84 From ’84: Electric Dreams

Electric Dreams Header
Electric Dreams Poster

An artificially intelligent PC and his human owner find themselves in a romantic rivalry over a woman.

Cast:

  • Lenny Von Dohlen as Miles Harding
  • Virginia Madsen as Madeline Robistat
  • Maxwell Caulfield as Bill
  • Bud Cort as Voice of Edgar
  • Don Fellows as Mr. Ryley
  • Giorgio Moroder as Record Producer

1984 memories

A rental based solely on the artwork. I was a big computer nerd and a cover with a cartoon devil computer looked intriguing.

I liked it mostly for the computer aspects, especially the computer controlling things around the house. It seemed so futuristic at the time.

Is it still worth watching in 2024? Let’s see…

40th Anniversary Re-watch

It’s not a bad movie. To really appreciate it you have to put yourself in 1984. Today computers with personalities are common place. In 1984 it was a, somewhat, unique idea. Wargames and HAL in 2001 not withstanding.

It’s the age old story of a man who likes a girl but is too shy to do anything about it. So the mans roommate composes a love song for the girl. Only in this movie the roommate is a computer.

It’s a modern (1984) retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story. The best retelling might be Roxanne (1987) with Steve Martin. But Electric Dreams puts a nice twist on it using a computer instead of another human.

Miles buys a computer to help him get organized with his work as an architect. He buys the computer and various upgrades to go with it including switches to control his household appliances, a speech synthesizer so the computer can read text to speech and microphone to dictate his work.

One night while Miles is downloading a database from his office mainframe the computer starts to overheat. In a panic Miles grabs a bottle of champagne and pours it on the computer. Instead of destroying the computer, it causes the computer to come alive.

One of the best scenes in the movie is when Edgar, the computer, overhears Madeline playing her cello. Edgar composes a variation of the same peice of music and plays it back to her. She thinks it’s Miles and begins to fall for him.

Electric Dreams Computer

Miles uses Edgar to help him win over Madeline but when Miles no longer needs Edgar things go awry. In a fit of anger, Edgar cancels Miles. He, it, cancels his credit cards and registers him in the police system as armed and dangerous.

Miles confronts Edgar and tries to unplug the computer, making Edgar more upset. Edgar locks the doors. turns on the appliances and chases Miles around the house trying to kill him.

The two main actors Von Dohlen and Madsen have great chemistry on screen too. Using a computer for the part of Cyrano was a nice twist. The way the director uses the computer graphics and lighting to show the personality of the computer was nicely done.

Favorite Line:

Hug, hold, squeeze and lick – Darling, I love you to bits – And I want to see your…

Electric Dreams is the debut film for director Steve Barron. He wasn’t new to directing though. He directed over 100 music videos including Toto; “Africa” and “Rosanna,” Sheena Easton; “For Your Eyes Only” and Michael Jackson; “Billie Jean.”

Barron’s next movie was another retro favorite, at least here on Geekster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990). He’d continue to direct music videos including A-ha; “Take On Me” and “The Living Daylights,” Bryan Adams; “Summer of ’69,” Def Leppard; “Let’s Get Rocked” and Dire Straits; “Money for Nothing.”

I like Electric Dreams, it put a nice twist on an old story. It’s fun to see the old computers and graphics that were state-of-the-art forty years ago.

Electric Dreams was released on 20 July 1984. It was a box office bust making $2.5 million on a $5.5 million budget.

Did you watch Electric Dreams? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on X(Twitter). The main Geekster channel is @TRNSocial and I’m @MileHighSamurai You can also find me on Bluesky @MileHighSamurai

6/10 stars

6 Stars

Check out the entire 84 From ’84 movie series

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About Pitfall Gary 156 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

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