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Electric Dreams is a 1984 science fiction romantic comedy film directed by Steve Barron (in his feature film directorial debut) and written by Rusty Lemorande. The film is set in San Francisco and depicts a love triangle among a man, a woman, and a personal computer. It stars Lenny Von DohlenVirginia MadsenMaxwell Caulfield, and the voice of Bud Cort.

Haysi Fantayzee

Steve Barron had made more than 100 music videos and routinely sent them to his mother for comment. She particularly liked one he did for Haysi Fantayzee. She was doing continuity on Yentl, co-produced by Rusty Lemorande and Larry deWaay, and she showed it to them. Lemorande had finished his own script for Electric Dreams and was looking for a director, so he offered Barron the job.

Barron took the script to Virgin Films, and it agreed to finance within four days. The film was presold to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who held rights for the U.S., Canada, Japan and South East Asia. Two months after Virgin agreed to make the movie, filming began in San Francisco on October 11, 1983.

Virginia Madsen later recalled she “was very spoiled on that movie, because it was such a lovefest that I now believe that every movie should be like that… I had a mad, crazy crush on Lenny Von Dohlen. God, we were so… we were head-over-heels for each other. Nothing happened, and at this point, I admit it: I wanted it to happen… He’s still one of my best friends.”

Bud Cort provided the voice of the computer. The director did not want Cort to be seen by the other actors during scenes so Cort had to do his lines in a padded box on a sound stage. He said, “It got a little lonely in there, I must admit. I kept waiting to meet the other actors, but nobody came to say hello.” Boy George visited the set and, being a fan of Harold and Maude, got Cort’s autograph.

Boy George

The computer hardware company’s name in the film is “Pinecone,” a play on Apple Computer.

Fans of Electric Dreams have noted the similarities between the film and Spike Jonze‘s Her. When asked about it, Jonze claimed not to have seen the former film In 2009 Barron said that Madsen told him she was planning on being involved in a remake. He said, “She didn’t ask me to do it, so I guess I blew my chance on the first one! I wouldn’t actually do it, but it would have been nice for the ego to be asked.”

Heaven 17

The soundtrack features music from prominent popular musicians of the time, being among the movies of this generation that actively explored the commercial link between a movie and its soundtrack. The movie features music from Giorgio MoroderCulture ClubJeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), and Heaven 17. During filming, Barron said, “The fact that there’s so much music has to do with the success of Flashdance. This film isn’t Flashdance 2. Flashdance worked because of the dancing. It didn’t have a story. Electric Dreams does.”

Phil Oakey

The film also features the song “Together in Electric Dreams.” Barron has said about its creation:

Giorgio Moroder was hired as composer and played me a demo track he thought would be good for the movie. It was the tune of “Together in Electric Dreams” but with some temporary lyrics sung by someone who sounded like a cheesy version of Neil Diamond. Giorgio was insisting the song could be a hit so I thought I’d suggest someone to sing who would be as far from a cheesy Neil Diamond as one could possibly go. Phil Oakey. We then got Phil in who wrote some new lyrics on the back of a fag packet on the way to the recording studio and did two takes which Giorgio was well pleased with and everybody went home happy.

He has also said about the film’s music: “Electric Dreams was definitely an attempt to try and weave the early 1980s music video genre into a movie… [The film] isn’t that deep. The closest parallel is probably that it’s a Cyrano de Bergerac-like exploration of how words and music can help nurture and grow feelings on the path to love. Oops that’s too deep.” In 2015, he said when he made the film there was a prejudice against video clip directors doing drama, and because Electric Dreams “was a little bit like an extended music video… I didn’t help that cause in a lot of ways.”


color, stereo, widescreen, includes the promo music video. DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!

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