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Westworld -1973
…where robot men and women are programmed to serve you for …Romance …Violence …Anything
Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton

Yul Brynner
Richard Benjamin
James Brolin
Norman Bartold
Alan Oppenheimer
Victoria Shaw
Dick Van Pattan
Linda Gaye Scott
Steve Franken
Michael T Mikler
Terry Wilson
Majel Barrett
Anne Randall
Julie Marcus
Sharyn Wynters

Review by John Rouse Merriott Chard

Delos is the vacation of the future……
Westworld is written and directed by Michael Crichton and stars Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin. Story is set in the near future at an amusement park, no ordinary amusement park, tho. Here there are three worlds, Western, Medieval and Roman, where for $1,000 a day the clients can act out their fantasies in worlds alive with androids brilliantly made to look and act like human beings. But one day something goes wrong, there’s a glitch and the androids fail to respond to their programming….

A monstrously great set up makes for a fine piece of sci-fi cinema. True enough to say that it needed a far better director than Crichton to fully realise the potential on offer, both visually and thematically, but Westworld manages to overcome the director’s failings and reward the patient viewer. Seeping with bleak overtones as the scientists force technology to over reach itself, the film is propelled forward by a clinically robotic performance from Brynner as an android gunslinger. Clearly riffing on his character Chris Adams from The Magnificent Seven, Brynner is a perfect fit for a seemingly unstoppable force, cold dead shark eyes and fluid in the walk, he’s a memorable sci-fi bad guy. Around him the rest of the cast are only adequate, but in a film revolving around androids looking like humans it’s barely an issue. The effects used for the androids POV are effective, as is the reveal of what lays beneath the skin, while the finale plays out with pace and no little excitement.

Very much a forerunner to The Terminator, and even Predator, Westworld belies its 70s exterior to reveal an intelligent and potent little shocker. 7/10

Review by Noel Baily

A superb scifi time capsule
WESTWORLD just happens to be the great-great grandparent of JURASSIC PARK as well as the surrogate parents of TERMINATOR, EVE OF DESTRUCTION etc…

I saw WESTWORLD the day of its ’73 Australian premiere, I was actually reviewing it for my own newspaper. I’ll repeat what I said THEN! A conceptually brilliant update on the Disneyland theme-park idea with Yul Brynner basically reprising his role from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN as a robotic gunslinger with a touch too much human ambition. With the limited budget Crichton had to work with, he did alright and if some of you weren’t to taken with MEDIEVAL WORLD or ROMAN WORLD well pardon me all over the place. Personally I would die for one of the “pleasure models!”

WESTWORLD was a colossal hit worldwide and I can tell you, there were few nit-pickers a quarter of a century ago. See it today for what it is..a benchmark in scifi cinema. You could do worse than watching FUTUREWORLD too – not as good but compared to BLADE2 or MIB2 a total classic.


Review by Theo Robertson

Get Off Your Horse And Watch This Film,
I often criticise westerns because they bare no reality on what really happened in the Wild West. Unlike the Hollywood version most gunslingers met their end after getting shot in the back, they never stood in the middle of the street telling their opponent to draw, this is a myth that only happened in Hollywood movies, and WESTWORLD is an enjoyable celebration of this myth where (Rich) holidaymakers can spend (For $1000 a day) their holiday drawing their guns on gunslingers, taking part in bar room brawls and visiting ladies of ill repute and it’s really fun to watch people play up to all the wild west clichs in a film that’s entertaining , funny and a little bit scary too.

As good as WESTWORLD is as entertainment it is rather flawed. James Brolin and Yul Brynner are fair in their roles but Richard Benjamin is very wooden as Peter Martin. Imagine you’re being chased by an unstoppable killing machine (And had paid one thousand dollars a day for the privilege!) you’d be terrified, or at least upset that you’re not getting value for money, but Benjamin doesn’t seem to convey enough fear. It should also be pointed out that the more you think about WESTWORLD the more it falls apart, and another thing I notice the more I watch it is that you see nothing of Roman World, but I suppose that theme park probably consists of middle aged housewives taking part in Roman orgies so on second thoughts maybe it’s just as well we learn nothing about the place

So if you get the chance watch WESTWORLD and make sure you don’t think about it

Review by Zetes

Westworld – 1973

A stupid, stupid, BAD movie!,

Very stupid sci-fi film about a future amusement park where you can live out your fantasies in a simulation, either in a Medieval world, a Roman world, or Westworld. The two main characters of the film choose Westworld, although we check in from time to time on the other two parts of the park. In these simulations, there are tons of robots with whom you can interact. They look exactly like people, and you can pick fights with them, screw them, or kill them. Within the first five minutes of the heroes’ vacation, they blow away a robot played by Yul Brynner.

The next day, he comes back and they shoot him again. The next day, well, the robots kind of defy their masters and refuse to obey. The story makes little sense. Plotholes a’plenty, let me assure you. The idea itself is pretty stupid. I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to pay $1000 a day to be at this resort. Sure, you might point at the rampant sex, but let me point this out: the guns in Westworld don’t fire at human beings because they are warm-blooded. Yet they fire at robots, presumably because they are not warm. That means all the tail you get is nothing but cold fish!

I realize this film was conceived and made in a hurry, but it’s hard not to scoff the results. The only pleasure is watching Yul Brynner die multiple times. Crichton would have much better luck with Jurassic Park twenty years later. 4/10.

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70s Films

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