Macintosh 1984

Review by
Robert Wilfred Franson

Apple Computer commercial

Director: Ridley Scott
Producers: Lee Clow, Jay Chiat
Writers: Brent Thomas, Steve Hayden

  • Anya Major — athlete with sledgehammer

Chiat-Day for Apple Computer: 1984

1 minute May 2008


For thirty-five years after George Orwell's science-fiction novel 1984 was published in 1948, thoughtful people were wondering if the world in the year 1984 would turn out to be such a gray and repressive dystopia as Orwell depicted. Not quite a looming fear, but as many liberties seemed inexorably eroding in the democracies, one might wonder and worry now and then —

Steve Jobs and the Macintosh development team at Apple Computer didn't think so; in fact, they believed that Macintosh would be the greatest single reason why independence and creativity would ensure the world was on a better path from 1984 forward.

Macintosh 1984 ran during the televised Super Bowl XVIII (a game played with a non-spherical ball), on 28 January 1984, but it was repeated on many news programs. It remains a much-discussed minute of film, and is arguably the most significant standalone commercial ever aired on television.

Histories of the Macintosh with nice discussion of the commercial include Steven Levy's Insanely Great and Andy Herzfeld's Revolution in the Valley.

Seek out the commercial on the Web; it's available at a number of sites.

Macintosh 1984 still is fun to watch. And as Anya Major runs to strike a blow for freedom from enforced conformity, you may catch yourself breathing a small sigh of relief, or with a thoughtful nod of agreement.


On January 24th,
Apple Computer will introduce
And you'll see why 1984
won't be like "1984."


Apple Macintosh

© 2008 Robert Wilfred Franson

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