The Andromeda Strain (1971)

G  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  12 March 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 24,313 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
See  »

Did You Know?


The Central Core set required the digging of a 70-ft.-deep by 40-ft.-wide hole in a soundstage. See more »


When Hall first uses the Medcom program on the computer in Level 5, the word "analysis" is misspelled as "ANALYS". See more »


[Jackson grabs the nurse's thigh while being examined]
Karen Anson: Feeling "better" aren't you, Mr. Jackson?
Jackson: ee-YEP!
Jackson: You always have to wear that "iron suit"?
Karen Anson: [imitating Jackson] ee-YEP!
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 Making the 'Lost World' (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The finest example of how to make science-fiction movies
23 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

The Andromeda Strain is virtually perfect. And it doesn't need the special effects of Alien to succeed in telling the similar story of alien life and our contact with it. The movie is captivating right from the starting credits that introduce us to story. Of course, the director had a brilliant novel of Michael Crichton, but he also did his best to bring this novel to the screen sacrificing neither the main idea, nor the minor details. Actually, all the details that mark every scientific thriller by Crichton are there in the film. The Andromeda Strain doesn't have any dinosaurs, it only has a small virus, but overall it is a much better film than any of the Jurassic Parks. And it succeeds in telling us a great story about science much better than some modern CGI-filled movies like Invisible Man.

Finally, the acting is flawless, the actors are great, sets are excellent. If you want to see a great sci-fi movie, choose this one and you want be disappointed.

72 of 91 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
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Universal billed it as a family film! mike_cable
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