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Electric Dreams (1984)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 20 July 1984 (USA)
An artificially intelligent PC and his human owner find themselves in a romantic rivalry over a woman.

Director:

Steve Barron

Writer:

Rusty Lemorande
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lenny von Dohlen ... Miles Harding
Virginia Madsen ... Madeline Robistat
Maxwell Caulfield ... Bill
Bud Cort ... Edgar (voice)
Don Fellows ... Mr. Ryley
Alan Polonsky Alan Polonsky ... Frank, Co-Worker
Wendy Miller Wendy Miller ... Computer Clerk
Harry Rabinowitz ... Conductor
Miriam Margolyes ... Ticket Girl
Holly De Jong Holly De Jong ... Ryley's Receptionist
Stella Maris Stella Maris ... Woman at Airport
Mary Doran Mary Doran ... Millie
Diana Choy Diana Choy ... Check-Out Girl
Jim Steck Jim Steck ... Removal Man
Gary Pettinger Gary Pettinger ... Removal Man
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Storyline

Miles buys himself a state-of-the-art computer that starts expressing thoughts and emotions after a having champagne spilled down on him. Things start getting out of hand when both Miles and Edgar, how the computer calls himself, fall in love with Madeline, an attractive neighbour. Written by Robert Zeithammel <zeit@cip.physik.uni-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most unusual triangle in the history of love: a boy, a girl, and a computer. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 July 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Electric Dreams See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,009,586, 22 July 1984

Gross USA:

$2,193,612

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,193,612
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Virgin See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the dream musical sequence, Edgar the computer dreams of electric sheep jumping an electric fence, whilst Miles dozes off to sleep. The scene a reference to author Philip K. Dick's (1968) science fiction novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Dick's stories typically focus on the fragile nature of what is real and the construction of personal identity. This is borne out by Miles', "I'm not what I seem to be". See more »

Goofs

Miles and Edgar both quote the wrong release dates to each other for the respective Sleeping Beauty and Cinderalla movies they are referencing. See more »

Quotes

[having just played The Duel improv with Edgar, Madeline attempts to communicate, thinking it was Miles]
Madeline Robistat: [into air vent] Hello? Can you hear me down there? I... just wanted to say that... well, that was wonderful! Hello? Can you hear me? Hello? Now, don't be shy; that was just beautiful!
[camera pans up from Miles' empty apartment into vent and up to Madeline's vent]
Madeline Robistat: [to herself] Hmm. Very smart. But weird.
[clicks vent shut]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits: Green Text: A VIRGIN PICTURES PRODUCTION Multicolored Text: hello Green Text: HELLO Multicolored Text: is this a story? Green Text: YES Multicolored Text: what type? Green Text: FAIRYTALE FOR COMPUTERS Multicolored Text: name? Green Text: ELECTRIC DREAMS Then, both texts disappear and the movie's title appears in the multicolored text. See more »

Alternate Versions

When it aired on HBO, the opening card sequence identifying it as a Virgin Films production was removed and replaced with one for MGM with Leo the MGM Lion roaring twice during the opening music. See more »

Connections

References Pinocchio (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Let It Run
Performed, Composed and Produced by Jeff Lynne
(c)1984 Virgin Music (Publishers) Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

Being John Malkovich for the Eighties
20 February 2001 | by feelinglistlessSee all my reviews

When I first saw 'Being John Malkovich', I didn't really know much about - it was a while since I'd been to the cinema because of work and I went to see it on the strength of John Cusack. As I sat in that cinema full of bored teenagers, watching the story unfold, I was amazed at how similar an experience it actually was to the first film I really fell in love with, 'Electric Dreams'.

I've never been completely sure what I especially liked about the film. Virginia Madsen certainly has a big sister / first crush quality, with her woolly jumpers and body wrapped around a cello. Lenny Van Dollen is certainly as good an actor as anyone whose worked in this kind of film and offers work of quite subtle range. And the computer is heartbreaking. And the music is lovely. This is perhaps a film which is uncriticisable because it captures a time in life so beautifully.

Made in 1984, 'Dreams' has a plot similar in scope to 'Malkovich'. Miles subordinating of the newly sentient computer parallel's Craig Schwartz control of the film actor. As the computer operator uses Edger to woo the love of both their lives, so the puppeteer controls Malkovich to get into the panties of his 'business partner'.

There is no doubt the film has dated, although in its own way it uses visual techniques which at the time must have seemed as extreme as the flourishes of the latter film. Its use of pop video, in the sequences of high emotion, especially in the scene of where Miles is chased around the house, are at least echoed in the chase sequence at the heart of 'Malkovich'.

With all this in mind, its perhaps a time to re-assess this film as more than the fluff its previously been thought of as being.


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