This Old Mac: Movie Props

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff

Children of Men (TAM) 1As a Mac geek I am constantly “sighting” Macs when they are used by Hollywood as props in movies and TV shows. Most often you will see Apple’s latest and greatest systems and technology, but every now and then the older stuff surfaces too. Check out the Twentieth Anniversary Edition Mac (TAM) listener Ryan noticed recently in the film Children of Men.

I was sitting in the movie theatre this afternoon watching Children of Men, (for the second time) It is the best film i have seen in a while and if you haven’t watched it yet… go.
Children of Men (TAM) 2There was a scene in the movie where the bad guys are breaking on to a property of the good guys (Clive Owen & Michael Caine) tripping a perimeter alarm. When the good guys rush to the monitor to see who it is on the “video screen” I thought: ‘That’s funny that kinda looks like a 20th Anniversary Macintosh.’ I took another closer look and i believe it is indeed the TAM without the apple logo. Now i know this isn’t groundbreaking news on the magnitude of Brittany Spears without underpants or Iraq or something… but well i get kinda jazzed about seeing macs on tv and in film like other mac geeks. Ok i admit it! And well this movie is dark and cool and set in a bleak 2027 so i thought it was extra cool. Maybe some other mac geeks might think so too. (My girlfriend wasn’t all that impressed). So what to do… i don’t know tell another mac geek who speaks to other mac geeks…. so there you go. no biggie just kinda neat…

Don’t feel bad Ryan, my wife is “not impressed” by my Mac sightings either. That’s why we have each other. :)

There are 28 comments on This Old Mac: Movie Props:

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  1. Dale | Feb 14 2007 - 04:17

    ‘A Mac!’ it’s said every-time we see one watching a show or film together.

    Yes, even on occasion I’ll rewind to determine what model. Thanks, I know I am not alone now : )

  2. atomizer | Feb 14 2007 - 04:00

    Wow that’s pretty awesome! I didn’t notice it while watching the movie

  3. Jack | Feb 14 2007 - 05:39

    I’m pretty lucky. My wife gets excited at Mac sightings. :)

    Nice find.

  4. will | Feb 14 2007 - 10:31

    I see macs in movies sometimes too, and say, “oh awesome, a mac” it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I mostly see imac G5/intel, macbooks and powerbooks (i often wish i had a macbook, i have an old igloo imac G4)

  5. Tom | Feb 14 2007 - 10:05

    I do this all the time, I love doing it with older movies too, it makes it twice as fun!

  6. DanMac | Feb 14 2007 - 11:28

    they should leave the Apple logo!

  7. Frank | Feb 15 2007 - 03:07

    I am always amazed at the number of Macs sighted on TV and in films. You’d think Mac had a 70% market share.

    What really bugs me is the number of times they cover over the Apple logo… it’s just a shame all that free advertising is lost!

  8. Dave | Feb 15 2007 - 10:22

    Have you ever noticed that in TV shows and movies everytime directors show their different characters working on a computer its either a Mac or a Dell.
    Take the WB’s long running show “Charmed”, one of the characters works for a newspaper and she has an iMac (G5 or Intel) sitting on the desk in her office. That’s just cool. Or the movie Office Space with Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston. I believe that’s OS 9 their using at Innotech, I could be wrong though, but it did come out in 1999.

  9. kisasi | Feb 15 2007 - 04:48

    yeah, there’s a lot of us out there that make all kinds of mental notes with these sightings….like how at least 70% of all broadcast ads that show webpages are using Safari in some kind of fullscreen mode…

    but thanks! really…I didn’t notice that machine was a mac. I had a feeling though…

  10. Ted T. | Feb 16 2007 - 08:23

    About the covered up logo: it was always visible in Veronica Mars (season one and most of season two) but in the last few S2 episodes Veronica’s PowerBook always has some strategically placed object it front of it covering up the logo. I wonder what made them change?

    Although Veronica Mars will always be a Mac happy show — after all, the resident computer geek’s name is Mac…

    Angel was probably the most extreme Mac show — not only did the good guys use Macs, but the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart had huge Apple Cinema Displays all over the place.

    And of course there was the classic Mac vs. IBM battle in “You’ve Got Mail” girl — Mac; boy — IBM.

  11. Matt | Feb 17 2007 - 12:31

    Good to know I’m not the only one that rewinds a movie just to see the model.

    Worse than covering the logo… I find it sort of funny when a movie shows someone using an obvious PowerBook G4 but there’s a logo of some other fruit… like a pear… classic!

  12. Randy | Feb 18 2007 - 03:50

    Apple is very smart – they have a small office in LA that exists solely to provide movies and TV shows with Macs.

    Let’s see, iMacs on Drew Carey, various models in Kevin Smith films – “What the **** is the Internet?” , Alfred using a 20th Anniversary in one of the Batman movies, there’s a lot to find.

