Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Wired’s 25th Anniversary Tribute to ‘Wargames’

posted by Nell Minow

I recently included War Games in my list of great movie computers. Wired Magazine has a fascinating salute to the movie’s 25th anniversary and the way it influenced a generation of proto-geeks in the current issue, featuring interviews with the screenwriters (and the legendary hackers they consulted) about developing a script centering on this still-exotic technology. And they actually considered casting John Lennon as the designer of the computer program! Even more astonishing was the impact the film had on one very powerful viewer, the President of the United States.

Days after the screening, wrote Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon, Reagan held a closed-door briefing with some moderate members of Congress, wherein he sidetracked discussion of the MX ballistic missile program by bringing up “WarGames.” Had any of them seen the film? he asked, then launched into an animated account of the plot. “Don’t tell the ending,” cautioned one of the lawmakers.

Advertisement

The Defense Department was so taken with the display system created for the movie that they designed one like it. But if the movie raised the consciousness of those creating defense systems, it also made them warier of those who might try to hack into them. Kevin Mitnick, who served five years in prison for hacking says,

That movie had a significant effect on my treatment by the federal government. I was held in solitary confinement for nearly a year because a prosecutor told a judge that if I got near a phone, I could dial up Norad and launch a nuclear missile. I never hacked into Norad. And when the prosecutor said that, I laughed — in open court. I thought, “This guy just burned all his credibility.” But the court believed it. I think the movie convinced people that this stuff was real. They tried to make me into a fictional character.

Advertisement

There’s a new 25th Anniversary Edition DVD with some excellent features and interviews.

  • Steve

    I presume you are also the former Movie Mom that was on Yahoo… If so… glad I have found you again and miss you from the ‘other’ location.
    Have always enjoyed your insight and have relied on your input when taking my kids to the movies… Thank you!
    -SJF

  • Nell Minow

    Yes, Steve, I am the same Movie Mom — thanks for tracking me down! Welcome to my new location and if you ever have questions or comments send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com. All best to you and your family.

Previous Posts

Exclusive Clip: The Dovekeepers
[jwvideo vid='TMTJEKgu' pid='GvkPWNBE'] NCIS star Cote de Pablo gives a behind the scenes look at the making of the Roma Downey/Mark Burnett produced miniseries, The Dovekeepers. Adapted from Alice Hoffman's novel, "The Dovekeepers" follows ...

posted 11:15:01am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Coming in July 2015: Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, Minions, and Amy Schumer's Trainwreck
Happy July! As usual, this July is going to be filled with blockbusters, sequels, remakes, raunchy comedies, and superheroes, but there are some worthwhile smaller films as well. Opening today, for the holiday weekend, we have two sequels. ...

posted 8:00:49am Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Magic Mike XXL
"We're healers," one of the male exotic dancers, explains to another in "Magic Mike XXL."  They're here to bring a smile to women who ...

posted 6:02:11pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Terminator Genisys
"I'll be back," Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the first "Terminator" movie. He had the title role but only 16 lines, with about a total of 80 words. But those ...

posted 5:15:15pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Stephen "tWitch" Boss of "Magic Mike XXL"
I asked actor/dancer Stephen "tWitch" Boss whether it was as much fun to make "Magic Mike XXL" as it looked, and he said, "Absolutely and even ...

posted 3:45:10pm Jun. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.