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>


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2020-11-22 10:48 SE and SE
There are two appearances of the Apple Macintosh SE in 'Til There Was You and Election (which also features the Power Macintosh 5000).
2020-11-08 15:01 A Flotilla of Commodores
There are Commodore PET 2001s and later PETs in episodes of Devs and Supertrain as well as the movies Trudeau and Eliminate: Archie Cookson (which also features an IBM PS/2 Model 30/55). Müllers Büro as a role for a Commodore 64. "My Secret Identity" has a Commodore Amiga 500 in its first episode and an Amiga 2000 in its second. Finally, The Real McCoy has an Commodore Amiga 1000, along with an IBM PS/2 Model 50/70 and, making its Starring-the-Computer debut, an NEC Ultralite 286F.
2020-11-01 11:37 Many mainframes and a smattering of supercomputers
Let's start with the debutantes. A Thinking Machines CM-1 makes an appearance in The Fly II (along with an IBM System/370), Hangar 18 has a first appearance for the GE 210 (along with the GE 635), and the IBM 1130 make its first appearance in The Naked Bunyip (along with the System/360). The IBM System/360 also appears in the "Mad Men" episode The Monolith and the German film Die Ente klingelt um halb acht. All the Troubles of the World has the Honeywell 6000 and The Billion Dollar Bubble has the Sperry UNIVAC 1110. Then there is the usual assortment of Burroughs B205 and IBM AN/FSQ-7 appearances in The Man With My Face, Fail Safe, Time Travelers, the "Cannon" episode The Rip Off and "The Land of the Giants" episode Brainwash (which also has shots of the Burroughs B220 and IBM 1620).
2020-10-26 14:26 An eMaculate Collection
The Apple eMac makes its Starring-the-Computer debut in Mean Girls, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits and Freaky Friday. The latter also feature the Apple iMac G3, iMac G4 and Powerbook G4 along with another debutante - the Compaq iPAQ 3850.
2020-10-21 15:13 Mostly PCs
The "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show" episode Honey, You've Got Nine Lives has a number of IBM Aptiva Ss. Dreams of a Life has a IBM PC XT and IBM PS/2 Model 30/55. There are more PS/2s in the "Murphy Brown" episode The Memo That Got Away and the "Tales from the Crypt" episode None But the Lonely Heart. Death Spa has a few shots of the AT&T PC 6300, and panels from the Honeywell 6000. And then a series of machines make their Starring-the-Computer debut: there is the Tandy 1000 EX in Def by Temptation and the Lenovo IdeaCentre A310 and ThinkPad X201t in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, along with the shots of the ubiquitous Burroughs B205 tape drive.
2020-10-11 18:02 Mostly laptops
Little Love has an Apple Powerbook G4, Home Alone 3 has a Toshiba T4600C and the second episode of Devs has an Alienware R5. Gleaming the Cube has a IBM 5140 and the only non-portable machine in this update, the Epson Equity making its debut appearance. Then there are three more laptops making their debut appearance: the Samsung VM8000 in the very first episode of Rosemary & Thyme, the Sony Vaio E in Cyberbully, and the Data General WALKABOUT/SX in The Beverly Hillbillies.
2020-10-04 00:18 G3 or not G3?
In this case, very much G3! All of the follow include the Apple iMac G3: The "Rosemary & Thyme" episode The Memory of Water, Fast Food Nation, the "Friends" episode The One Where Rosita Dies, Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Derailed, It Runs in the Family, Scream 3, The Big Short and Mean Girls (which also has a debut appearance for the NEC Z1).
2020-09-20 17:41 Godzilla 2000
Godzilla 2000 has quite a collection of appearances including Apple iMac G3s, a Apple Power Macintosh G3, a Sony Vaio C1, SGI Indys and, making its Starring-the-Computer debut, the Compaq Presario 5100.
2020-09-13 20:07 Some Commodores, some Apples an IMSAI and a Tandy
Tumbledown has a Commodore 64, a season 5 episode of Grange Hill has a Commodore PET and Black Fire has an Apple IIe. Next are two episodes of "The Greatest American Hero" - Operation Spoilsport has an Apple III and Classical Gas has a Tandy TRS-80 Model III. And finally, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead has an IMSAI 8080.
2020-09-06 14:05 Missing Bits
All of the following are computers I missed on the first viewing. The Hunt for Red October as a Zenith Supersport right at the beginning. Airplane II: The Sequel has a number of Tandy TRS-80 Model IIIs. Revenge of the Nerds has a poster of a Franklin Ace 1000. I missed a number of Apple computers in Independence Day: the Macintosh II/IIx, the Macintosh IIvi/IIvx and the Macintosh LC. And finally Terminator Genisys has a Starring-the-Computer debutante - the Miltope RLC-3G.