Heartbeeps (1981)

PG | 0 mins | Comedy, Science fiction | 18 December 1981

Director:

Allan Arkush

Writer:

John Hill

Producer:

Michael Phillips

Cinematographer:

Charles Rosher, Jr.

Editor:

Tina Hirsch

Production Designer:

John W. Corso

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

The 5 May 1980 issue of HR stated that the film would start shooting on 9 Jun 1980 in Northern California locations, and was scheduled for an eleven week shoot. Six weeks of principal photography were completed before the production was shut down for a Screen Actors Guild strike. According to the 23 Oct 1980 issue of DV , the film was scheduled to resume production in Los Angeles on 24 Oct 1980. According to Army Archerd's 16 Jun 1980 DV "Just for Variety" column, the film was budgeted at $12 million. Archerd also stated that stars Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters underwent a daily four-hour makeup application for their robot roles.
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The 5 May 1980 issue of HR stated that the film would start shooting on 9 Jun 1980 in Northern California locations, and was scheduled for an eleven week shoot. Six weeks of principal photography were completed before the production was shut down for a Screen Actors Guild strike. According to the 23 Oct 1980 issue of DV , the film was scheduled to resume production in Los Angeles on 24 Oct 1980. According to Army Archerd's 16 Jun 1980 DV "Just for Variety" column, the film was budgeted at $12 million. Archerd also stated that stars Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters underwent a daily four-hour makeup application for their robot roles.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Jun 1980.
---
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 1981
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
25 Dec 1981
p. 1.
New York Times
19 Dec 1981
p. 17.
Variety
23 Dec 1981
p, 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Michael Phillips Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir trainee
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Wrt
Catskil's jokes by
Addl [Catskil] material by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Gaffer
Key grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Best boy
Stills
Panaglide op
Panaglide asst
Key grip
Rigging gaffer
Generator op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Sketch artist
Asst art dir
Robot des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed/Post prod coord
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Set des
Greensman
Painter
Leadman
Prop asst
Prop asst
COSTUMES
Cost des
Miss Peters' cost by
Cost supv
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Catskil's drums by
Mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
Asst mus ed
Asst mus ed
SOUND
Phil's voice ed by
Prod mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd des
Dial replacement ed
Dial replacement ed
Eff synthesizer
Sd eff asst
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec visual eff by
Matte photog
Matte photog
Matte crew
Matte crew
Addl spec eff
Titles & opt eff
Main title montage
Matte crew
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Spec make-up eff by
Aqua's makeup artist
Val's makeup artist
Hairstylist
Makeup concept artist
Makeup concept artist
Makeup concept artist
Makeup staff
Makeup staff
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Phil des by
Phil des by
Phil's remote op
Phil's remote op
Phil's remote op
Phil's remote op
Catskil's remote op
Catskil's remote op
Catskil's remote op
Crimebuster op by
Robot eff liaison
In charge of mechanical eff
In charge of mechanical eff
Casting
Transportation capt
Unit pub
Loc auditor
Craft services
Craft services
Animals supplied by
Animal trainer
Secy to Michael Phillips
Secy to Allen Arkush
Prod asst
Prod exec
Transportation co-capt
Extra casting
Projectionist
Helicopter pilot
Driver
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 December 1981
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 18 Dec 1981
Production Date:
began 9 Jun 1980 in Northern CA
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Universal City Studios, Inc.
25 January 1982
PA126377
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color by Technicolor®
gauge
35mm
Widescreen/ratio
2.35:1
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
0
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26250
SYNOPSIS

