Robots came into their own in the 1970s. Gone were the low-budget black-and-white B movies. Now robots roamed in full-color feature films with A-list actors. 1973 was the breakthrough year, introducing such classic robots as Cowboy in Westworld, the Woody Allen robot in Sleeper, and the Enforcement Cops in George Lucass first feature-length movie, THX 1138.
The decade moved from one stellar robot-filled sci-fi movie to another, ending the decade with Ash from Alien and the comedy duo of C-3PO and R2-D2 from the first Stars Wars movie. Beginning in the 70s, robots were no longer quirky, geeky life-size toys to keep engineers entertained. They became full-fledged screen stars, popular with everyone.
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1973: Westworld. Westworld featured Yul Brynner as a gun-slinging, black-clad Cowboy automaton robot who would allow visitors to kill him in shooting matches. The Cowboy represented Chris (also played by Yul Brynner) from the popular western, The Magnificent Seven (1960). The cold and expressionless gunslinger possessed ultra-sonic hearing and magnified, infrared vision (represented by red-tinted POV shots), demonstrating the first use in a feature film of 2-D CGI. Every night, trucks collected the robots and took them to an underground lab where they were cleaned and repaired by giant computers and lab technicians. Then, of course, everything went wrong. (Source: hbowatch.com)
Great slideshow, Rob.A lot of content I did not know before. I was expecting to see Bruce Dern's 3 little pals in Silent Running, but completely forgot about Lt. LLia, pointing the Finger at V-Ger, in S.T: T.M.P !
Sorry, but the Draags were not robots. They were biological creatures. Their meditations were visionary, and they had children. Fantastic Planet is one of my all time favorite movies, but the Cylons would make a much better choice for that spot in the robot line up.
Great slides Rob. My favorites are still C3PO and R2D2. I do have to say though I was blown away when Ash from the movie Alien turned out to be a robot. It was one of the best surprises and there were many in that movie. In looking at the three (3) laws for robots, you can see that Ash violated all three.
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
I suppose it's all in the programming. Again, great post--very interesting and a good flash-back.
Rob already got the daleks in the first post about the early robots prior to the 70's. I believe Rob also pointed out that he will be following up with more robots from the 80's, 90's, and beyond. Not sure if he meant that his is a four part series? But whatever the case, Terminator did not premier until 1984, so I am sure Rob will have that one in the next slideshow for the 80's.
With that in mind, do not forget Data from Star Trek TNG which premiered in 1987!
I thought the neat idea in Westworld was when the administrators were admiting the current designs were computer generated and so they had lost control of how the machines actually worked because they were no longer in the design loop. Which was the big idea of the day that programs could be used to write programs.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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