Electric Dreams Poster

Electric Dreams was released in 1984, when the general public had not even seen a personal computer, let alone know exactly what a computer could do. This film could not have been filmed and released at any other time. So in that respect, the film is not timeless, but it reflects the culture and the fantastic perception of personal computers brought on by Apple’s legendary 1984 ads which ran literally months before this film was released.

Electric Dreams was produced and written by Rusty Lemorande, who would later produce Michael Jackson’s Captain Eo, a full length video that ran at Disneyland for many years during the 1980’s. Also it was directed by Steven Barron, the director for Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean video. It should be of no surprise then that music is a primary character in the film. The film has many musical montages, small video segments, without which it would only be about a half hour in length.

The film score was done by Giorgio Moroder and included songs by 1984 pop attractions like Culture Club, Heaven 17 and Jeff Lynne. Add a mixture of rock and classical music by Tchaikovsky and Bach and you have a unique score that represents the New Wave music of the early eighties.


The film is part comedy about an architect (Lenny Von Dohlen) and his efforts to use a computer named Edgar to organize his life and help him design an earthquake-resistant brick, but that plot element is quickly lost. It’s really a story of young love with an attractive neighbor (Virginia Madsen) who is a concert cellist, and hot, hot, hot; part “Cyrano de Bergerac;” and part tale of a computer with delusions of humanity. It’s not Oscar material by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a whimsical film that is entertaining and nostalgic for those that saw it upon its release.

In addition to the music, the film uses the physical attractions of the city of San Francisco, with scenes shot in Nob Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and The Golden Gate Bridge. While I watched the film in a theatre in 1984, I had no idea that I would eventually live in the city of San Francisco. However, I do recall thinking how cool the city looked on film and that someday I would like to visit it. Well, I came, I saw, and I stayed. Now that I am here I couldn’t imagine living any place else.

I just got a used copy of the Electric Dreams soundtrack primarily for the theme song from the original trailer (Windows Media, 5MB). The song is called Video and is performed by Jeff Lynne. After listening carefully to the song, I think it would make a great commercial for TiVo. You could almost picture the TiVo mascot dancing around to this tune couldn’t you? Well, maybe only TiVo addicts like myself can picture it. All you have to do is change the VTR lyric to DVR and you’re done.

Anyway, here are the lyrics to the song for those that care:

The satellites that search the night they twinkle like a star
They send their love from up above down to my VTR
The world is at my fingers under control

Ahhh-on, video, eo, uh oh
Play it one more time on
Video, eo, uh oh, got the world on my TV

I see that rock and roll and all those old time movie scenes
They beam across the sky together in electric dreams
I’ll just sit here all night and I’ll have it all

Ahhh-on, video, eo, uh oh
Play it one more time on
Video, eo, uh oh, got the world on video

I see the shadows in the twilight as they dance, la, la, la, la
Video madness comes upon me like a trance in the dark
So I just stay right here and the world is okay, okay, okay

Ahhh-on, video, eo, uh oh
Play it one more time on
Video, eo, uh oh, got the world on video

And look at me now, I’m burning up the steel and wires
Look at me now, I’m burning up the steel and wires
Look at me now, now, now, now, now…

Video

The film was released on VHS and is now out of print. MGM currently has no plans on releasing the film on DVD, but bootleg DVD copies, VHS output recorded onto DVD, may be purchased on Ebay from some Canadian pirates. MGM is apparently not protecting their intellectual property too agressively on this title. I am considering ordering a bootleg DVD just to have it now, since it will be released on DVD who knows when.

3 Comments »

  1. Great Review. You can actually get the movie for free off the internet for free using a bittorrent client and then burning the .avi file with AVI2DVD. This is actually what I am currently doing. My Mom loves this movie, so I thought since I only use the internet and stuff for myself, I thought it would be nice to do something for her. I mean, Fansubbed anime isn’t the only thing you can get off of Bittorrent :p hehe. See Ya!

    #1 by Metaleggman — June 23, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  2. please tell me the web site to download the movie electric dreams

    #2 by nat — January 6, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  3. I got my copy of Electric Dreams on DVD from raredvdclassics.com . The DVD is great is a lot better than the copy I got off ebay.

    #3 by SamET — August 31, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

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