There’s a star among stars in the 2019 film Glass by renowned screenwriter and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan which has its origins from Cupertino, California, and it briefly shares screen time with some high profile Hollywood actors — and the cameo is made by none other than? The iMac G3!
The film, which opened in U.S. theaters on January 18, is about three individuals living in a world where comic books are actually a historical account of the existence of people with superhuman abilities, themselves possessing such.
Take for instance David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis), who is a security guard that can bend steel and has bulletproof skin akin to DC Comics’ own Superman. Or the evil Kevin Wendell Crumb (played by James McAvoy), also known as The Beast, who is a disturbed individual with a multiple personalities disorder — 24 to be exact! — and one of them turns him into a monstrous killer that can scale walls like another comic book character, except a superhero, Spider-Man from Marvel Comics.
Glass is itself a sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable, where the character of Dunn was first introduced, and 2017’s Split, which focuses on the character of Crumb. The 2019 film is the third installment, which rounds up the trilogy by Shyamalan.
So, did you catch the iMac yourself, or were you completely oblivious to its presence on screen after the resolution of the climax?
The specific scene in the sequel which features the iconic Apple computer — which co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs unveiled in 1998 — occurs towards the end of the film after the climactic action between the main characters takes place.
In the scene, the actress playing the mother of the character Elijah Price (played by Samuel L. Jackson), also known as Mr. Glass, is alerted to an incoming email on her computer, which is clearly an iMac G3. Although you wouldn’t have known had you not been looking or paying attention since the alert sounds were not Mac OS system alerts, which are easily recognizable and very distinguishable being unique as they are.
Speaking of alerts, it was my own sibling — who saw the film before I did — that alerted me to the iMac G3 being on screen. She immediately recognize the computer as it was similar to the model, the original tray-loading optical drive version (though unknown if exact color, which was Bondi blue), as the one we owned when we were younger, our second family computer, when my sister was starting high school and I was still in college.
Because the scene was in a dark room, my sister wasn’t sure if she was mistaken, after the fact, but my friend that accompanied me to the movie said — after I asked him if he noticed what kind of computer the mother of Elijah Price had — that it was 100% an old iMac (which he thought was the one in Indigo, the slot-loading optical drive DV model of the iMac G3) like the ones he had used as a kid in elementary school.
I suspect that a more-than-two-decades-old Mac was used in the film to account for the time period Glass takes place, considering that the first installment, Unbreakable, was released in 2000 and this film is a sequel, albeit coming out only 19 years later. But I can’t confirm this and it’s pure speculation on my part because I have not seen Unbreakable and have not seen — in literal terms being visually impaired and completely blind since 2013 (a fact that my regular readers already know) — the scenery and props used in Glass and Split to make a determination of the time period all three films take place.
Macs in Other Films
This is not the first time I have noticed, albeit in this particular instance through others, the Mac having a cameo and starring in a film.
Back in 2007, when I was not yet visually impaired, I spotted a white iBook G3 (or G4?), an aluminum PowerBook G4 (or perhaps an original MacBook Pro?), and an Apple Cinema Display in the film Transformers (something I recently recalled over on MacPrices, another website I write for, on the day that the prequel Bumblebee was released in U.S. theaters on December 21, 2018). Unfortunately, those Macs were not disguises for the robots, Autobots or Decepticons, that transformed in the film (to my dismay!).
The last time I saw Macs sharing screen time in a film was in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes — the first installment in a trilogy of prequels in the iconic sci-fi film and subsequent TV series — where the scientists performing experiments on their Simian counterparts were using aluminum iMac computers for their work and research — as was the same Mac used at home by the main character played by James Franco.
Of course, who could ever forget that classic and comedic scene from the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home when Scotty (played by the late James Doohan), not in his own time period as the crew of the USS Enterprise — the starship, not the aircraft carrier, which is also in the film — has traveled back to the 1980s and seated in front of a Mac Plus first speaks to the computer — but when he doesn’t get a response, takes the computer’s mouse and talks into it (and still does not get a response).
That scene is one of the earliest films I saw that featured a Mac in it and is especially memorable for me too, personally, for two reasons: first, as a die-hard Star Trek fan and Apple fanboy too, and second, because the film was set in the San Francisco Bay Area. My place of residence, and in particular, the city where the naval air station of the homeport of the USS Enterprise was stationed — though not filmed on location and the base never actually seen in the film — was my hometown and I grew up on that very base!
Sadly, I must admit here that I never knew or realized that was a Mac until probably last year when I wrote an article here in my column about alternate computing interfaces and Dan Knight, the publisher of this very website, included — to my delight — the same photo above of Scotty talking to a computer as an example to illustrate voice control.
What other films have you seen a Mac or any other Apple product for that matter — such as the iconic iPod as seen in 2017’s Baby Driver (co-starring Jamie Foxx) — and what was the scene involving the brief cameo? I’d love to know and share it with other readers! Drop me a line at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment either at the end of this article or in the corresponding post on our Facebook group with a link to this article.
For more information — such as cast & crew, trailers, and reviews — on the film Glass (rated PG-13), follow this link on IMDb, the Internet Movie Database.
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