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Top 15 robots with feelings

Posted by: Jim Scembri | 20 November, 2012 - 3:13 PM

The affable android in Robot & Frank reminds us how the history of cinema is strewn with memorable robots; some behave like machines, some like humans, some like machine-like humans. Here's our pick of those who acted like people - for better and for worse. Enjoy.

WALL-E - Wall-E (2008) A small industrial workhorse designed to clean up the Earth, he ended up saving it. And he fell in love. 

JOHNNY 5 - Short Circuit (1986) This machine lost all his robotic credentials when he walked in on Ally Sheedy taking a bath and commented: "Nice software".  

BISHOP (Lance Henriksen) - Aliens (1986)
 He might have been an artificial person, but who didn't shed a tear when the Mother Alien tore him in two?  

C3PO (Anthony Daniels) - Star Wars (1977) Of all the futuristic visions George Lucas gave us with his game changer, nobody expected a robot version of a whinging Pom? He was also a dandy, which made him all the more lovable.


ROBOCOP (Peter Weller) - Robocop (1987) 
Think Dirty Harry as a robot. Well, half a robot.

HUEY, DEWEY AND LOUIE - Silent Running (1972) After Bruce Dern's psychopathic interplanetary greenie murders his fellow spaceship colleagues to protect his space-borne forest, its the lowly work robots who remind him of his humanity. Or what's left of it. The film also contains another example where the death of a robot has real dramatic heft.

COLOSSUS - Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) After taking over the world to save humanity from destroying itself, the super-computer casually announces that it expects people to love it. Heartless appliances don't do that. 

SONNY - I, Robot (2004) A robot on the run for murder. Not even an automaton wants to endure an interrogation by Will Smith - even if their acting is more convincing..


DECKARD (Harrison Ford) - Blade Runner (1982) A robot who doesn't know he's a robot hunts down and kills other robots because they want to be more human. No other movie robot was more drenched in irony.

HAL - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Often misunderstood as a mass-murderer, HAL - the omnipresent, omnipotent ship-board computer - was only doing his job to protect the mission by removing threats. And if that meant decommissioning the crew, so be it. 


MARVIN  - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981 TV series; 2005 film) 
Also known as The Paranoid Android, Marv was a depressed, cynical robot who found pleasure in nothing. Very easy to love - and push around. Can't get more human than that.

ANDREW (Robin Williams) - Bicentennial Man (1999) 
A house robot as wise-cracking buffoon. The role Robin Williams was born to play.

DARYL (Barrett Oliver) - D.A.R.Y.L.(1985) He might have been a Data Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform - but he was still a kid.


DAVID (Haley Joel Osment) - A.I. (2001) 
A child robot is programmed to have real feelings, then is abandoned to fend for himself in a cold-hearted future where junked bots are destroyed for sport. An under-appreciated Steven Spielberg film - and more moving than ET (1982). 


DOT MATRIX - Spaceballs (1987)
 Voiced by the wise-cracking Joan Rivers, this fembot's job was to protect her Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) from losing her virginity in the Wild West of outer space, as imagined by Mel Brooks.


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