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Atari on Film - Page 1 - The Atari Times

Atari on Film - Page 1

Finding Atari in the movies
by Atari Fans

May 5, 1997

During its lifetime, Atari was in many prominent films 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. Also, check out the Atari On TV section that covers Atari's forays into television!

Also, if you happen to have any screen captures of Atari on Film, please send them to me! Thanks!

Some of the extras can be seen playing 2600 Basketball towards the end of the movie. I wonder what the air traffic controllers play these days?
During or shortly after the opening credits a space shuttle approaches the airport. The gorgeous air traffic controller sets the controls to bring the plane in automatically while a tourist group of kids passes through. Gorgeous air traffic controller steps away from the controls. One of the kids then sits down and begins playing the controls like a video game. Sounds of Yars' Revenge can be heard as the shuttle plummets to oblivion...
Starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn. There is a scene where they are visiting at Burt's 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.

There is a signthat displays the Atari logo which can be seen in few shots. Especially when Deckard is chasing after the stripper. 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.)

Atari being in Blade Runner has caused some to call the death of a company even though it is projected to still exist in a film to be called, "The Blade Runner Effect." Now that Kmart is in trouble (2002), the movie Rainman has succumbed to the Blade Runner effect.

In Box of Moonlight, John Turturro's son is seen playing Ultra Vortek on the Jaguar.
There were 3 or 4 Atari references made in it. Totally tripped out movie.
Jackie Chan plays Atari VCS Pac-Man about 5 minutes before the movie ends (I remember him getting a really pathetic score, something in the double digits, and a computer voice calls him an "average player"; hee hee.)

There is a youngster playing his original Atari Lynx quite a bit in this movie. He seems to be glued to it (and who wouldn't be back in the age before the GBA hit it big?)

BTW, the guy cutting the kids hair is Garak from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Atari products played a major role in this film. The game cartridge the spies are after is for the 5200. The game cartridge and boxes are actually mock ups and didn't work, but a prototype has been found of the 5200 version of the game. You can see more movie screen captures, read about the found prototype (and one day release), and see some actual 8-bit (aka 5200) game screens.

There's a brief moment where Rat is playing Pong to throw off the general.

Another Leslie Nielsen comedy with an Atari 2600 game in the mix is The Creature Wasn't Nice (a.k.a. Naked Space, a.k.a. Spaceship), which has Nielsen playing an upside-down Space Invaders.

There is a scene where Daryl is playing a home version of Pole Position.

"I think it has to be the 8-bit version because they show an Atari 800XL computer by the TV the game was on." - Brett Gladson

A 2600 system appears in the movie 'The Dead Zone'. -- Scott Stilphen
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 we know this? From an old issue of Atari Connection magazine.
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."
Remember this movie about a love triangle involving a computer? Look carefully in the scenes when Miles (or Moles as the computer "Edgar" called him) is in the computer store. There are TONS of Imagic games there (presumably for the 2600). Also, at the very end there is another computer store scene and there is an Atari 1200XL sitting next to an Apple II, but you have to watch real closely.

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 E.T. knew that his game would be considered "the worst game ever"?)

Firestarter contains a scene with the Atari 2600 about half-way through. Drew Barrymore is playing while the maid is cleaning the room.

"I think it was a Colecovision and not an Atari 2600. There was a scene where Drew Barrymore was given some toys, and it had a Colecovision box in it." - Brett Gladson

Confirmation anyone?

In the famous tavern scene you can see some Gremlins playing the Atari arcade version of Star Wars. Also, there is at least 1 boxed Atari game in the department store at the end.

In Grosse Pointe Blank, in the convenience store scene, a the clerk is totally oblivious to the store around him being shot up, due to being too busy playing Doom. There was an arcade version of Doom made?! Of course not. [Actually, there was. - Ed] Was it made by Atari? Probably not. But a friend of mine said that it was the Jaguar version of Doom, set up to look like an arcade game, and since he owns a Jaguar, I assume he knows what he's talking about. - Darryl B.

