Notes: 90 minutes.
Dick Van Patten
Director: Michael Crichton
Writer: Michael Crichton
Introduction: The film starts with a news report on “Delos”, a fantasy planet populated with robots. The reporter interviews the returning vacationers, one from each part of the trinity that makes up Delos. The three fantasy choices include, Romanworld, Medievalworld and Westworld. The main characters, Peter Martin and John Blane, of the story, played by Richard Benjamin and James Brolin respectively, are businessmen headed to the Wild West. The hover trip is nice and relaxed, but once they arrive there are signs of trouble. One of the technicians running Delos is heard saying, “What happens if the coach is late?” Another one replies with, “I don’t know what to do if the stagecoach is late.”
Westworld: The world is exactly as one would expect dusty, wagons and guns. Some general fears of Peter and the audience are put to rest in the hotel room. Our business men turned gunslingers enter a bar for a drink. It isn’t long before Yul Brynner’s character; a gun toting westerner dressed in black, enters the bar and starts trouble with the newcomer, Peter. Peter shoots him and they return to the hotel. The guns have heat sensors that protect the hot fleshed humans and not the cold metal robots. They eat a nice dinner and go down to Ms. Carrie’s saloon, a brothel. Here the men find the genius of the technicians in what are labeled “Pleasure Models”.
Breakdowns: A breakdown had a “clear pattern here that suggests an analogy to an infectious disease process.” The head scientist explains that some of the robots have been designed by other computers and they do not even understand fully how the robots work. The scientists decide to ignore the trouble signs and continue the running of the resort.
Return of the Black Bandit: John is caught off guard by the robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner. Like a true cowboy, Peter breaks the door open with his foot and shoots the black bandit in the chest. Peter is locked up for the shooting. He escapes with the help of his friend and some kind of explosion. Who knows what made the explosion but we do know it was hidden in a breakfast plate. The Sheriff is shot during their escape on horses. Of course this is all fine because everybody, including the sheriff, is a robot.
Outside the Town: The now outlaws hide out in the desert relaxing and enjoying the sun. Peter finally seems to relax while on his “vacation.” A snake sneaks up on the two vacationers. John says that he can handle it; he shoots and misses. The snake attacks and bites John. The technicians are of course surprised because the snake is programmed to miss if it decides to attack. John quickly kills the snake with a bullet. There is real blood trickling down John’s arm. The men return to the city and start drinking at a bar. A bar fight is started at the command of the technicians.
First Death: A guest in Medievalworld is killed in a dual with a black knight. This shocks every technician and they attempt to shut Delos down. To their horror, they can not. So they cut all the power. The carnage continues through all of the worlds. No robot is stopped; they are running on battery power. Furthermore, now the technicians cannot get the power to turn back on. The electric doors will not open; they cannot leave the control room. The oxygen will slowly run out and they all pass out.
Crazed Robot: Upon leaving the bar fight, drunk and tired, the two business men are confronted by the “bad cowboy”; this is the same robot they’ve killed twice previously. The showdown between robot and man ends in robot winning, John is shot down He’s dead! Peter runs for his life; the robot pursues him into the desert. Peter decides to make a stand, only to find out that the robot has had his hearing enhanced. Peter is showered in gun fire and he again turns to run. He runs and finds a technician fixing a flat. Peter escapes, but the technician does not. This time he makes it to Romanworld where he finds an underground passage. He walks the corridors trying to find somebody all he finds are the dying technicians. The robot follows with footprint-following vision. Peter finds some strong acid and waits for the robot. He doses him. The gunslinger’s face is melted; luckily his gun is out of batteries when he tries to shoot Peter. Peter makes it to Medievalworld where he finds the other robots have run out of battery power. Peter hides beside a torch, and then uses it to catch the evil robot on fire. He escapes to a dungeon and saves a maiden in distress, only to find that she is a robot too. He watches as his gun slinging nemesis explodes in an electrical fire.
The beginning forms a false sense of security for the viewers and the future victims of this fantasy based amusement park. The news cast gives a sense of truth and the fact that people are happily leaving the park convinces us more that everything will be alright. The writer then provides two characters, one new to the world and one who is returning. The one returning, John Blane, is not suspicious of anything, yet the other, Peter Martin, is not so convinced this is an “amusement” park. He has to learn the ropes with the rest of us. After killing the robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner and after having fun breaking out of jail, Peter is bit by a snake. This happens outside the town of Westworld. Literally speaking, the clients are still under the supervision of the technicians, but realistically they have left the safety of the town. The bite is the first sign of malfunction in the robots. This bite awakens Peter to the true terror of the robots gone mad. The robot kills a technician that is trying to fix a flat tire on his vehicle. Peter is victorious in the end, but not without the loss of his friends and every other human on Delos. Mankind has stopped the robotic killing spree. This film is a nightmare of any technological world. It is well-played and well-directed; it is an all-around excellent film.