Pirates of Silicon Valley

Pirates of Silicon Valley

4.5 4
Director: Martyn Burke

Cast: Martyn Burke, Noah Wyle, Anthony Michael Hall, Joey Slotnick

     
 

This tech-world biopic traces the fortunes of personal-computer companies Apple and Microsoft from their obscure dorm-room and backyard origins to their very public battle for corporate supremacy. Writer/director Martyn Burke follows the parallel lives of Microsoft founder Bill Gates (Anthony Michael HallSee more details below

Overview

This tech-world biopic traces the fortunes of personal-computer companies Apple and Microsoft from their obscure dorm-room and backyard origins to their very public battle for corporate supremacy. Writer/director Martyn Burke follows the parallel lives of Microsoft founder Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall) and Apple co-founders Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle) and Steve Wozniak (Joey Slotnick) -- the former a crafty Harvard dropout, the latter a pair of hippies with jobs at Hewlett-Packard and a yen to sell miniature versions of corporate mainframes to small businesses and at-home enthusiasts. Much like the personal-computer industry itself, the action starts with Apple then gradually shifts to Microsoft. The former plot thread recounts how Jobs and Wozniak "borrowed" key concepts from a Xerox computer lab, eked out their success as countercultural businessmen, and finally fell out with one another over the pressure of success. The latter thread focuses on the way Gates learned from, then surpassed, the brains behind Apple and turned his company into the global powerhouse that it is today. Based on Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine's Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, the film actually focuses only on that book's final chapters. Produced for cable channel TNT, Pirates of Silicon Valley debuted June 18, 1999.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Thanks to inspired casting and strong writing, this well-oiled TV biopic managed to transform the unglamorous genesis of the personal-computer industry into solid entertainment precisely at the moment when dot-com mania was sweeping the nation. Perennial '80s geek Anthony Michael Hall gets his best screen role since Six Degrees of Separation in the form of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the ultimate embodiment of the revenge of the nerds. Meanwhile, ER star Noah Wyle gets to step out of Dr. John Carter's skin and into a quietly intense portrayal of Apple guru Steve Jobs. Hall's smarmy intellect and Wyle's tortured-yuppie temper may conform closely to public perception of the men they portray, but neither performance sinks into infotainment schtick. And unlike a lot of true-life TV movies, Pirates of Silicon Valley doesn't telescope its complicated plot into a series of irritatingly unconnected vignettes. Instead, it meticulously traces the key events that shaped the Apple/Microsoft struggle and laid the foundations of today's business (and, increasingly, personal) world. There is a bit of Wired magazine-style hyperbole in the script's awe of the computer world -- a flaw that's especially obvious now, after the Internet stock crash. The overwrought treatment of Jobs' personal life, too, could have used a rewrite. But for the most part, writer/director Martyn Burke treats his subject objectively, with a dose of humor -- exactly what the material needs.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/30/2005
UPC:
0053939699623
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
NR
Source:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:37:00
Sales rank:
2,271

Special Features

DVD-exclusive introduction by Noah Wyle; TV spot; Languages & subtitles: English & Español

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Noah Wyle Steve Jobs
Anthony Michael Hall Bill Gates
Joey Slotnick Steve Wozniak
John DiMaggio Steve Ballmer
Josh Hopkins Paul Allen
Gema Zamprogna Arlene
Allan Royal John Sculley
Wayne Pere Captain Crunch

Technical Credits
Martyn Burke Director,Screenwriter
Aaron Barsky Asst. Director
Joseph Dougherty Executive Producer
Frank Fitzpatrick Score Composer
Lisa Freiberger Casting
Jeffrey S. Ginn Production Designer
Brandt Gordon Art Director
Steven Haft Executive Producer
Stephen Halbert Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Halsey Editor
Ross Judd Camera Operator
Nick Lombardo Executive Producer
Timothy A. Miguel Makeup
Leanne Moore Producer
Ousama Rawi Cinematographer
Gregory Sill Musical Direction/Supervision

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pirates of Silicon Valley
1. Big Brother Credits [3:40]
2. Weird Places [5:32]
3. Computer Language [4:35]
4. Vision of Victory [2:18]
5. Revolutionary Ideas [3:53]
6. Businessmen [4:33]
7. Employee Zero's Trip [3:45]
8. Quit Harvard for This? [4:34]
9. The Rest of Us [4:06]
10. Computer Faire 1977 [3:20]
11. Unfit [5:32]
12. Belly of the Beast [5:02]
13. The Sound of Money [3:45]
14. The Right Name [6:08]
15. $100-Billion Head Start [4:02]
16. I Want It [2:26]
17. Who's the Pirate? [5:01]
18. Battle Casualties [4:23]
19. Torn Apart [2:35]
20. Flower Child [2:26]
21. Stealing From Us [4:18]
22. One Big Family [2:49]
23. Better Doesn't Matter [2:28]
24. Coda and End Credits [5:18]

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