In the 1983 TV-movie High School U.S.A. there is an arcade scene halfway through the film and among the coin-ops displayed is a Tempest. It should be noted the all of the games (including the Tempest) have the titles on their marquees intentionally obscured, but it is definitely a Tempest in that scene.
In this movie with Richard Grieco, his little brother is playing a Lynx while he's trying to eat breakfast.
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.
I am pretty sure there is a scene where Brody is leaving the house in some sort of temper tantrum while the kids are playing a 2600. -- Scott DiNitto
It's a movie a watched many years ago, there are several arcade atari games there. It's a really freak movie, which a arcade local video arcade. -- devwebcl
Atari had something to do with this film. Or maybe it was just Warner trying to sell Last Starfighter video games? Look at the end credits to see "Video Game available from ATARI, INC." The Last Starfighter computer game was later renamed Star Raiders II.
There is a couple of scenes where you see some boxed Atari 2600 games and even an Atari 800 computer (and possibly a 5200) in Matthew Broderick's room.
This obscure Disney comedy has a character played by Stephen Furst using an Atari VCS CX40 joystick to play a computer game about 20 minutes or so into the movie (the game itself is not an Atari game; it's some black & white Pong/Breakout variant.) Also, there are several scenes set in an arcade in the movie's latter half and the games Indy 800, Tank, Tank 8, Jet Fighter, Atari Football, and LeMans appear in these scenes.
This Chevy Chase movie has a shot of a TV playing 2600 Space Invaders.
When Jack (Michael Keaton) and his girlfriend buddies are playing poker, his wife (Teri Garr) shows up. She walks in and says, "Hi kids." They reply with a "Hi mommy!" and you see they are playing an Atari 5200.

There isn't an Atari per se in this movie, but they do show an Apple computer with some Astrocade (?) joysticks. Also, the kids take a portable Pac-Man machine with them in the car.

The scene depicted here is when Rusty asks his cousin (Dale, I think) if he has any video games. Rusty asks, "You got Asteroids?" Dale responds, "No, but my dad does." (Obvious bad joke about hemorrhoids.)

This movie features a Tempest arcade game in several scenes (actually being played, and a character getting pissed when her high score is beaten by someone... :)
Several Atari arcade games make a cameo, most notably Gravitar. Oddly enough, they play sound FX from that old computer battleships board game for most of that.
There are several scenes that feature an Atari Video Music.
This 2007 Will Smith movie is set in 1981. Naturally an Atari had to make an appearance. It does when he goes to the pawn shop to buy a part for his bone scanner. His son is there playing Asteroids on the 2600.

Wait! There's more! Read Atari On Film Page 2!

Reader Comments for Atari on Film - Page 1

Atari 2600 Space Invaders not in Close Encounters by Darth Kur on 2007-06-02 13:02:27
The entry on the first page indicating that the Atari 2600 Space Invaders game was in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind is incorrect. In fact it is impossible. Close Encounters came out in 1977. That particular cart was released in 1980. Plus I've seen Close Encounters literally dozens of times so I'd have definitely remembered a video game of any kind being featured in it.
Close Encounters by Gregory D. George on 2007-06-04 18:21:09
Thanks. You're right. I've removed the Close Encounters entry!
Spc Invaders by Triple M on 2008-04-16 03:27:33
I'm pretty sure that Space Invaders appeared in "V" (1984) instead of Close Encounters
Hel-LO! by Darryl B. on 2008-04-16 09:29:37
Close Encounters was REMOVED, chief. It's also on the V tv page.
You missed one... by Froggievilleus on 2009-01-01 17:58:47
Hi there. In the movie Heartbeeps (anyone remember that one?), there is a scene where the 2600 controller is seen. I remember it showing up at the factory where the robots are created and stored.
atari by daniel bustamante on 2014-12-09 18:05:06
I used to work for atari back in 83 best fun job I ever had.
Close Encounters by Robert on 2015-04-12 02:19:50
There is a scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind at about 1:45 just after the UFO's descend worth noting. One of the technicians is wearing a white jumpsuit that has the Atari logo in reverse. This logo can be seen several more times during this section of the film. I find it hard to believe that this anything other than a reference to the company.
The last star fighter by Ray on 2015-05-11 12:42:14
The logo of the star fleet looks like the Atari logo. It has an extra pair of J's with a sword in the center.
Wall-E by Gerrit on 2015-09-12 19:59:12
What about Wall-E playing Pong?
Permission to console by John-James Buttress on 2017-02-27 05:52:56
I am currently working on a international film called "Boogie Mountain" for Paramount Pictures, which is being shot in Cape Town,South Africa.

The film follows the story of a owner of a amusement park and his crew. It is set in the 1970's. It is a fun action comedy about the relationship of the owner and his daughter, his staff and the saving of his themed park.

Since the film is set in the 70's we will have stick to the time period, we would like to use the ATARI game console in our film.

The Atari game console will be exposed in various scenes, as it will be a hero prop

We would like to get permission for clearance of the Atari brand in our production please.

We have started the pre-production phase and will begin filming on the 11st March 2017 on location in Cape Town, South Africa.

We look forward to your response.
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