    I’m fairly sure the ones I see on Mythbusters were purchased.

    Even more fun is the number of Microsoft Windows ads Macs have appeared in. Ad agencies use Macs…Art directors use stock photos… Stock photos will get you every time. :-)

  13. Andrew Schmitt | Feb 18 2007 - 07:31

    Macs are all over 24 this season…Cinema Displays, MacBooks…I see the Apple logo a lot

  14. Jerald Bernard | Feb 19 2007 - 12:43

    And of course, who could forget the classic Mac sighting in Back to the Future, Part II. The scene where Marty goes to the future and he looks in the “antique” store window where he purchases the sports almanac. There is a 512K/Macintosh Plus in the window.


  15. ulfstein | Feb 19 2007 - 12:04

    For many years and I my company used to supply films with Macs and would also generate the animations for playback (Mission: impossible 1 & 2, Lost in Space, The Saint, The Jackal etc). One of the most annoying things we’d regularly have to go through is trying to cover up the fact that it was a Mac.

    Something that was very cool was having access to the never released ‘Copeland’ as the interface in the “The Saint” – that was great fun. Notice that the good guy used Mac and the bad guys used Windows!!!

  16. ulfstein | Feb 19 2007 - 12:59

    For many years I and my company used to supply films with Macs and would also generate the animations for playback (Mission: impossible 1 & 2, Lost in Space, The Saint, The Jackal, Eyes Wide Shut etc). One of the most annoying things we’d regularly have to go through is trying to cover up the fact that it was a Mac.

    Something that was very cool was having access to the never-released ‘Copeland’ as the interface in the “The Saint” – that was great fun. Notice that the good guy used Mac and the bad guys used Windows!!!

  17. Nendoke | Feb 19 2007 - 12:49

    Haha, Great point.
    Actually Macs always are in front of our times,
    I guess I can live in 2100 with my Mac.
    ; )

  18. Faceorkneecaps | Feb 19 2007 - 10:26

    And then you see this intelligent handsome programmer that needs to use his skills for the good of the world, using a linux terminal. Thats right, not some bimbo showing a video of her mambo from the latest slumber party.

    Sorry …just had to when I heard charmed :)

    start flaming right about now!

  19. Bud | Feb 19 2007 - 10:44

    Wasn’t there a 20th Anniversary Mac in the later episodes of Seinfeld?

  20. guy | Feb 19 2007 - 11:16

    children of men was a horrible movie…so much potential for a movie that didnt go anywhere

  21. Me | Feb 19 2007 - 12:38

    Who cares, macs suck anyways.

  22. Lindy | Feb 19 2007 - 01:58

    Hi Fellow Mac Spotters,
    I just saw Breach. In the movie Hannsen tells Eric to grab (steal) new computers just sitting around in the (FBI) hallways, for their use at work, of course.
    Next scene Eric is cutting shrink wrap off a bunch of boxes marked Dell.
    Later in the movie I see Eric at his desk and his computer screen is Mac OS 9!!!
    Lindy (female Mac Junkie)
    PS…the Mac in Seinfeld, which I don’t believe was ever USED in the show … was a Mac Classic.

  23. Joel | Feb 19 2007 - 02:22

    have you people never heard of product placements?

    apple pay to have their products used in films and TV shows, that is why are so common.

    not that it isn’t nice to see their gleaming white exterior on my rather small TV set.

  24. cymbaltapper | Feb 19 2007 - 02:45

    Yeah, macs are everywhere and its great. EXCEPT when they are used horribly wrong.

    Check out Old School for instance. The scene where the guys are cheating on the test with the van outside looking up the answers – they are using a mac laptop (too lazy to watch it again right now to tell you if it is a powerbook or ibook) but when it cuts to the laptop screen they are using Windows. ARGH! What crappy editing, I’ll never forgive them for that.

  25. modifoo | Feb 20 2007 - 04:35

    I had to laugh out once when I visited a huge electronics chain here in Norway. On the walls they had huge banners showing the products that were on offer. For PCs, they used a close-up of a PowerBook.

    Naturally, in the store, only window$ machines were on offer.

    If only designers had their way more often…

  26. Tom | Mar 14 2007 - 04:25

    Mac’s are always on Spooks on BBC1, Good ole’ product placement at its best…

  27. Movie Props | Jun 02 2007 - 04:50

    The reason you see Macs in movies as props is because the movie industry is full of mac lovers.

  28. Sean Clarachs | May 12 2009 - 05:17

    Funny stuff. I loved just seeing the term “20th century Macs” reminds me of my days on my old Apple IIe and playing that old game called “winter games” haha fun stuff. But yea Macs do NEED to get more love in our culture and they will even more in the years to come. Just look at all the commercials that are out now…