A. R. Kennedy


D.A.R.Y.L. is a 1985 science fiction film which was written by David Ambrose, Allan Scott and Jeffrey Ellis. It was directed by Simon Wincer and stars Barret Oliver, Mary Beth Hurt, Michael McKean, Danny Corkill and Josef Sommer. The original music score was composed by Marvin Hamlisch.


"Daryl" (whose name is an acronym for "Data Analysing Robot Youth Lifeform") is created by the government as an experiment in Artificial Intelligence. One of the original scientists decides to free Daryl, but is killed in the process.

Daryl is then picked up by an orphanage. He does not remember who or what he is. As a normal adolescent boy, Daryl begins to exhibit extraordinary talents after he goes to live with foster parents Joyce and Andy Richardson. We also meet the neighbors of the Richardsons: Howie and Ellen Fox and their children Sherie and Turtle. Much to the astonishment of Turtle, Daryl shows many unusual skills, including uncanny abilities at baseball, interaction with ATMs, and in playing video games.

However, just as the Richardsons have begun to accept Daryl, their new-found happiness is shattered when the Government find him and return him to the facility where he was created. The D.A.R.Y.L. experiment, originally meant and funded by the military to produce a "super-soldier", is considered a failure and the decision is made that he be "terminated". But Dr. Stewart, one of Daryl's designers, decides to free Daryl so he can return to the Richardson family. Unfortunately, one of his colleague, Dr. Lamb, (who earlier posed as Daryl's biological mother) alerts the authorities. In the course of his escape, Daryl gets to demonstrate his driving skills. Alas, the friendly scientist is shot but his dying words assure Daryl that he is indeed a real person. Continuing his escape, Daryl steals and gets to fly a SR-71 Blackbird and fakes his own destruction when the plane is blown up in mid-flight by the U.S.A.F.. Ejecting from the exploding plane, Daryl is finally free to make his way back to the Richardsons but dies when his ejection knocks him unconscious and his parachute falls into a lake, causing him to drown. In the hospital, Dr. Lamb, who had previously been convinced that Daryl was merely a tool, has a change of heart. She repairs his electronic brain, restoring his life, and he is granted another chance to live with the Richardsons. When asked by the military to justify her actions, Dr. Lamb offers a reformulation of the Turing Test: "General, a machine becomes human ... when you can't tell the difference anymore."


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