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Alive SE - EIL 2001
                Atari On Film
        By Friends of The Internet

   During its lifetime, Atari was in many prominent films and television
 shows due to the fact that they were owned by a very large movie company:
  Warner Communications. While there is no doubt there are dozens of more
               examples, here are some of the better known.

Thanks to the following people for their good memories we have a nice list
  of Atari on Film! Clay Halliwell, Stephen Anderson, Cj, B.N.V., Cougar,
 Jason, Doctor Clu, Toby Wickwire, Sneedy, Eckhard Stolberg, Keith Stover,
  JMa5534740, Kirk Spradling, Aaron Howald, Peter Perpetua III, Dan@AVC,
   HorseAsh, Alan Syrop, Prototype_501, Millsshark, Ben Combee, and Tony


Airheads: I'm pretty certain one receptionist and one of the radio crew
hostages plays Shadow of the Beast with a Lynx II with magnifier.

Airplane!: The actors can be seen playing 2600 Basketball in the cockpit.
Also the little kid Billy is in the control tower near the beginning of
the movie and is playing some flight game and crashing airplanes.

Airplane II: The Sequel: I heard there was some other Atari cameo in that
one as well.

Best Friends: Starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn. There is a scene
where they are visiting at his mother's house. When they try to get to
sleep his nephews jump on their fold out couch and start playing 2600
Space Invaders while Goldie is trying to rest.

Blade Runner: There is a sign that displays the Atari logo which can be
seen in several different scenes. I guess Warner Bros. and Ridley Scott
thought Atari Inc. would still be around in 2019, huh? (Atari Inc. was
sold off from Warner to the Tramiels in 1984, two years after Blade Runner
was released.)

Child's Play 2: There is a youngster playing his Atari Lynx quite a bit.
It is the original model, and they even show some video from Blue

Cloak & Dagger: Atari products played a major role in this film. The game
cartridge the spies are after is for the 5200. While the Cloak & Dagger
game never existed for the 5200, there were several mock up cartridges and
boxes made up which can be seen at the "computer geek's" store. It is
filled with Atari stuff. A great movie to watch if you like Atari!

D.A.R.Y.L: There is a scene where Daryl is playing either the 8-bit or
5200 version of Pole Position.

Deal of the Century: A lousy film starring Chevy Chase and Gregory Hines.
The only thing that makes it worthwhile is the Atari 800 powered cockpit
graphics. How do I know this? From an old issue of Atari Connection

Devil Fish: In the movie Devil Fish (which aired on Mystery Science
Theater) one of the actresses is shown playing Seaquest. Then Tom Servo
remarks, "Abyss 2 isn't very good."

ET: The Extra Terrestrial: There is an Atari 2600 on top of the TV in the
living room with joysticks. Also the older brother wears a Space Invaders
T-shirt. I don't suppose ET knew he would become infamous as the worst
game for the 2600?

Gremlins: In the famous tavern scene you can see some Gremlins playing the
Atari arcade version of Star Wars.

If Looks Could Kill: In this movie with Richard Grieco, his little brother
is playing a Lynx while he's trying to eat breakfast.

In Country: In one scene Emily Lloyd is coming home and you can see Bruce
Willis lying on the couch with one arm behind his head. In the other hand
he is holding a Proline joystick, controlling it only with his thumb. On
the couch table there is an Atari 7800 ProSystem console. Then they have a
quick shot of Ms. Pac Man being played on the TV.

The Last Starfighter: Atari had something to do with this film. Probably
having to do with the video game graphics. Look at the end credits to see
Atari's credit. I think it reads, "Look for the Atari video game" or
something like that.

Max Dugan Returns:  There is a scene where you see Matthew Broderick's
room, and all of his shelves are full of Atari 2600 games, new in the

Over the Edge: There are several scenes that feature an Atari Video Music.

Poltergeist: There is an Atari 2600 machine on top of the TV. "They're

The Princess Bride: Young Fred Savage is playing Hardball by Accolade on
what is probably an Atari computer or (my bet) an XE Game System. Some
think this is the C64 version... What do you think?

Road Trip: In this comedy starring Tom Green, one of the characters wears
an orange Atari T-shirt through much of the movie.

Star Trek III The Search for Spock: Communicator sound effects are those
of holding down a key on an Atari 8-bit computer.

