Taglines: WANTED – Be on the lookout for this gang of misfit robots.
Val Com 17485 (Andy Kaufman), a robot designed to be a valet with a specialty in lumber commodities, meets Aqua Com 89045 (Bernadette Peters), a hostess companion robot whose primary function is to assist at poolside parties. At a factory awaiting repairs, they fall in love and decide to escape, stealing a van from the company to do so.
They embark on a quest to find a place to live, as well as satisfy their more immediate need for a fresh electrical supply. They assemble a small robot, Phil, built out of spare parts, whom they treat as their child, and are joined by Catskill, a mechanical standup comic (which is seen sitting the entire film).
A malfunctioning law-enforcement robot, the Crimebuster, overhears the orders of the repair workers to get the robots back and goes after the fugitives. With the help of humans who run a junkyard, and using Catskill’s battery pack, the robots are able to save Phil before running out of power and being returned to the factory. Brought back to the factory the robots are repeatedly repaired and their memories cleared. Because they continue to malfunction they are junked.
Heartbeeps is a 1981 romantic science fiction comedy film about two robots who fall in love and decide to strike out on their own. It was directed by Allan Arkush, and starred Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters as the robots. This was Kaufman’s final performance in a theatrical film. Stan Winston’s make-up work for Heartbeeps made him one of the nominees for the inaugural Academy Award for Best Makeup in 1982, losing to An American Werewolf in London.
Directed by: Allan Arkush
Starring: Andy Kaufman, Bernadette Peters, Randy Quaid, Kenneth McMillan, Melanie Mayron, Christopher Guest, Kathleen Freeman, Mary Woronov
Screenplay by: John Hill
Production Design by: John W. Corso
Cinematography by: Charles Rosher Jr.
Film Editing by: Tina Hirsch
Costume Design by: Madeline Ann Graneto
Set Decoration by: Marc E. Meyer Jr.
Music by: John Williams
istributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 18, 1981