Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry.

Please let me know if you spot any mistakes, or have any tips about films not mentioned here that feature computers.

James Carter <james@starringthecomputer.com>


News

2021-07-18 16:37 ST times two
The Atari ST appears in Martial Law, and there is an Atari Mega ST in If Looks Could Kill.
2021-06-28 18:25 Netting some late 90s computers
The television series The Net (based on the movie of the name name) is certainly not the best ever, but it does offer some entries for the site. Angela's primary laptop varies through the season, starting with a Toshiba Libretto 50CT/70CT and later using a Sony Vaio 700 series - both of which make their debut appearance. There are then brief appearances of an Apple Power Macintosh in Deleted, a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh in Y2K: Total System Failure and an IBM Thinkpad 760 in Harvest.
2021-06-20 13:30 Deadlier than the Olivetti
The Olivetti GE-115 makes its debut appearance in the 1967 film Deadlier Than the Male.
2021-06-05 12:22 A Load of Old Tosh
This update adds appearances of old Toshiba laptops. Amateur has a T1000SE and Darkman II: The Return of Durant a T4800C. Then there are two machines making their first appearance on the site: a Toshiba T3200 in Medicine Man and a Toshiba T2400CS in the "Bugs" episode Down Among the Dead Men.
2021-05-31 11:12 Assorted PCs
Here is a small collection of PCs. The Computer Games episode of "The Girl from Tomorrow" has an IBM PC XT and you can just about make out an IBM PS/2 in The Abyss. There's an Amstrad PC 2086 in The Full Monty. And finally there are two machines making their Starring-the-Computer debut: The Compaq Deskpro 4000 in Eagle vs Shark and the MSI Concerto III in The World Is Not Enough.
2021-05-24 00:31 Stranger Strings
Stranger Strings is a rather ropey Stranger Things spoof created for a Java conference, but it's full of Starring-the-Computer delights! There is an Atari Mega ST2, an IBM PC XT, a pair of IBM Portable Personal Computers and an Osborne 1. Additionally, two machines make their Starring-the-Computer debut: the ICL PERQ 1, and the Norsk Data Nord-10/S.
2021-05-16 15:18 Commodores and things
We'll start with a couple of Julian Assange biopics with Underground: The Julian Assange Story featuring an Apple Macintosh IIcx/IIci along with a Commodore 64 and Amiga 500, and The Fifth Estate having a shot of a Commodore 64C and a Starring-the-Computer debutante in the IBM Thinkpad T43. There is a Commodore Amiga 2000 (or its keyboard at least) in the "Tales from the Loop" episode Home, and a VIC-20 in the "Empty Nest" episode Ex-Appeal. Wonder Woman 1984 features the Commodore CBM-II and PET 2001 along with a Tandy TRS-80 Model 100, and Black Cat, White Cat also has a Commodore PET. Finally a pair of related Australian films: Future Past with an Apple MACINTOSH Plus, and Commodore 64 and Amiga 1000 and Computer Ghosts with an Apple Lisa, Commodore 128, Commodore 128D (making its first appearance) and Amiga 1000. Both of those also see the DEC PDP-11/20 making its debut appearance.
2021-05-09 14:10 Laptops, laptops, laptops
First up we have Mini's First Time which has has an Apple Powerbook G4 and the "Hawaii Five-0" episode Kuipeia E Ka Makani Apaa which has a Panasonic Toughbook. Then all of the following make their first appearance on the site: a Gateway Solo 2100 in Tomorrow Never Dies, a Toshiba Satellite A205 in Deadline, a Dell Inspiron E1505 in 1408, and finally a Dell Latitude C800 in The Italian Job.
2021-05-01 15:52 Robocops
The first Robocop has a fleeting glimpse of an AT&T PC 7300, and Robocop 2 has an AT&T PC 6300, an Olivetti M20 and, making its Starring-the-Computer debut, a Sun 3/60.
2021-04-17 12:16 Mr Robot
I'm sure there are some things I missed (please let me know if you can identify other computers), but here's the result of a recent Mr Robot marathon. From season 1, episode 5 has an important role for a Raspberry Pi and episode 9 has brief appearances for the IBM PS/2 Model 50/70 and two Starring-the-Computer debutantes - the Apple Power Macintosh 9500 and NEC PowerMate 433D. There's a Commodore 64 season 2, episode 11, and season 3, episode 19 has a Panasonic Toughbook. Then from season 4 there is an IBM PC in episode 3, an Apple Unibody iMac and, making their Starring-the-Computer debut, a number of Dell PowerEdge Rx2xs in episode 5. Episode 7 (and other episodes too, I think) has another debutante - the Razer Blade, episode 11 has an Apple IIe, and finally episode 12 has two Apples: the iMac G3 and Unibody iMac.