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Based on the novel The Positronic Man by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg which is itself based on Asimov's original novelette " The Bicentennial Man " , the plot explores issues of humanity , slavery , prejudice , maturity , intellectual freedom , conformity , sex , love , mortality and eternal life. The title comes from the main character existing to the age of two hundred years, and Asimov's novelette was published in , the year the United States had its bicentennial. The NDR series robot "Andrew" is introduced in into the Martin family home to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties, and introduces himself by showing a presentation of the Three Laws of Robotics.
The younger Amanda is sympathetic to him, and Andrew discovers he feels emotions, and is drawn to spend more time with his "Little Miss".
He accidentally breaks one of her glass figurines and is able to carve a new one out of wood, which surprises Richard, her father. Richard takes Andrew to NorthAm Robotics to inquire if Andrew's creativity was part of his programming. NorthAm's CEO Dennis Mansky claims this is a problem and offers to scrap Andrew, but instead Richard takes Andrew back home and encourages him to continue his creativity and explore other humanities.
Andrew becomes a clockmaker and earns a sizable fortune managed by Richard after they find that robots have no rights under current laws. Time passes, and Richard encourages Dennis to give Andrew the ability to present facial expressions to match his emotions. About two decades from being awoken, Andrew presents Richard with all the money he has made to ask for his freedom.
Richard refuses to accept it but does grant Andrew his independence, on the condition he may no longer reside at the Martin home. Andrew builds his own home by the beach. In , Richard is on his death bed, and apologizes to Andrew for banishing him before he dies. Following Richard's death, Andrew goes on a quest to find other NDR robots that are like him, frequently communicating back to Amanda, who has since married and divorced, and has a son Lloyd and granddaughter Portia. Ten years into Andrew's quest he discovers Galatea, an NDR robot that has been modified with female personality and traits.
Andrew becomes interested in how Galatea was modified by Rupert Burns, the son of the original NDR designer, and finds he has a number of potential ideas to help make robots appear more human-like.
Andrew agrees to fund Rupert's work and to be a test subject, and is soon given a human-like appearance. Ten years later Andrew finally returns to the Martin home and finds that Amanda has grown old while Portia looks much like her grandmother at her age. Portia is initially cautious of Andrew, but soon accepts him as part of the Martin family.
Amanda eventually dies, and Andrew realizes that all those he cares for will also pass on. He presents ideas to Rupert to create artificial organs that not only can be used in humans to prolong their lives but also to replace Andrew's mechanical workings.
Andrew gains the ability to eat, feel emotions and sensations, and even have sexual relationships, resulting in him and Portia falling in love. Andrew petitions the World Congress to recognize him as a human as to allow him to marry Portia, but the body expresses concern that an immortal human will cause jealousy from others.
Andrew returns to Rupert for one last operation: to change the artificial fluids driving his body into a blood equivalent. Rupert cautions him that the blood will not last forever, causing his body to age, and Andrew will die in several more decades, a fate Andrew accepts.
Decades later, Andrew again approaches the World Congress to appeal their past decision, wanting to be able to die with dignity.
Later, with Andrew's body deteriorating, he and Portia are both under life support monitored by Galatea, now with a human appearance.
They hold hands and watch the World Congress as they recognize Andrew as a human being, the world's oldest at years, and giving all rights confirmed by that, including validating his marriage to Portia.
During the broadcast, Andrew passes away, confirmed by Galatea. Portia asserts that Andrew already knew the answer to whether he was human and then, after ordering Galatea to turn off her life support, she soon dies, hand-in-hand with Andrew. Williams confirmed in a Las Vegas Sun interview that his character was not played by a body double and that he had actually worn the robot costume. The website's critical consensus reads: " Bicentennial Man is ruined by a bad script and ends up being dull and mawkish.
Bicentennial Man begins with promise, proceeds in fits and starts, and finally sinks into a cornball drone of greeting-card sentiment. Robin Williams spends the first half of the film encased in a metallic robot suit, and when he emerges, the script turns robotic instead.
What a letdown. William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said:. Todd McCarthy of Variety summed it up as "an ambitious tale handled in a dawdling, sentimental way. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Bicentennial Man Promotional poster. Movie Music UK. Retrieved January 15, Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 31 May Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 15, Retrieved May 14, Chicago Sun-Times. May 9, Retrieved May 20, Chris Columbus.
Galaxy High Isaac Asimov 's Robot series. Mirage Chimera Aurora. Daneel Olivaw. Robots film Bicentennial Man film I, Robot film. Followed by: The Empire series and The Foundation series. Categories : films English-language films s comedy-drama films s science fiction comedy films American comedy-drama films American robot films American science fiction comedy films Android robot films Films about artificial intelligence Columbia Pictures films Films based on science fiction novels Films directed by Chris Columbus Films set in Films set in Films set in the 21st century Films set in the 22nd century Films set in the 23rd century Films set in the future Films set in the San Francisco Bay Area Films set in Washington, D.
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The Bicentennial Man
Immortality in Science Fiction. Examples in SF Literature. Examples in SF Films. Heinlein
The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories
It was awarded the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for best science fiction novelette of According to the foreword in Robot Visions , Asimov was approached to write a story, along with a number of other authors who would do the same, for a science fiction collection to be published in honor of the United States Bicentennial. However, the arrangement fell through, leaving Asimov's the only story actually completed for the project. Asimov sold the story to Judy-Lynn del Rey , who made some small changes to the text.