + 10 + 7. See more »

User Reviews

In depth review of the rise and fall of a giant
2 September 2017 | by reshef_i-1See all my reviews

If you're into game history - this movie is for you. There are interviews in the movie with all the key people which used to work in Atari at that time- from Nolan Bushnell the founder, through Ray Kassar (the president) and Manny Gerard from Warner brothers and many more.

The movie paints a broad picture about the emerging game industry back in mid 70 and early 80's that saw the rise of the home video game systems (like the VCS). As the name suggests - the main focus is the rise and fall of Atari - portrayed in many interviews of people of that era (not only in Atari, but from Game industry in America at that time). I would show this documentary to every entrepreneur that wants to set foot in Silicon valley. Why? because one can learn a lot from it:

1) Designers vs management tension. 2) Corporate decisions vs. founder's will 3) Can a person from outside the tech industry run a tech company ? 4) Life span of a high tech product.

and more...

In portraying that era, specifically the rise and fall of Atari - the movie deserves a 10 out of 10.

So... where is the missing 1 star ? well, I know this is not a feature film - but what I sensed is that it is very high on the factual and a little low on the emotional. It didn't move me enough. I did not say "wow" and I did not shed any tear or was too mesmerized during the length of the film. I was little bit curious on how much the movie put ET as the main reason of fall - but that part was handled very well in my opinion. It felt like reading a good well written and documented encyclopedia entry on an intriguing topic. Which is a good thing if you came for educational purposes. So, For entertainment - I would look somewhere else. I do expect some entertainment value from a documentary film. At least something shocking, or some sense of amazement. An emotional ending or funny ending would do it too.

Having said that - People that used to to be children in that era - might find it nostalgic and appealing to reflect back on all those wonderful dots and colors which danced so gracefully on their TV screen for the sake of their enjoyment. If you're one of those people, or if you have any curiosity about video games industry history - this movie is for you !

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

official site





Release Date:

15 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Junk Food Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed