The Andromeda Strain (1971)

G  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  12 March 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 24,576 users  
Reviews: 170 user | 53 critic

A group of scientists investigates a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Hill ...
George Mitchell ...
Ramon Bieri ...
Major Manchek
Kermit Murdock ...
Dr. Robertson
Richard O'Brien ...
Peter Hobbs ...
General Sparks
Senator from Vermont
Mark Jenkins ...
Lt. Shawn (Piedmont team)
Peter Helm ...
Sgt. Crane (Piedmont team)
Joe Di Reda ...
Wildfire Computer Sgt. Burk (as Joe DiReda)
Carl Reindel ...
Lt. Comroe


When virtually all of the residents of Piedmont, New Mexico, are found dead after the return to Earth of a space satellite, the head of the US Air Force's Project Scoop declares an emergency. Many years prior to this incident, a group of eminent scientists led by Dr. Jeremy Stone advocated for the construction of a secure laboratory facility that would serve as a base in the event an alien biological life form was returned to Earth from a space mission. Stone and his team - Drs. Dutton, Leavitt and Hall - go to the facility, known as Wildfire, and try to first isolate the life form while determining why two people from Piedmont (an old wino and a six-month-old baby) survived. The scientists methodically study the alien life form unaware that it has already mutated and presents a far greater danger in the lab, which is equipped with a nuclear self-destruct device should it manage to escape. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The picture runs 130 minutes!... The story covers 96 of the most critical hours in man's history!... The suspense will last through your lifetime!


Sci-Fi | Thriller


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Andromeda - Tödlicher Staub aus dem All  »

Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mapping data shown for location of WildFire was from a Aeronautical Sectional Chart. The location of WildFire, as depicted, is just North of Searchlight NV and East of I-95 at approximately N35:31.94 W114:52.80. The statement regarding the reason for selection of the site was that there was no inhabitable area for a radius of 112 miles was erroneous since Las Vegas is only 27nm miles north. See more »


Reflections of the camera team and some studio lights can be seen in the glass visor of the scientist's helmet, right after his initial encounter with the old man. See more »


Mic-T: A.A. analysis results are ready, Dr. Dutton.
Dr. Charles Dutton: Something's wrong. It's not registering.
Mic-T: Yes, it is, sir. It's just registering double-zero, double-zero.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits read: "ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This film concerns the four-day history of a major American scientific crisis. We received the generous help of many people attached to Project Scoop at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Wildfire Laboratory in Flatrock, Nevada. They encouraged us to tell the story accurately and in detail." "The documents presented here are soon to be made public. They do not in any way jeopardize the national security." See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: The Haunting (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Love this film
28 September 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I really love this film, and its funny because most people Complain about its slow pace, but I believe that this is one of the reasons that the film is so good, and pace does build up towards the end.

I understand that this film isn't for everybody, but I am a Michael Crichton fan, and I enjoy the way he introduces his sci-fi characters into his novels.

I agree with other user comments that this film was way before its time, and disagree with others who don't seem to be able to differentiate between the music and the sounds in the film.

The film has so many qualities, and is a must see for any sci-fi fan.


45 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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why did the woman scientist lie about the no growth? ksinelli
More similar films please! rpb140990
Universal billed it as a family film! mike_cable
G-Rated machtyn
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What?! Leavitt? A WOMAN? ahhelga
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