🎥 Westworld – 1973

The Story …

In the near future, a high-tech, highly realistic adult amusement park called Delos features three themed “worlds”: Western World (the American Old West), Medieval World (medieval Europe) and Roman World (the ancient Roman city of Pompeii).

The resort’s three “worlds” are populated with lifelike androids that are practically indistinguishable from human beings, each programmed in character for their historical environment …

For $1,000 per day, guests may indulge in any adventure with the android population of the park, including sexual encounters and a simulated fight to the death. Delos’s tagline in its advertising promises “Boy, have we got a vacation for you!”

Peter Martin, a first-time Delos visitor and his friend John Blane, on a repeat visit, go to Westworld. One of the attractions is the Gunslinger, an android programmed to instigate gunfights. The firearms issued to the park guests have temperature sensors that prevent them from shooting anything with a high body temperature, such as humans, but allow them to “kill” the cold-blooded androids.

The Gunslinger’s programming allows guests to draw their guns and kill it, with the android always returning the next day for another duel.

The technicians running Delos notice problems beginning to spread like an infection among the androids: the androids in Roman World and Medieval World begin experiencing an increasing number of breakdowns and systemic failures, which are said to have spread to Westworld.

When one of the supervising computer scientists scoffs at the “analogy of an infectious disease”, he is told by the chief supervisor, “We aren’t dealing with ordinary machines here. These are highly complicated pieces of equipment, almost as complicated as living organisms. In some cases, they’ve been designed by other computers. We don’t know exactly how they work.”

After a night spent with two robotic ladies of the evening, John is accosted by the same gunslinger Peter killed in the saloon the previous day. Peter bursts into the room and once again shoots the gunslinger dead. Peter is jailed awaiting trial, so John breaks him out and the two head out of town.

The malfunctions become more serious when a robotic rattlesnake bites John in Westworld and against its program, a female android refuses a guest’s advances in Medieval World. The failures escalate until Medieval World’s Black Knight android kills a guest in a sword fight. The resort’s supervisors try to regain control by shutting down power to the park.

The shutdown traps them in central control when the doors automatically lock, and they are unable to turn the power back on and escape. The androids in all three worlds run amok, operating on reserve power.

Peter and John, recovering from a drunken bar-room brawl, wake up in Westworld’s brothel, unaware of the park’s breakdown. When the Gunslinger challenges the men to a showdown, John treats the confrontation as an amusement but the android shoots and kills him. Peter runs for his life and the android implacably follows.

Peter flees to the other areas of the park but finds only dead guests, damaged androids and a panicked technician attempting to escape Delos, who is soon shot dead by the Gunslinger. Peter climbs down through a manhole in Roman World into the underground control complex and discovers that the resort’s computer technicians suffocated in the control room when the ventilation system shut down.

The Gunslinger stalks him through the underground corridors, so he runs away until he enters an android-repair laboratory. When the Gunslinger enters the room, Peter pretends to be an android lying on a table for repairs before throwing acid into the Gunslinger’s face. Peter flees, returning to the surface inside the Medieval World castle.

With its optical inputs damaged by the acid, the Gunslinger is unable to track Peter visually and tries instead to find him using its infrared scanners. Peter realizes this as he stands beneath the flaming torches of the Great Hall and discovers that they mask his presence from the android. He sets it on fire with one of the torches and leaves it to burn.

Peter hears a call in the dungeon and finds a chained woman begging for help. He gives her water but this causes her to short-circuit and shutdown; Peter is shocked as he did not realize she was a robot. The burned shell of the Gunslinger attacks him once again on the dungeon steps before succumbing to its damage. The movie ends with Peter sitting on the dungeon steps in a state of near-exhaustion and shock, as the memory of Delos’ marketing slogan resonates: “Boy, have we got a vacation for you!”

Credits :

  • Directed by Michael Crichton
  • Written by Michael Crichton
  • Produced by Paul N. Lazarus III
  • Cinematography Gene Polito
  • Edited by David Bretherton
  • Music by Fred Karlin
  • Production Company : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Release Date : August 17, 1973

Cast :

  • Yul Brynner as the Gunslinger
  • Richard Benjamin as Peter Martin
  • James Brolin as John Blane
  • Norman Bartold as Medieval Knight
  • Alan Oppenheimer as the Chief Supervisor
  • Victoria Shaw as the Medieval Queen
  • Dick Van Patten as the Banker
  • Linda Gaye Scott as Arlette, the French saloon prostitute
  • Steve Franken as the Delos technician shot dead by the Gunslinger
  • Michael Mikler as the Black Knight
  • Terry Wilson as the Sheriff
  • Majel Barrett as Miss Carrie, madame of the Westworld bordello
  • Anne Randall as Daphne, the serving-maid who refuses the Medieval Knight’s advances
  • Robert Hogan as Ed Wren (uncredited)
  • Kenneth Washington as Technician (uncredited)
  • Nora Marlowe as the Hostess
  • Charles Seel as the Bellhop
  • Robert Patten as the Technician

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