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Movie Robot Bracket Game: Maria Vs. Gort

Maria Vs. Gort

With Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction movie, Chappie, opening March 6, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most memorable robot characters in movie history.  Some of them are good, some of them want to kill us.  Some of them look like humans and others are clearly machines.  Robots have been part of movies since the early silent picture days.  In this bracket game, we pick our favorites.

Robots

In our first match-up, R2-D2 trounced 50’s sci-fi icon, Robby the Robot with a whopping 91% of the vote.  As someone said in the comments section, that little droid is going to be tough to beat.

If you thought Robby the Robot was classic science fiction, he’s got nothing on today’s match.  This one goes all the way back to the silent era.  Today, we’re pitting Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still against Maria from Metropolis.

The original version of The Day the Earth Stood Still was released in 1951.  It’s based on a short story titled Farewell to the Master which was published in 1940.  In the story, an alien and a robot visit earth with a message for its leaders. In the movie, Gort never speaks.  But when threatened, he uses a laser to melt weaponry.

The Day the Earth Stood Still was very well-received when it was released and remains a science fiction classic.  It was remade in 2008 with Keanu Reeves playing the alien who comes to Earth.  The remake, didn’t fare as well.

Maria is one of many names given to the robot in Fritz Lang’s classic silent film, Metropolis.  The German expressionist movie tells the story of a futuristic society with sharp divisions between the working class and the city planners.  Some things never seem to change.

The robot Maria is credited as the first robot in movie history.  She’s inspired countless science fiction imitators including most notably C-3PO who is basically a male version of the famous gold robot.

Despite the fact that Metropolis is currently revered as a major milestone in cinema, that was not always so. The movie was released to mixed reviews.  While most critics agreed it was a great technological accomplishment, some found the story simplistic.

Both Maria and Gort were inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame as part of the third class of inductees in 2006.

Le Blog

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Posted on February 27, 2015, in bracket game, Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I’m going with Maria here. Her visual design is far superior to the very boring look of Gort, who to be fair does have the better name. I can’t imagine that Dot Matrix, the only other female robot in the bracket will go far, either.

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    • This one is almost a coin toss for me. Maria has the better visual design. But I went with Gort. I just prefer cheesy 50s sci fi to German expressionist silent movies.

      Back in my movie theater manager days we had a pinball machine in the lobby which was based on a female robot sort of based on Maria. It was called the Bride of Pinbot. It was really more appropriate for a bar setting than a movie theater. It had different settings. During the day, we had it one it’s regular setting. But at night after we had closed the place down, we would switch it over to the PG-13 setting where it would make noises that would not have been appropriate during business hours.

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  2. There’s just not enough female robots in sci-fi films. Maria, Dot Matrix, the hot chick from Terminator 3….. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few others. Wait. Do the tempting, seductive fem-bots from Austin Powers count? I like to see girls of that….. caliber.

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  3. I don’t have strong feelings either way, but since Metropolis is one of the most important films ever made (for historical technical reasons), I went with Maria.

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  4. I’m going with Maria on the grounds that any kind of robot is incredible spfx for the mid-1920s. But as lebeau says, whoever wins this is not getting past R2-D2.

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