Reel History: Futureworld

DATELINE:  1976 Sequel to Westworld Movie

Yul's last movie

Blythe Danner & Yul Brynner co-star!

Just as a second season of Jonathan Nolan’s Westworld will hit the cable stream, several years after the original Yul Brynner movie, another came forth that presented a theme park that featured other locations.

Futureworld was the second provenance of the TV franchise.

In the sequel, Westworld is a ghost town, shut down as the symbol of technology gone wrong. The Gunslinger led a revolt that killed 50 guests and 100 workers at the Delos park, reported in the second film.

We had forgotten that Yul Brynner returned to reprise his iconic role yet again, shortly before his death.

Beyond that, the cast is pure 1970s: from Peter Fonda’s deplorable acting to Arthur Hill and Stuart Margolin, two staples of 70s TV shows. More hilarious, it begins with Allen Ludden, game-show host and husband of Betty White, giving away trips to Futureworld to winners on his TV show!

The sequel is actually intriguing and presents the future rather surprisingly well. It is a world where Blythe Danner as the TV news host notes that no one reads anymore, relying on the “tube” for information.

Holograms and computers are advanced enough to avoid nerd derision: after all, this film is 45 years old.

In nightmare fashion, the reporters in the story are drugged, taken into a laboratory by the androids and given medical and genetic tests that would rival anything done by denizens of flying saucers.

Plenty of reasons are obvious to guarantee that Futureworld will go haywire—and it takes an hour into the film before all systems are no-go. This time tech workers are insiders, not programmed for sex as they will tell you, but ready-made for trouble.

This is a fitting precursor for the new TV version.