I'm trying to identify a movie about a deaf computer genius. This movie used to run on US pay TV back in the 1980s as a "filler" during mid-day or late-night. It seemed rather low budget, and it may have been a Canadian production.

As I recall the plot, it began with a woman reporter who runs across a deaf man working as a handyman at a center for the handicapped, fixing electric wheelchairs and the like. He shows her a talking computer that he built out of a Speak and Spell, and Reporter realizes he's a frustrated computer genius. She hooks the man up with a doctor who is experimenting with a treatment that could restore the man's hearing.

She also introduces the man to her boyfriend, who happens to be an '80s style businessman at a tech company. Deaf Genius has plans for expanding his talking computer into something bigger. Boyfriend promises Genius that once he has his hearing back, the company would like to make a deal.

Genius gets the operation and it works. The company funds his computer. He becomes rich and builds what turns out to be a self-aware, talking computer. During this period he and the reporter fall in love.

Things turn sour. Genius's hearing starts to fail. His relationship with the company starts to fail. Eventually the company sends goons to his house who beat him up and wreck the computer. The computer has a death scene like some shlocky version of Hal from 2001. Eventually, I think Genius ends up back where he was, but now he has the girl so it's a happy ending.

The movie came off like a bad version of Flowers for Algernon. I also remember it being remarkably insensitive about the deaf man--people were constantly acting as through his talents with computers didn't matter as long as he was deaf.

Ring any bells?

1 Answer 1


This is Tin Man (1983).

A young auto mechanic, born deaf, invents a computer so he can hear and speak with others. When he attempts to patent his invention he is taken advantage of by a self-serving salesman.



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