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Customer:

I'm looking for a classic sci-fi movie but I can't remember the name... It has a guy running around on a spaceship that talks to him but when it crashes he pulls the discs out of it and it dies.

Customer said they once had it on VHS and now wants DVD.

We have only come up with 2001 as a possibility.

Trying to get any further info from the customer didn't help. When queried about release date the best that could be ascertained was 'before Star Wars'. This was after running through a list of movies including Day The Earth Stood Still; Forbidden Planet; Metropolis; etc.

He claimed that 'everyone' had seen it. One reason we were leaning towards the movie 2001 as an answer.

This is all the info that could be dredged from the customer.

  • 2
    Please see How to ask a good story-ID question and edit your question once you have managed to get more info out of your customer as per the guidelines in the linked question – Aegon Jun 2 '17 at 7:44
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    Are you saying that it's NOT 2001? youtu.be/OuEN5TjYRCE because it sure as hell sounds like it... – Valorum Jun 2 '17 at 8:26
  • @Valorum Thank you. The customer was pretty vague about details. My perspective on HAL was more sinister perhaps. – Lyn Jun 2 '17 at 8:52
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    I'm sorry, @Lyn. I'm afraid I can't answer that. – xDaizu Jun 2 '17 at 12:41
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    I had thought of Battle Beyond the Stars, but it came out after Star Wars – Machavity Jun 2 '17 at 15:33
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It's 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Quoting the description from Wikipedia.

  • This answers your point on a man talking to a spaceship.

    Eighteen months later, the United States spacecraft Discovery One is bound for Jupiter. On board are mission pilots and scientists Dr. David Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole, along with three other scientists in cryogenic hibernation. Most of Discovery's operations are controlled by the ship's computer, HAL 9000, referred to by the crew as "Hal". Hal states that he is "foolproof and incapable of error". When Bowman questions Hal on the purpose of the mission, Hal responds by reporting the imminent failure of an antenna control device. The astronauts retrieve it in an EVA pod but find nothing wrong. Hal suggests reinstalling the device and letting it fail so the problem can be found.

  • This answers your point on "pulling the discs out of it".

    Bowman opens the ship's emergency airlock manually, enters the ship, and proceeds to Hal's processor core. Hal tries to reassure Bowman, then pleads with him to stop, and finally expresses fear. As Bowman gradually deactivates the circuits controlling HAL's higher intellectual functions, HAL regresses to his earliest programmed memory, the song "Daisy Bell", which he sings for Bowman.

  • This answers your point on "released before Star Wars". 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968.

    Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983), then The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005).

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    Thank you! The customer was uncertain that the movie could be 2001, so there was a possibility of another movie that we were unable to identify or were unaware that it existed. – Lyn Jun 2 '17 at 8:48
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    Sing this to your customer very slowly - see if it rings a bell. "Daisy, Daisy.....give...me...you're.......answer.......do....Iiiiiii',mmmm....haaaaaaallllfffff......crrrraaaaaaaazzzzzzzyyyyyyyyy..............." – Kerr Avon Jun 2 '17 at 9:28
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    @KerrAvon: LOL, but it depends on the customer's language. In the Italian dub of 2001, HAL sings an Italian version of "Ring a Ring o' Roses" instead of "Daisy Bell"... – Teem Porary Jun 2 '17 at 13:13
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    @TeemPorary - which is one of the things that always cheeses me off about translated movied and books. The song in the original is a nod to artificial intelligence experiments in1961. The movie implies that HAL is in some way derived from or related to the computers and programs developed in those years. That reference is lost in the italian version because somebody didn't get it and slapped in a different song for some stupid reason. It also loses the implication that HAL is an IBM computer (Daisy Bell was first "sung" by an IBM 704 in 1962.) – JRE Jun 2 '17 at 17:06
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    JRE - Yes, I actually recognized the song "Daisy" as the version "sung" by a computer when I first saw 2001, even though I wasn't a computer expert. It sounded like they used a recording of the computer "singing". So presumably a lot of other people would also recognize it. – M. A. Golding Jun 2 '17 at 21:12
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I'm surprised nobody's yet mentioned Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Pretty much one of the most iconic talking spaceships of any movie. It communicated using music.

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    Nehhhvermind. I see they're looking for a specific movie that Close Encounters is obviously not. Next time I'll read the whole question through before answering. :) – Michael Westermann Jun 3 '17 at 2:57

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