what is decided?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #13
What is decided?
What are these gentlemen deciding?
    Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next ones won’t be held, but published immediately by the system.]

UPDATE 1 (02 February 2012):
What is transmitted?
It seems to be a really tough one this week. I do admit that the movie in question is little known today, but I deem it to be a seminal one. Here are some more hints:
    I could also have asked: ‘What is transmitted?’ and shown the new screenshot above. The information received by the apparatus shown is a direct consequence of the decisions the gentlemen at the conference table in the first screenshot make. But no, they do not decide to build some machine or system, as guessed in the comments. Although in the past they have decided to drive a specific technology forward. What they are deciding now potentially are matters of life and death.

UPDATE 2 (03 February 2012):
Who are they?
If you can guess who or what these people are, than you know what kind of technology the gentlemen at the conference table in the first screenshot had driven forward. From this it only is a small step to the solution.

UPDATE 3 (04 February 2012):
Behind bars
Here’s another screenshot which definitely should lead you towards the technology in question. And maybe you even pick up the other strong hint in this picture.

UPDATE 4 and solution (04 February 2012):
Title Card of 'The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler' (Wynn 1971)
The screenshot in update 3 finally led kueperpunk to the solution. He recognized Leslie Nielsen and so found the movie: ‘The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler’ (Wynn 1971).
    In order to answer the question what the gentlemen in the first screenshot are deciding, I have to tell a bit of the story (some spoilers ahead):
    Investigative TV journalist Harry Walsh (Leslie Nielsen), driving in a car together with his cameraman, comes to the scene of a car accident. He immediately recognizes the nearly fatally wounded victim in the crashed car—presidential candidate Senator Clayton Zachary Wheeler (Bradford Dillman). An ambulance brings Wheeler into the next hospital. Walsh follows, but then Wheeler mysteriously vanishes from the hospital and the official news stories say that he has gone on holiday, fishing somewhere remote. Walsh senses a big-time cover-up and conspiracy, tries to track Wheeler and to find out the truth. Now for the spoilers.
    Years ago a secret committee (first screenshot above), comprising high-ranking politicians and industry leaders, has sponsored a research project in genetic technology. Dr. Redding (James Daly) and his assistant Dr. Layle Johnson (Angie Dickinson) have perfected the technique of cloning human beings. Inside a secret facility, everything financed by the committee, located somewhere in New Mexico’s desert, they grow ‘somas,’ blank human clones (third screenshot above), who nearly have no cognitive functions at all.
    When Zachary Wheeler suffers the nearly fatal accident, his genetic profile is transmitted to the secret facility (second screenshot above). The information is injected into one of the blank clones, who then developes into a double of Wheeler. (In the screenshot above Walsh has discovered a second Wheeler-clone and first thinks it is Wheeler himself.)
    The clone double then serves as a repository of organs, as spare parts. That way it was possible to resurrect Zachary Wheeler. The clone was slaughtered and all the necessary parts transplanted.
    The whole process of course is very costly. Hence the committee maintains a list of people whom they will help with Dr. Redding’s technology. In the first screenshot the committee has a session and decides whom to put on the list and whom not. Of course only people who can help the political and economical goals of the committee will make it to the list.
    Sounds familiar? Well, the core idea—clones as spare parts reservoirs for the rich and powerful—we also have in The Island (Bay 2005). And indeed, there was a copyright infringement suit against ‘The Island’ … by the makers of Parts: The Clonus Horror (Fiveson 1979). It eventually was set out of court. A year before ‘Clonus’ there was Coma (Crichton 1978) based on the novel of the same name by Robin Cook (1977). It has the organ-repository theme, but without cloning. ‘The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler’ predates all this by far, plus it also has that political thriller angle. In my opinion it’s a great injustice that the movie is hardly known today.
    With the presidential elections in the USA under way this year I recommend to you cyberpunk afiçionados: The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer 1962), ‘The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler,‘ and the great novel Interface (Stephenson & Jewsbury 1994).

BAY, MICHAEL. 2005. The island [motion picture]. Universal City, Burbank: Dreamworks, Warner Bros.
COOK, ROBIN. 1977. Coma. New York: Little, Brown & Co.
FIVESON, ROBERT S. 1979. Parts: The Clonus horror (aka Clonus) [motion picture]. ?????: Group 1 International Distribution Organization Ltd.
FRANKENHEIMER, JOHN MICHAEL. 1962. The manchurian candidate [motion picture]. Los Angeles: United Artists.
STEPHENSON, NEAL AND GEORGE JEWSBURY. 1994. Interface. New York: Bantam.
WYNN, BOB. 1971. The resurrection of Zachary Wheeler [motion picture]. ?????: Gold Key Entertainment.



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20 responses to “what is decided?”

  1. Kueperpunk Avatar

    Not too easy. Its a 60s movie right? Its has something to do with spaceflight?

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      The decade is nearly correct, but no spaceflight involved at all :-)

  2. Alexander Rabitsch Avatar
    Alexander Rabitsch

    But not a J.Bond movie ….?

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      No, it’s not a James Bond—it looks like it could be a meeting of the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. executives, granted though. It isn’t, but it is equally spooky, scary, vicious …

  3. klandestino Avatar

    hmm..I comme Icare?

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      Ooooh, my dear friend, that was an unexpected guess—Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a real afiçionado among us! … But, no ;-) I am afraid, no, it is not ‘I … comme Icare’ (Verneuil 1979), or ‘I … as in Icarus’. But in respect to theme and subject of the film you already got very close. Very close.

  4. klandestino Avatar

    Wow, thanks ;) An unexpected answer ;) It’s un awesome film! Mustsee.
    hmm..so its about a conspiracy. An organization within an intelligence agency…ah! Hey, wait! Is it about an organization in which social psychology experiments are conducted (Milgram Experiment – topic of I comme Icaire)?

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      Conspiracy in a way yes, experiments yes, but no social psychology experiments à la Milgram, not at all. Organization yes, intelligence community yes.

  5. kueperpunk Avatar

    They decide to build Colossus? I have no idea :-)).

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      No, they do not decide to build Colossus :-) I have added a new screenshot to the post and have given more hints.

  6. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

    This week it’s really fun—at least for me :-) I again added a new screenshot and some more information.

  7. kueperpunk Avatar

    WTF? It is an american or british movie?

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      It is an American movie.

  8. Alexander Rabitsch Avatar
    Alexander Rabitsch

    biological weapons I guess ….

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      No, not biological weapons.

  9. Fraeon Avatar

    What is the secret…

    of Soylent Green?

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      Oh, how nice, to see old friends visiting here :-) But I am afraid, no, it’s not ‘Soylent Green.’ But keep on … :-)

  10. kueperpunk Avatar

    THE RESURRECTION OF ZACHARY WHEELER, never heard of it before. I had to look for early sci fi movies with leslie nielsen…

    1. zephyrin_xirdal Avatar

      Congratulations, this is correct … I knew that Leslie Nielsen would give it away. I will update the post today with the full background and some interesting connections—then you all will want to see the movie, I am positive.

  11. Alexander Rabitsch Avatar
    Alexander Rabitsch

    Feels like David Gilmour´s >>The Film Club<< ;) Thank god they´ve got this movie on youtube …. :D

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