What's the short story/mini-movie?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Movies and Film
Asked by: crzyltlman-ga
List Price: $2.00
02 Jan 2003 23:16 PST
Expires: 01 Feb 2003 23:16 PST
Question ID: 136880
When I was in middle school, which would be around 1992-1993, my class watched a short movie or perhaps a TV show episode (probably 30 minutes long) that I think was adapted from a short story. It may have been something by Ray Bradbury or something on the Twilight Zone, however, that's just speculation based on the plot. The plot dealt with cause and effect, I believe, and went something like this. There was a large supercomputer that tested and analyzed everyone's personalities. It could determine when someone would commit and crime, so that the person could be arrested before the crime was committed (sounds a little like Minority Report to me). The computer predicted a man would commit a crime--a murder I think--and so the police went to arrest him. The man attempted to escape the police, and in doing so, committed the murder. The idea, I believe, is that he would not have committed the crime had the computer not predicted the crime. So the question is, what's the name of the story/movie/show and who wrote it? Where can it be found for viewing? Thanks in advance!
Re: What's the short story/mini-movie?
Answered By: juggler-ga on 03 Jan 2003 02:10 PST
Hello. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the film you saw was probably an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's "All the Troubles of the World" (1958). In that story, a computer called Multivac predicts crime and has people arrested before they commit the crimes. See this description from the web page "Isaac Asimov's Books": "Ben Manners' father has been arrestedMultivac has been programmed to analyze every individual humans psyche and prevent them from committing crimes before they actually do so; Bens father is accused of being on the verge of committing some horrible crime, but nobody says what it is. As Ben sets out to clear his fathers name, it turns out that Multivac is manipulating him, since it is contemplating the commission of a horrible crime itself." http://homepage.mac.com/jenkins/Asimov/Stories/Story007.html See also this Usenet post about the story, archived by Google Groups: http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=i9wR8.10538%245k6.5552%40nwrddc01.gnilink.net&output=gplain Although the plot differs slightly from your description (the accused "criminal" was apparently not charged with murder), the fact that there is 22-minute film of this story that is geared toward school video collections strongly suggests that this is the film that you saw in middle school. See the catalog entry for the 1978 film at Indiana University: http://media3.iss.indiana.edu/htbin/wwform/www/?TEXT=R986455-989612-/www/documents/188/cat/wwi770.htm The video of "All the Troubles of the World" is for sale from a Animagination.com http://www.animagination.com/title.php3?code=8699 Or buyindies.com: http://www.buyindies.com/listings/8/6/AIMS-8699.html search strategy: google groups: "short story", computer, predict, crime I hope this is the right story. If it's not, please use the "request clarification" feature to let me know. Thanks.
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Brilliant! Having read the provided links, I am confident this is the answer to the nostalgic conundrum which has bothered me off and on for so many years. I had forgotten about the implications of the computer's attempted suicide, but am glad that the details I could remember apparently helped lead to the correct answer. The research time and mental anguish saved (for me) is certainly worth more than the offered compensation. Excellent work!
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