Superman III: Atari did the entire "Video Game" sequence, one frame at a
time. It took them 3 1/2 months and $125,000 dollars to create. This was
highlighted in Atari Connection magazine.

Terminal Entry: This 1986 film, about kids that play a video game but are
actually directing terrorist acts, has a lot of shots of Atari 800

Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Probably one of the most well known examples
was that of an Atari Portfolio which assisted John Connor's ATM theft.
While Atarians should be upset that an Atari product was used to commit an
illegal act, the Portfolio redeemed itself when it helped open a lock thus
saving the world from a nuclear holocaust.

Also, during the arcade scene, John is playing a game of Missile Command.
That game was definitely no accident, since it depicts the end of the
world by nuclear missiles. If you watch until the end, you will see a
credit for Atari Games rather than Atari Corp. Since Atari Corp. owned the
rights to Missile Command and designed/sold the Portfolio, why did Atari
Games get the credit in this movie?

This Is Spinal Tap: Can someone verify an Atari arcade Missile Command in
the back of the tour bus?

TRON: Atari 800s were used to create many of the sound effects.

Twilight Zone: The Movie: I don't remember the segment order, but the kid
can be seen playing a Tempest arcade machine in the convenience store.

Videodrome: They use the original Atari 800 EXTENSIVELY throughout the
movie! Pretty cool! Also in the screen shots of the LaserDisc there is a
2600 joystick on top of a tv.

            Television Shows

Davis Rules: Randy Quaid and Jonathan Winters starred in this short-lived
show about an elementary school principal. I distinctly saw a faculty
member walking down the hallway with an Atari 1040 ST under her arm!!

Growing Pains: This show often used Atari ST's for their computer needs.
One episode where Carol gets a "serious" job, she has a Mega (I think) on
her desk.

Freaks and Geeks: A show set in the early eighties showed one of the lead
actors in a department store surrounded by Atari 2600 and 5200 games! Too
bad most of those games wouldn't actually be out for another 3 or 4 years
if the show is set in 1981. The kids are also seen later playing a 2600,
although the game shown on the screen is obviously the ARCADE version of
Asteroids, not the 2600 version.

Full House: In one episode Danny Tanner goes to a house where his daughter
Stephanie is staying for co-ed slumber party. One of the boys there is
playing a model II Lynx, and Danny picks it up off the coffee table and
messes around with it, without ever actually powering it on.

Home Improvement: There is an early episode where I'm sure I saw an Atari
7800 on their TV.

Knots Landing: There is a episode of Knott's Landing where the Karen's
children are playing 2600 Space Invaders.

Married...With Children: In an episode where Bud went off to college, his
dad came to visit. In the background you can see an Atari ST in his room.

My Two Dads: Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan played 7800 Pole Position to show
the effects drinking and driving to their daughter.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: An Atari 800 was used as a "security system"
display in some really cheesy mummy monster movie they did.

Parker Lewis Can't Lose: The producers of this Fox Television show must
have really loved Atari products. I remember seeing a Lynx, Atari VCS,
Atari 800, Atari Portfolio, and I think an Atari ST. The kids bedroom had
an Atari poster, and Atari products popped up all over the place. (Now I
wished I had watched this show!)

Pointman: In this short-lived TV show, they had a virtual game of
holographic fighters, where they used a yellow colored Jaguar controller!

The Simpsons: In a Halloween episode, the family is abducted by aliens.
These aliens show the puny humans their advances in video games with their
awesome game of Pong !

Silver Spoons: This was in '82 or so (with little Ricky Schroder, AWWW!!)
In one episode, Rick and another kid break into a government site on his
fathers computer. It is an Atari 800, they had a neat 15 sec animated
sequence of the codes being broken, the warning tone/screen flash, then a
wire frame of a plane is drawn on the screen. Rick then has his picture
taken of him and the screen by his friend, as we go to commercial.

Three's Company: In the episode where Mr. Furley is fired, Jack and Janet
are playing with an Atari 2600 at the beginning of the show. They're
playing some football game, but it's obvious that the sounds were made up.
The 2600 itself can be seen quite prominently on their table and is shown
a few times during the episode. See it on Nick-at-Nite at 10pm!

Weird Science: Reports are that the characters are playing a game of ALIEN
Vs. Predator.


Alive SE - EIL 2001