'Bout Them Apples

August 14, 2013

“When I look at this circuit board, I see God.”

For diehard Apple nerds, “Jobs,” out Friday, is vintage-hardware porn. Using the fantastic website Starring the Computer, a fastidiously maintained list of computers in movies and TV shows, we identified Apple devices that played pivotal roles in films.

IIc
Apple’s first portable computer (not a laptop — you had to add a display) runs the software that [insert gibberish explanation] allows a young Ethan Hawke to travel through space in the 1985 kid-flick “Explorers.”

Newton MessagePad 100
The kidnappers in the 1996 thriller “Ransom” use this early personal digital assistant to make untraceable phone calls. The baddie looks comically unmenacing as he wields the Newton’s tiny stylus.

Powerbook 3400
The chunky gray laptop was the conduit through which AOL issued its famous new-message alert in 1998’s “You’ve Got Mail.” As Starring the Computer notes, “Kathleen [Meg Ryan] demonstrates her gentle, creative nature by using the Apple.”

Clamshell iBook G3
Reese Witherspoon buys this orange-accented laptop after being humiliated at a party in 2001’s “Legally Blonde.” The svelte, festive device accompanies her through a montage in which she fulfills her law-learning potential.

iPad 2
The heroes employ a second-gen iPad, plus a metallic scrim, a camera and a robotic arm, to fool a guard with a holographic hallway in 2011’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.” Thankfully, Siri doesn’t run on this model, or she would have blown their cover.

Holly J. Morris is Express' managing editor for features.
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