I forgot to watch R.P.M when TCM aired it — but Ed didn’t:
When the protesting students’ demands to effectively run the university aren’t met by the campus administrators, the students threaten to smash the school’s two million dollar mainframe computer, setting up a not-so-dramatic confrontation between Lockwood and Quinn in front of a primitive first-generation mainframe. At last, Gary Lockwood has his revenge over HAL! Or at least one of HAL’s primitive grandfathers; your iPhone has infinitely more computing power than the giant metal hulking mainframe in the background of this scene.
And we all have more cognitive ability than the two stars in that scene, trapped by a script that left me cheering on the cops once they finally stormed the administration building afterward. So, other than Kramer having two hours of movie time he needed to kill, why wasn’t the college kabuki ended sooner? If I was headmaster of that school, I would have looked at those students the way that Reagan did the striking Air Traffic Controllers in 1981, or the way that long-suffering Dean Wormer finally told the Delta House that they were expelled, shouting, “I want you off this campus at nine o’clock Monday morning, and I’ve contacted your local draft boards and told them that you were all, all eligible for military service!”