The video: Apparently, Steve Jobs had theatrical aspirations. In a recently-surfaced short film that quickly went viral Thursday, the Apple visionary puts his spin on former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Watch the clip below.) The World War II-harkening footage, dubbed "1944," was produced on the heels of the company's landmark 1984 Super Bowl commercial based on George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984, and follows Apple soldiers' scrappy attempts to bring down a big, bad IBM army. Jobs as FDR pops up for a brief cameo to motivate his troops: "You and your brave fighting force have a rendesvouz with destiny," a grinning, cigarette-smoking Jobs says. "Your battle will be long. It will be hard. But it will be won. I am sure your victory will be great. Insanely great." The clip was created for Apple's international sales team, and shown during a 1984 company retreat in Hawaii. Snippets of the "impossibly weird" film screened occasionally at corporate events over the years, but this is the first time the entire thing has been seen by the public.
The reaction: "This is the most bizarre thing," says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. "How rampant was the drug use at Apple's '80s Hawaiian retreat?" Indeed, this vintage footage is "eccentric, puzzling, and perhaps even disturbing," says Darren Murph at Endgadget. But for Jobs' battalion of loyal followers, this will be the "fanboy film to end all fanboy films." As for Jobs' take on FDR? "He certainly committed to the accent," says Torie Bosch at Slate. But he doesn't quite pull it off. Judge for yourself:
Jobs as FDR:
The entire nine-minute film:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Chuck Hagel was a huge mistake
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- 5 quick things you can do today to boost your creativity
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What would it take for humans to build a settlement on Mars?
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why we gossip, according to science
Subscribe to the Week