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Atari on Film - Page 2 - The Atari Times

Atari on Film - Page 2

Finding Atari in the movies
by Atari Fans

May 5, 1997


There is an Atari 2600 machine on top of the TV in the parents room. It can be seen as Carol Ann first meets the ghosts and utters the famous phrase, "They're here!" But it can be seen better in this scene when Robbie is afraid of the lightning and visits his parents who are busy smoking a joint.

Princess Bride, The

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... You'll have to watch the movie to find out.

Replacement Killers, The

In the arcade shootout, Chow Yun Fat's character is crouched down for a second, and behind him you can clearly see a Centipede machine playing in the background.

Reservoir Dogs

Though there is no Atari logo present in the shot, "Reservoir Dogs" has an Atari ST in it. It's in the directors cut DVD during one of the deleted scenes. A female cop named McKluskey or something like that is pulling up data on the bad guys. While she is typing, you can see those familiar function keys that we associate with an Atari ST.

However, Quentin Tarantino has gone on the record as saying he avoids product placement in his movies. So no Atari logo for us! -- Jered Hritz

Revenge of the Nerds

Wormser (the kid) can be seen playing an Atari 2600 several times. It looks like a Vader model, and he is playing Spacemaster X-7. The first shot is from the gym, and is the best one.

The second time the Atari can be seen is when Wormser and Lamar are working out.

Finally, you can also see Wormser playing it again when Louis announces that they have an interview with Lambda Lambda Lambda.

Road Trip

In this comedy starring Tom Green, DJ Qualls's character wears an orange Atari T-shirt through much of the movie.

Silent Movie

When the trio go to visit the boss in the hospital, they end up playing Pong on his heart monitor.


Remember the scene where the gang is calling the NSA and Dan Ackroyd is using some kind of telephone lie detector? Watch closely when he attaches the phone receiver to the device. I could be wrong, but that looks like an old Atari acoustic modem!

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 animated 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.

More info about this can be found at: http://www.deceptions.net/ (Sorry, the link is dead now...)

According to Curt Vendel: "The graphics in the supercomputer fighting Superman scene of Superman III were done in Atari Corporate research using Symbollics 3600 series mini-computers. I have the source tapes."

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 computers.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Probably one of the most well known examples of Atari on film was when John Conner used an Atari Portfolio to steal money from an ATM. 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 towards the end of the film.

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?

Thing, The

In the 1982 John Carpenter remake, there is an Asteroids Deluxe machine in the break room, and a 2600 sitting on top of a TV. -- Atariboy

Top Secret!

As far as I can remember, there is a scene in "Top Secret" movie with pac-man images. When the train where Nick Rivers travels to the german city arrives to its destiny, there is an animated map that will become a pac-man screen. It's a pretty funny gag. - Serxio Barral


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

True Stories

In the movie True Stories (1986) starring David Byrne and John Goodman, the scene at the mall shows the computer programmer (played by Matthew Posey) having purchased an arm-full of Atari 8 bit products.

Twilight Zone: The Movie

In one of the segments, the kid with "special powers" can be seen playing a Tempest arcade machine in the convenience store. Appropriate of him to be playing THIS game considering he is a little terror, don't you think?


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.


Look for the sound effects from 2600 Pac-Man and Donkey Kong which are *always* cropping up in movies and TV whenever someone is playing a video game. It's as if there haven't been any new games since 1981. These were most recently used in the new Circuit City ads proclaiming their new video game tryout section.

Wait! There's more! Read Atari On Film Page 1!

Check out Atari on TV!

Thanks to the following people for their good memories:
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, Tony MacDonald, Jim Oaks, Glenn Bruner, Jim Wertz, J. Goebel, TheGamePeddler, Ickyboy1, Joey Kay, Paul Freitag, Yendor20, MiKRO, Andreas Magenheimer, Joseph Till, liveinabin, King of Atari, The Night Phantom, Atari Ken 64, Ri, Devo, Krytol, Tony Roy, Trenton Ray, Eric Butzow, Larry Silverman, Lars, Scott DiNitto, Brett Gladson, Serxio Barral, Frank Tovar, Atariboy, devwebcl, Jered Hritz, Scott Stilphen, Atariboy2600.

If you know of any other film or TV show that Atari games, computers, or even just controllers have appeared, please let us know.

Reader Comments for Atari on Film - Page 2

cloak & dagger by charles on 2007-03-17 00:44:32
I gess Iwould like to remind everyone of all the atari gear in the movie cloak and dagger.
Another one to add by Darryl B. on 2016-10-15 00:39:53
Just caught the banned "Burn in Hell" video from Twisted Sister the other night, as they appeared briefly in Pee Wee's Big Adventure. I've never seen the movie, but I spotted an Asteroids cab in a scene in the video; I think it was at a truck stop.
Pong by Dave on 2017-05-21 09:31:18
There was a movie (or tv movie) where 2 guys out west somewhere were playing Pong in a bar as they were having a conversation. They left the game at a point where the game was on its own, the ball bouncing back and forth from the paddle. Movie came out late 70's, early 80's. Cant remember much else. Kind of a modern cowboy movie
Pong by Dave on 2017-05-21 09:38:52
Update my comment. Just found the answer. Jeff Bridges and Harry Dean Stanton are playing "Pong" in the movie "Rancho Deluxe". You can find the scene on Youtube
Star Wars? by David Cox on 2021-04-02 21:16:40
Am I correct in recalling that the targeting computer displays for the top & bottom blaster cannons on the Millenium Falcon in the very first Star Wars movie were created using Atari graphics?
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