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1980s The Lathe of Heaven is a Sci-Fi Classic
The Lathe of Heaven

Based on the novel by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Lathe of Heaven became a sci-fi classic when it was produced by PBS in 1980. Rarely seen since then, it has been one of the most often requested films in PBS’ history. The film was recently rebroadcast on several PBS stations and will finally to be released on video and DVD on on August 29. The DVD will feature a rare, in-depth interview with LeGuin by Bill Moyers. Lathe, which stars Bruce Davison (XMen) is about a man, George Orr, who can make his dreams come true and reshape reality.

To celebrate the video/DVD release, we had a chat with actor Kevin Conway, who played Dr. William Haber in the film. See the transcript here.

A Review by Neb Burgess,

It has been 20 years since the original PBS broadcast, but the feel and flavor were still there. For those of you fortunate enough to see the re-broadcast of The Lathe of Heaven during the recent Pledge drive for PBS, it had to be a thrill.

It was for me because in 1980 when the film was first shown, I was still a teenager and television did not hold a great and promising future for sci-fi. The Lathe of Heaven was a combination of many things all wrapped into a wonderful story line.

Take the Matrix, social issues, alien contact, throw in a little dream master and you have The Lathe of Heaven. It dealt with real world issues such as over population, racism, and the power of dreams. It was a powerful, overwhelming and easily understood sci-fi movie.

It asks two simple questions of the viewer:

  1. What is reality?
  2. Who should have the power to play God?

If either of these questins make you want to stop, think and wake up from the dream, then The Lathe of Heaven is definitely for you.

The official site is at