While fans of contemporary prestige television eagerly await tonight’s second season premiere of Westworld, we thought we’d set the wayback machine to the year 1973 to see the original motion picture that inspired the series. Years before he revisited similar themes in Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton wrote and directed this offbeat sci-fi adventure about a resort that replicates the Old West in every detail, right down to the high-tech androids that populate the faux frontier town. But when a system-wide malfunction causes the mechanical locals to begin killing people, two guests (Richard Benjamin and James Brolin) must fight for their lives against an unstoppable robotic gunslinger (Yul Brynner). The film made enough of its splash during its initial release that it spawned a (lesser) 1976 sequel, Futureworld, and the Delos’ saga’s forgotten first TV series, 1980’s Beyond Westworld. With the current HBO series drawing critical and commercial success, it’s likely that Westworld will be enticing visitors for years to come.
Previously on MovieFanFare: ’70s Flashback: Westworld
Check out our complete line of Westworld items here.