The Creation of the Humanoids (1962)

You almost get the impression that some friends got into a discussion one night about what was going to happen in the future when robots became advanced, and when the evening was over, they decided to put it into a movie. And because they wanted to get it all in, The Creation of the Humanoids ended up being 98% dialogue and 2% action. In one scene after another, characters speak didactically, informing us of the different types of robots, in what ways they are or are not like humans; the effect that robots are having on humans now that they are doing everything humans use to do only better; the relationships between humans and robots; and whether robots will eventually supplant humans altogether. The end result is a low-budget movie with crude special effects that plods along from one dialogue scene to another, with the only redeeming feature being that some interesting ideas about the future of robots are discussed, ideas that are beginning to seem more relevant than ever.

There is an organization of Flesh and Blood that is prejudiced against robots, derisively referring to them as clickers, with obvious similarities to the Ku Klux Klan. The main character, Kenneth Cragis (Don Megowan), who calls himself “the Cragis” for some reason, is a high-ranking member of Flesh and Blood. He doesn’t hate the robots exactly, but he sure doesn’t want his sister to marry one. As a result, he is appalled to find out that his sister is “in rapport” with one of them, and you can guess what that means. When he went to confront her, I almost expected him to call her a clicker lover.

The robots are secretly trying to develop more advanced models, which are electronic duplicates of humans that have recently died, with all their memories implanted in them. They do this not because they are evil, but because they have been programmed to serve man, and they know what is best for man, even if the law actually forbids the development of robots beyond a certain level. These advanced models think they are human, except at special times, when they realize they are robots and report back to the robot temple.

Cragis falls in love with Maxine Megan (Erica Elliott), and they plan to enter into a contract, which is what they call marriage in the future. But then the special moment arrives, and they are taken to the temple, where they find out that they are robots. Cragis realizes that he has all the advantages of being human, with the robotic advantage of living for two hundred years, after which he can be replaced with another duplicate that will have all his memories. It is almost as if, in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Becky and Miles found out that they had already been replaced by a couple of pods, only the pods were an improved variety that also duplicated emotions, making them just like humans, only better, because, being plants, they can live longer.

As for Maxine, when they duplicated her, the robots decided that she was getting a little fat, so they slimmed her down in the duplication process, which is just one more way in which Cragis benefits from this robotic duplication process. They are duplicates of humans in every way, except for being able to reproduce. When Maxine says she wants the fulfillment of having a baby, Dr. Raven (Don Doolittle), the scientist who is behind these duplications, says he thinks that form of producing new robots is a bit crude, but he agrees to take her and Cragis to the last phase of duplication, which will allow her to get pregnant.

In the final shot, Dr. Raven turns to the camera and suggests that as a result of having taken robots to this final stage, we in the audience are robots too.


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