New film chronicles the rise and fall of Commodore - TechCentral

New film chronicles the rise and fall of Commodore

The Commodore 64, which was released in 1982

Many people working in the technology industry today got their start on a machine made by Commodore International — a Vic-20, a Commodore 64 or, if they were lucky enough, an Amiga.

A new documentary movie, to be released on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video next month, plans to tell the little-known tale about one of the early big successes in the computer industry.

Backed by a Kickstarter campaign, The Commodore Story promises to explore the rise — and fall — of Commodore and the people that turned it into a household name in computers — long before MS-DOS-powered IBM-compatible PCs became the norm.

Founded by Polish immigrant and Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel in Toronto, Canada in 1954, Commodore played a pivotal role in the 1970s and 1980s in the development of early home computing.

The Commodore Story, a two-hour documentary, includes interviews with Tramiel and other members of the team that built and marketed computers such as the Vic-20, the C-64, the little-known C-128 and the graphics powerhouse, the Amiga. It also features interviews with third-party software and videogame developers, many of whom got their start programming Commodore machines. Watch the trailer below.

The film, produced and directed by Steve Fletcher, will be available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in up to 4K resolution, and will also be made available on Blu-ray disc. The filmmakers plan to release a 50-page book featuring photos and interviews from the documentary.

The Commodore Story was funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which raised £48 990 (about R825 000) from 1 230 backers.

Did you own a Commodore? Which model? Tell us about it in the comments below.  — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media


  1. I had a Vic-20. Good old days of waiting for a game to load from tape only for it to fail after 20 minutes so you had to start again. It had 5kB of RAM. I had a 16kB memory expansion cartridge giving a total of 21k RAM. For the youngsters that’s kB not even MB. CPU running at 1.1 MHz. It had colour though!! ….Just… Whooooo!!

  2. TI 99/4a -> C-64 -> Amiga 500 (still have that one). I was jealous of my neighbor who had a C-128 with that sweet 1571 disk drive. Miss those days for sure!

  3. Vic-20, C-64, C-128, A2000. I ran a BBS on a couple of the platforms. A stack of daisy-chained drives connected via IEEE interface. My start in the industry which I’m still in to this day.

  4. ConservativeRep on

    I was a Commodore Computer dealer. Sold a lot of them. When Jack discovered he could sell a ton more through just a few big box retailers it killed the dealer market. Then they bought Amiga. Can you imagine if they had maintained their dealer market by providing them the larger business models they had designed and them bought Amiga? The new business model had a 3 processor option with 3 operating systems. This was before MS-dos became the leader. The new machine could handle ms-dos, CPM and Commodore operating system.

  5. I still have my Vic-20, Commodore 64 and two Amiga 500’s! I haven’t used them in some years, but I don’t feel like parting with them.

  6. Started with C64, which grew with RAM expander, IEEE, SFD1001’s, 1541’s to have a BBS in NYC. A C128, 1581’s and 9060 5MB hard drive. Then Amiga 500 (2), 2 2000’s with GVP accelerator boards, Video Toaster, Opalvision, SuperGen, and a 3000. An amazing time in computing for me. Amiga, way ahead of it’s time.

  7. Got a Commodore 64 from my mother when I was 13, when I was 19 I used ALL my money on a Amiga 500, after a couple of years I expandet the Amiga 500 with a 63080cpu and 80Mb harddisk.(GVP A520 Turbodrive)

  8. Cesar Machado on

    C-16, C-64C, Amiga 600, Amiga 1200, CD32, and My Amiga 4000. Wow the best and fun!

  9. I was late to the game. My 1-st PC was C64C with datassette. Bought it in 1992 new in Poland in a toy/electronics store. I still have it, never getting rid of it. It is my old old buddy.