Cinema: Touched by Human Hands

For years rumor has had it that all Universal Pictures films are made by a giant computer. If so. The Forbin Project is the machine's apologia pro vita sua, a razzle-dazzle science fiction yarn about a computer takeover. It was made —at least according to the screen credits —by humans, but the film's rigorous plotting, its smooth suspense and meticulously calculated style seem strictly and triumphantly machine-made.

Charles Forbin (Eric Braeden) is the creator of a massive computer complex called Colossus, a faultless system that manages America's defense by doing everything from monitoring intelligence data to launching missiles. Colossus is a self-contained...

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