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The Adding Machine

The Adding Machine(1969)

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Remind Me

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Mr. Zero has worked for 25 years as a bookkeeper in a large department store. Married to a nagging wife, he dreams of a romance with Daisy, one of his co-workers, but he is too shy to confess his affection for her. Zero is on the verge of asking his boss, Mr. Smithers, for a raise, when he learns that he is to be replaced by an adding machine. In a fit of rage, he murders Smithers with a letter opener. Despite an emotional appeal to the jury at his trial, Zero is convicted and sentenced to death. Awaiting execution, he meets Shrdlu, a religious fanatic who has murdered his mother. The two men are executed and find themselves transported to heaven, which resembles a huge carnival. Zero also finds Daisy, who had loved him so much that she committed suicide shortly after his death. They have a brief romantic interlude, but he is uncomfortable in a place where no one works, so he takes a job in heaven's accounting office. Thirty years later, Zero is called before Lieutenant Charles, the head of the office, and informed that it is time for him to return to Earth to begin a new life. When Zero expresses disbelief at the continuing cycle, the lieutenant tells him that he has been through the process many times before and that with each reincarnation he becomes more of an automaton. Though Zero pleads for compassion, the lieutenant only offers him a final glimpse of Daisy.