Electric Dreams

Made by Richard Branson’s Virgin Films, Electric Dreams marked the directorial debut of Steve Barron creator of countless music videos for the likes of Michael Jackson, A-ha and The Jam.

Miles Harding is a mild mannered architect who even has ‘Clark Kent glasses’ and suffers from appalling punctuality.  His friend at work suggests an electronic personal organiser, being a bit of a technophobe Miles isn’t interested but goes along to a computer store anyway.

The sales lady at the store sells him a massive desktop computer and Miles brings it home.  The computer can be configured to run all of Miles’ gadgets around the house, so he sets this up.  Meanwhile a young cello player called Madeline has moved into Miles’ building and they strike up a friendship.  Sparks fly between the two, but when all this is happening after a mishap Miles’ computer begins to take on a life of its own.  As their relationship develops, the computer’s intelligence grows and begins to fallen ‘love’ with Madeline.

Completely tanking at the box office, Electric Dreams got a second life on video and TV which in turn gave different generations to enjoy this fun piece of romantic comedic nonsense.  It’s possibly one of the most 80’s films you’re ever see as there is constant reminders of the technology around back then.  The computer store even has Commodore 64’s, BBC micro’s and Grandstand electronic games on display.  As a certain Mr. Branson arranged finance for the film, the soundtrack is full of Virgin signed artists including Phil Collins and Culture Club.  Of course you can’t forget the brilliant song from Giorgio Moroder and Phil Oakey which plays out over the final sequence in the film.

Electric Dreams is a really nice warm fuzzy sweet film, nothing offensive, some nice characters, a great soundtrack and a lovely feel-good ending.  It is a massive slice of eighties cheese, but harmless and deservedly a little bit of a cult classic that got a second chance.

  • Starring Virginia Madsen  Lenny von Dohlen  Maxwell Caulfield  Bud Cort
  • Director Steve Barron
  • Distributor Second Sight