The Questor Tapes (1974) is a English movie. Richard A. Colla has directed this movie. Robert Foxworth,Mike Farrell,John Vernon,Lew Ayres are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1974. The Questor Tapes (1974) is considered one of the best Adventure,Drama,Sci-Fi movie in India and around the world.
Project Questor is the brainchild of the genius Dr. Vaslovik, who developed plans to build an android super-human. Although he has disappeared and half of the programming tape was erased in the attempt to decode it, his former colleagues continue the project and finally succeed in creating Questor. However, Vaslovik seems to have installed a secret program in Questor's brain. He flees and starts to search for Vaslovik. Since half of his knowledge is missing, he needs the help of Jerry Robinson, who is now suspected of having stolen the android.
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One thing that Gene Roddenberry was good at was making excellent TV pilots. His only problem was in getting the networks to actually listen to them. This movie was a pilot for a TV series, and was to far ahead of it's time. Made in the time after Star Trek TV series and the Star Trek motion pictures, it is a classic example of his idea of social commentary hidden as a Sci-Fi movie. Questor is an android, in search of himself and his past. I remember seeing this when it was first broadcast, and again about 10 years later. But sadly, it is not available on Tape or DVD (NBC - Universal, pay attention). Two things that are noteable are the connections to Star Trek, both past and future versions. His wife Majel Barrett and Walter Koenig both appear in this movie. But this is not unusual, if you look at most of his projects. Pretty Maids All In A Row, Genesis II, Planet Earth, even all the way back to The Lieutenant. Roddenberry consistantly used a lot of the same actors and actresses over and over again. One of the things that struck me when I first saw Star Trek: Next Generation was the similarity between Data and Questor. An Android, in search of his mysterious past, a "father" creator that is said to be dead, yet is not dead, the question of who and what he is, man, machine, or both. So this TV Pilot was just like the "Gary Seven" episode, in that it never took off. But the obvious influence on his later projects is obvious. We can only hope that someday, this will be made available on DVD so more people can discover this movie. Considering all the "new" Roddenberry TV shows out there, I am actually surprised that this one has not been remade yet.
It was a very well done project for it's time and Robert Foxworth did a splendid job. Any criticism of his performance is totally unwarranted and it was a touching performance. His interpretation of the Android was touching and the humanity and feeling he brought to the character was memorable. The end of the movie is heartwarming and it has stayed a cult classic for us fans for decades. I remember being mesmerized by the special effects at the time even though they would seem dated by today's standards. The most important thing is the feeling brought to the characters and the relationship between Questor and humans. It is sad that it has not been made available sooner on DVD so that fans of today can enjoy it with hindsight. Hopefully the DVD I ordered will arrive soon and bring back all the fond memories. Lew Ayers did a find job also as did Mike Farell.
IMHO this is one of the best sci-fi TV movies ever. For once they gave Roddenberry some money and it shows up on the screen, particularly in the stirring climax which still works today. The plot is witty and features a few nice surprises. The performances are uniformly solid. In particular, Robert Foxworthy brings surprising warmth and depth to what was obviously the prototype to the DATA character from STTNG; it is probably the best acting job Foxworthy ever did, which is doubly impressive since he is supposed to be playing an emotionless android. In fact, he slips in plenty of emotion, but the insertions are subtle and well-handled. Mike Farrell (right before his own far more lengthy and lucrative insertion in MASH) is also at the top of his game as the humanistic scientist and guide for Questor. John Vernon, fresh off all those venomous villain roles from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, is reliably intimidating as the aggressive (but ultimately conscientious) antagonist. Why does QUESTOR still resonate thirty years later? Frankly, because all of the questions about what makes man unique are only more relevant today with the advent of cloning and super microchips which make today's computers even more intelligent and capable than the fiction Roddenberry envisioned back in '73. Most of the things forecast in QUESTOR have come to pass from the creation of the internet to the polarization of the class system and symbiosis of the world economy. Man will always question his place / role in the universe and QUESTOR gets to that issue of self-awareness and "what is my purpose" as productively and entertainingly as any other sci-fi offering I can think of. It's also thought-provoking and while it momentarily lurches toward preaching at the end, somehow it all comes out just right. So why didn't it make it to series? My hunch is that since ABC had already added THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN on their fall schedule the feeling was that QUESTOR was too similar (or "too cerebral," which was the reason the original Star Trek pilot didn't fly.) The truth is, it probably would have been difficult to maintain the quality of the pilot given the limited format. However, it would have been an interesting try and I think it would have probably been more insightful than THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. 9/10
In his heyday, no one made televised science fiction like Gene Roddenberry, and this is one of the finest examples. Created as a pilot for a proposed TV series (which, unsurprisingly, was never produced), this is one of the best instances of science fiction meeting philosophy that has ever occurred anywhere (big screen included). The performances are astonishingly good considering the cast of mostly TV actors (in particular, Robert Foxworth gives the performance of his career as the android). The movie does steer itself away from its own track once in awhile (some of the details in the subplot about Helena Trimble hardly seem relevant to the film and were probably created in case the series was approved), but overall, the pacing is excellent. Some dated technology and an ear-piercingly poor musical score knock this down a notch or two, but its premise and resolution are wonderfully humanistic. Not a special-effects movie, then, but sci-fi that cares more for its characters than its visual appeal. Now could we please just have this on video?
Questor was the latest in a line of androids, his predecessor being the scientist who built him as a replacement (his own existence being finite). He was one of a long line of androids put on earth ages ago to "help us along". He escapes the center in which he is built in order to find his creator and complete his programming. John Vernon (best known as Dean Wormer from Animal House) played government agent Darro, who's mission was to find and facilitate the destruction of the "dangerous" Questor. Questor succeeds in finding Vaslovik, who is too far gone to be of assistance. Close behind, Darro learns the truth, and fools the government into thinking that Questor has been destroyed.