At a robot factory, two employees, Charlie and Max, deliver Val, a Companion Series robot suffering from a second level appendix laceration, to the factory warehouse C-Section. While in storage, Val is spoken to by Aqua, a female Companion Series robot scheduled to be reconditioned and become a charming Companion Hostess for poolside parties and other social functions. Val responds that he was intended to be a companion and valet with no social charms. Despite their differently programmed personalities, Val and Aqua become close, and decide they are “mechanically compatible for many similar functions.” On the factory floor, a Crimebuster Deluxe robot is being programmed, but when it shoots flames at a cardboard cutout of a nanny with a baby in a stroller on the shooting range, the programmers observe that the machine is still overreacting. A comedian-robot, Catskill 55602, is also delivered to C-Section. Catskill can only tell stupid one-liners, and needs a complete circuit rewashing. At night, Val decides he needs to take a field trip to study distant trees, and invites Aqua to come along as a highly intelligent companion who can help him collect, store and interpret data. Before they set off on their journey, they ask Catskill 55602 to join them. They appropriate one of the factory’s trucks, and although he has never driven before, Val takes the wheel, zig-zagging along the road and crashing into road barriers as they travel. On his nightly rounds, the security guard notices the three missing robots in C-Section, and asks Charlie and Max where they were moved. When he learns of the missing robots, the factory boss berates ...

