Does Rubik's Cube Really Need an Agent? A Look at the Puzzle's Film and TV Career So Far

by Christopher Campbell
November 5, 2010 5:26 AM
1 Comment
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I don't know how true this is, but word is going around that the Rubik's Cube has signed with CAA. Speculation is now out that the agency will work towards packaging a feature film based on the iconic puzzle and '80s accessory. Should we expect something where the cube is anthropomorphic, as in the cartoon series "Rubik, the Amazing Cube"? Or a movie set in the years when the Rubik's Cube was a pop culture phenomenon? Will the cube be a prop of some genius? Or will it be a magical contraption, as it is in "Dude, Where's My Car?"

Whatever CAA manages to do with the item, it'll probably be something already done before. The Rubik's Cube has been making appearances in TV and film for years, and there's been a pretty good surge in the past decade, most recently in "Let Me In," just as it had figured in the original version, "Let the Right One In." As with those two, it tends to show up in movies set in the '80s simply to remind us of the period ("The Pursuit of Happyness," for example), but it has been seen in the present and future for illustrating a character's genius, whether it's Steve Buscemi in "Armageddon" or Eve in "Wall-E."

Take a look back at the film career of the puzzle after the jump and ask yourself whether the Rubik's Cube really needs an agent after all these years.

The header image is from the poster for Sidney Lumet's adaptation of Ira Levin's "Deathtrap," from 1982, a time when the puzzles were a very big deal. I can't recall if a cube is featured in the actual film, but it's pretty great that it has better placement on the one-sheet than stars Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyan Cannon.

Here's the clip of Buscemi in "Armageddon" during the psychological tests given to see if the crew is apt for space travel:




And similar scenes proving intelligence -- real or artificial -- in "The Pursuit of Happyness," "Hellboy," "The Simpsons" and "Wall-E":









"Let the Right One In" (watch a non-embeddable scene here) and "Let Me In":

In "Dude, Where's My Car?" the prominently featured puzzle winds up being (spoiler, sorry) the sought-after "Continuum Transfunctioner":

And here are some relatively meaningless cameos in "Being John Malkovich," "Breaking Dawn" (not the "Twilight" one, sorry) and "Duplicity":







And finally here's a scene from the Rubik's Cube cartoon where Rubik goes camping:

In addition to these examples I could find pics and video for, the puzzle also can be seen in the films "Anchorman" (even if the era seems incorrect for it), "The Wedding Singer," "Knowing," "Brick," "Mindhunters," "UHF" and "The Manhattan Project."

[As I was collecting these clips and images, I came upon this helpful page, which also includes a cameo in "The Machinist"]


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1 Comment

  • Crockett | November 8, 2010 12:50 AMReply

    And don't forget the South East's biggest '80s Tribute band, Rubix Cubed, based out of Florida.
    They Bring their '80s rewind show to the South East US, featuring the Cube as part of it's identity, stage show, and videos.

    Rubix Cubed will be in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba entertaining the troops Veterans' Day weekend, 2010.

    Catch them online at www.RubixCubedBand.com

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