Skip Links

EXCLUSIVE: Watch Steve Jobs play FDR in Apple's long-lost takeoff on famous '1984' Macintosh TV commercial

Nine-minute film called '1944' was produced to inspire Apple sales team to take on IBM

By Paul McNamara on Wed, 05/02/12 - 10:37am.

While professional actors play the key roles in "1944," there are other Apple employees besides Jobs on screen, including Mike Murray, then vice president of marketing, as The General, according to Elliott. Because allegations that Macintosh lacked software had dogged Apple prior to its release, the film takes pains in several places to counter that criticism, including purported pledges of support from Microsoft's Bill Gates, as well as Mitch Kapor of pre-IBM Lotus Development Corp. The crate smashed open by the hammer thrower spills a pile of software.

(2012’s 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

(Update: Among the reviews of "1944": Bizarre, weird, bananas, disturbing.)

(Update 2, May 8: Three who helped make "1944" tell how Jobs came to play FDR and Charlie Chaplin almost had a "cameo.") 

Here's a transcript of "1944":

A colonel addresses the troops

Narrator: "Assault ... landing ... the first beachhead of freedom on a vast continent of oppression. The start of a long fight for liberation, a fight against all odds. And leading the forces of freedom is ... Macintosh."


(Colonel arrives in Jeep; soldiers gather round.)

Colonel: "Troops of the Fighting 32nd, we have taken the beachhead."


"But now it's time for our next assault. The enemy is here, and here, and here."

(Points to map labeled IBM.)

"We shall advance."


"Millions are held captive by enemy machinery, wasting hour upon hour, processing processes, thinking about thinking, accomplishing ... nothing."

(Cut to images of zombie-like office workers)

"Yes, they have the plague, but we have the cure. We have a vision of a new kind of office, the MacIntosh office."

(Wild cheers)

"One Mac can change a person's way of life. Imagine the power of many Macs tied together in the MacIntosh office. Imagine the power of Mac offices multiplying around the globe, the power to smash the Big Blue monoblob."

(More wild cheering, followed by a lone voice)

Soldier: "How we going to do it, sir?"

"That's an excellent question, corporal. ... (cut to name tag on uniform that reads: WOZYSLOZMNSKI) .. Y-ya, Y-ye? ..."

Soldier: "They call me Fat Bit, sir"

Colonel, continuing: "We'll fight them in the office, and the classroom, and the desktop, with superior weapons - hardware - newly developed ammo - software, and lots of it. ... Remember, the enemy is big, but we are smart. They are the elephant, we are the mouse." 

(More cheering, and the Colonel begins to walk away)

Colonel: "One more thing: Let us never forget the glorious victories of the past: World War I, World War II, Two-Plus, Two-E, and Two-C"

One solider to another: "What about 3?"

Second soldier: "We don't talk about 3."