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At a robot factory, two employees, Charlie and Max, deliver Val, a Companion Series robot suffering from a second level appendix laceration, to the factory warehouse C-Section. While in storage, Val is spoken to by Aqua, a female Companion Series robot scheduled to be reconditioned and become a charming Companion Hostess for poolside parties and other social functions. Val responds that he was intended to be a companion and valet with no social charms. Despite their differently programmed personalities, Val and Aqua become close, and decide they are “mechanically compatible for many similar functions.” On the factory floor, a Crimebuster Deluxe robot is being programmed, but when it shoots flames at a cardboard cutout of a nanny with a baby in a stroller on the shooting range, the programmers observe that the machine is still overreacting. A comedian-robot, Catskill 55602, is also delivered to C-Section. Catskill can only tell stupid one-liners, and needs a complete circuit rewashing. At night, Val decides he needs to take a field trip to study distant trees, and invites Aqua to come along as a highly intelligent companion who can help him collect, store and interpret data. Before they set off on their journey, they ask Catskill 55602 to join them. They appropriate one of the factory’s trucks, and although he has never driven before, Val takes the wheel, zig-zagging along the road and crashing into road barriers as they travel. On his nightly rounds, the security guard notices the three missing robots in C-Section, and asks Charlie and Max where they were moved. When he learns of the missing robots, the factory boss berates Max and Charlie for keeping an eye on their charges, and gives them until tomorrow noon to retrieve them. The humans are unaware that the Crimebuster Deluxe has also overheard the boss’s order, and the mis-programmed machine sets out to capture the fugitive robots. Val smashes the truck into a tree, and the next morning he and Aqua build a small robot, which they name Philco, to carry some of the supplies stored in the vehicle as they continue their journey on foot. Trailing the missing robots, Charlie and Max find the abandoned truck. Charlie notices the truck’s dashboard is missing, and wonder if the robots might have stolen the truck and partially dismantled it on their own? Unable to find the robots, Max and Charlie are ready to return to the factory, but their boss sends out a helicopter to aid in the search. As they walk through the woods, Val and Aqua notice that Philco is missing. They locate him using Val’s bowtie direction finder. Because searching for Philco is an energy drain, Val gives the direction finder to the small robot. Up in the air, Max again wants to turn back, until the helicopter pilot informs him that he and Charlie will be responsible for the replacement costs if they do not return with the missing robots. With night coming on, the robots seek shelter in a cave, but when Val scouts the location, he is tossed out by a bear, which he mistakenly believes to be a camel. Philco takes on the bear and scares the animal away. From the helicopter, Charlie spots movement on the ground—but he only sees the bear running away, as the robots have taken refuge in the cave. Realizing that Philco has no capacity for self-protection, Aqua asks Val to transfer her unit safety monitor to the small robot, relying on Val to protect her. Then, as Val and Aqua seek to repair their seemingly malfunctioning pleasure centers, they are interrupted by Philco and Catskill 55602. With the Crimebuster Deluxe also on their trail, the robots sneak into a small town at night, hiding behind small trees they have dug up. Back at the cave, the Crimebuster Deluxe picks up the fugitives’ scent, and quickens its pace. In town, the robots raid a hardware store robot supply display for spare parts. They find a new bowtie direction finder for Val, but the store is out of energy packs. Philco pitches a fit when Val will not allow him to have a traffic control helmet, but before they leave the hardware store, Catskill 55602 takes the disputed helmet with him. Back on the street hiding behind their trees, the red light on Philco’s traffic helmet gives them away to the Crimebuster Deluxe, which detains them for questioning. The Crimebuster Deluxe tells them he has informed the police and the fugitives will be picked up at 4:00 AM. It tells them not to move in the interim. However, the Crimebuster Deluxe becomes confused over whether the robots can be criminals if they are robots or robots if they are criminals? The law enforcement robot goes berserk, and hightails it out of town. The escapees come upon a party, and hide in plain sight by becoming servers. Again, however, the Crimebuster Deluxe is on the prowl. Discovering their discarded tree disguises outside of where the party is taking place, Crimebuster Deluxe literally crashes the party and destroys the building. Back in the woods, Val and Aqua have stopped communicating, but come to realize they need maximum input for efficiency. In the meantime, singing “America The Beautiful,” Crimebuster Deluxe barrels through the woods, scaring the wildlife and randomly shooting at the fleeing animals. The runaway robots come upon a junkyard, promising unlimited replacement parts. However, their energy packs are running down. As the robots search the facility, they are observed by Calvin and Susan, owners of the junkyard. Calvin welcomes the “customers” he believes will bring needed cash flow to the business, but Susan reminds him that the robot models do not come with a wallet option. Exploring the junkyard, Philco comes upon a dead robot, and attempts to warn Val and Aqua. However, Crimebuster Deluxe finds them and begins shooting bullets and flames. Susan and Calvin jump the Crimebuster and disable it. After its misguided behavior throughout their adventure, all agree that Philco is in need of a specialized purpose. Unfortunately, Susan informs Aqua and Val the only place where such enhancements can be made is back at the factory. On their way back, Aqua is again concerned about their energy packs. Val tells her that he has 34% power remaining, when in fact he only has .009%. Aqua also lies, telling Val that she has 33% instead of the .008% registering on her power meter. The four robots are spotted on the trail by Max and Charlie. Max wants to grab only the three missing robots so as not to mess up the factory inventory. As they slowly proceed, Val has a heart-to-heart talk with Philco, the first robot he ever built and programmed, wishing his “offspring” a bright future, even as he realizes their power packs will soon be drained. As his power ebbs, Val tells Aqua that he hopes the last thing erased in his circuit wash is his memory of her. In a selfless act, Catskill 55602 switches power packs with Philco. He still has 42% of his energy left because he has been telling low power jokes on their journey. As Val, Aqua and Philco resume their journey, Max and Charlie come upon the powerless carcass of Catskill 55602. “One down, two to go,” says Max, but Charlie is annoyed that after chasing the robots all over hell’s half acre they find this one close to the factory. Nearing the factory, Val and Aqua are pleased that they have been able to make their way back, and pleased that Philco will now have a bright future. Val wants to discuss one last human emotional phenomenon with Aqua, but their power runs out before he can raise the subject. A sad Philco continues on his journey, while Max and Charlie pick up the powerless remains of Val and Aqua. From the nearby woods, Philco sees his makers hauled away. Sometime later, Westland, the helicopter pilot, finds Max and Charlie now demoted to the motor pool at the factory working over the Crimebuster Deluxe. She asks what happened to the robots, and is told that they were circuit washed three times and sent out to new owners, but they returned each time and finally junked. Back at the junkyard, Calvin and Susan have refurbished the former fugitive robots, and given them updated wardrobes. Also, Val and Aqua have created another new, female sister robot to Philco. Back at the factory, the Crimebuster Deluxe is back on the prowl. He too, has had his circuits washed, but he has fooled Max and Charlie, and again heads out to fight crime in his old mis-programmed manner.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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