Friday, August 20

Computers and Martinis

One thing you can say about evil 1970s supercomputers: They know their martini preparation.

In the good-bad 1970 film, Colossus: the Forbin Project, Dr. Forbin (Eric Braeden) is being held prisoner by his creation (Colossus), and has to trick it into letting his secretary visit him, by lying to the computer and saying she's his girlfriend. She's allowed to visit him, conjugally, as long as she takes all her clothes off to make sure she's not sneaking anything in (or that's your story anyway, right, Colossus?). In the guise as Forbin's lady, she makes him a martini. But the computer is watching her carefully! Earlier, Dr. Forbin had explained his vermouth method (pour a large quantity of it over the cubes to 'rinse' them, and then drain it out before adding the gin). Fortunately, the secretary is hip to this, and passes the test.

The best part is in the earlier scene, when Colossus texts THAT IS TOO MUCH VERMOUTH to Forbin.

In the bad-bad 1977 film Demon Seed, super-computer whiz Dr. Anderson (Fritz Weaver) has programmed his house to do everything by spoken instructions, which is not a good idea if it stops listening to you (as it does). In an early scene, however, he gets home from work and requests 'the usual', which turns out to be a martini that he compliments as 'perfect'. I had to wonder how much time he spent creating a robot arm that can spear an olive with a toothpick, though!

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