Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

War Games


When I was working at MGM in the ‘80s they had this war room set on the lot. I wandered by one day when shooting had just wrapped, and they had begun to tear it down. It was my first experience in how shoddy movie sets are. They were clearing it out almost as fast as the trucks could arrive. This was a very high-tech set for its time, with all the consoles and especially the large rear-projection screens with the war animations. But you could have easily put your boot through any of those consoles, and when you walked on the plywood floors it sounded just like that: plywood. All those stepping sounds are dubbed in later by the Foley people.

As for the movie … it is fairly dated. Almost 30 years is a geological age in the world of computers. The Giant Brain that threatens to destroy the world probably has about the capacity of the average wristwatch these days, and the synthesized voice is rather comic. My GPS is muchmore realistic today. But it’s fun to see Matthew Broderick as a very young man (he was 21) … though, come to think of it, he could almost still play a high school student. I guess what was most interesting was the depiction of using a very primitive home computer in the days when the Internet was all text and very slow. And whatever happened to Ally Sheedy? She was a big star, since this movie she’s appeared in dozens of B-movies in small parts.