With a Blade Runner sequel starring Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling due this October--35 years after Ridley Scott's masterful original--we salute some of our favorite movie bots.
1. C-3P0, Star Wars (1977)
English actor Anthony Daniels has portrayed this distraught, fussy droid -- an unrivaled expert in etiquette, history, and communication -- in all nine Star Wars films to date. "Oh dear" may be the gayest catchphrase of all time.
2. Murderous dolls, Barbarella (1968)
Jane Fonda's titular heroine is taken hostage by kids in ludicrous wigs, who sic a gaggle of tiny, sharp-toothed porcelain dolls on her. Barb is bitten all over, and her skimpy outfit gets even skimpier. Yay!
3. Hal, 2001: A Space odyssey (1968)
That glowing red camera eye and the urbane and menacing tones of Canadian actor Douglas Rain have made HAL legendary. His conversationally sinister intonations remain delicious. Even in his death throes he gives us a bravura performance, singing "Daisy Bell" the first song to be sung by a computer in real life: the IBM 7094 in 1961.
4. Gigolo Joe, A.I. (2001)
"Once you've had a lover robot, you'll never want a real man again." So declares Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a sex toy of a robot on the run after being framed for murder. But Joe is also a prophet. "We're suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us," he says. Scary thought.
5. Robby, Forbidden Planet (1956)
Don't let the poster for the movie -- which shows a malevolent-looking Robby holding a passed-out, scantily clad woman -- fool you. Robby is kind, gentle, and loyal, and his dry wit serves him well in trying circumstances.
6. WALL-E (2008)
With just a cockroach to keep him company, the eponymous hero is the sole steward of an abandoned and all-but-dead Earth -- that is, until a shiny white robot arrives to see ii there are any signs of life. Love quickly ensues.
7. RoboCop (1987)
"Dead or alive, you're coming with me," says the police droid brought back to mechanical life to rid a future Detroit of hammy actors. Well, technically, he's a cyborg, which is basically a roided-up C-3PO.
8. Pris and Batty, Blade runner (1982)
Daryl Hannah is a glam-rock bot fed up with having to have sex with horrid old men, and Rutger Hauer is a handsome army surplus machine. Together, they hide out in a dark Los Angeles trying to discover what it is to be human -- before Harrison Ford kills them.
9. Dot Matrix, Spaceballs (1987)
The scene-stealing star of this Star Wars spoof, Joan Rivers's Matrix shines (in more ways than one). She's a delightful, snarky parody of C-3PO that comes equipped with a "virgin alarm" to protect the purity of her master, the princess. The touch is a genius laugh device that only director Mel Brooks could activate.
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