We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Modems in the Movies: the early years

Classic tech movie moments from the 80s and 90s

In 1980s movies, modems had the power to change high school grades, wreck laboratories, and even spark global nuclear conflict. Here are some classic and silly modem movie moments from a time before the technology caught on.

War Games (1983)

In the iconic geek movie War Games, a young Matthew Broderick plays David Lightman, a hacker who uses his modem to discover a backdoor into a classified defence network. Lightman soon realises that the military supercomputer he has infiltrated, which is programmed to predict possible outcomes of nuclear war, has confused reality with gameplay and that the simulation he has started could start World War III. Disaster is ultimately averted, and Broderick lives on to dial up further modem hijinks in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Electric Dreams (1984)

In this campy '80s techsploitation flick, young architect Miles buys a souped-up computer he knows nothing about. After a series of unfortunate events - including spilling champagne on the hardware- the computer gains self-awareness. Edgar, the PC, eventually develops human emotions, and puts its modem to use as it cancels its owner's credit cards and vies for the affections of his girlfriend.

NEXT PAGE: Real Genius

  1. Classic tech movie moments
  2. War Games
  3. Real Genius
  4. Ferris Bueller's Day Off


IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model