In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.
Marshal W.T. O'Niel is assigned to a mining colony on Io, one of Jupiter's moons. During his tenure miners are dying - usually violently. When the marshal investigates he discovers the one thing all the deaths have in common is a lethal amphetamine-type drug, which allows the miners to work continuously for days at a time until they become "burned out" and expire. O'Niel follows the trail of the dealers, which leads to the man overseeing the colony. Now O'Niel must watch his back at every turn, as those who seek to protect their income begin targeting him... Written by
Io is located within the Jupiter's radiation belt and receives about 3,600 rem (36 Sv) of radiation per day. This is approximately ten times more than what is considered to be a lethal dose for humans (estimated to be 400 to 450 rem (4 to 5 sieverts) received over a very short period). Therefor it is highly unlikely that a permanent settlement on IO would be possible even with heavy radiation shielding. Also people are seen in the movie working for extended periods outside on the surface of IO. This would also be highly unlikely due to the intense radiation from the Jupiter. See more »
You know, you haven't your medical all-star here. Company doctors are like ship's doctors. Most are just one shuttle flight ahead of a malpractice suit.
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In the opening credits, the word "Principal" is misspelled. See more »
Both in the Citadel Film Series book The Films of Sean Connery and a quick survey of the user comments here, everyone seems to be conceding that Outland is simply High Noon transferred to outer space. It's not really, but there are certain plot similarities. Of course there were enough similarities that Fred Zinneman stated that Peter Hyams had ripped off his western classic.
For one thing Gary Cooper is a newlywed in High Noon, Sean Connery is a married man with a 12 year old son. His wife however wants him to give up the futuristic law enforcement business, but it's what he knows and because he's such an independent minded fellow who speaks his mind he gets one garbage assignment after another.
Here he's on a mining colony on the Jupiter satellite Io. It's a frontier town, not unlike some in the west. But Hadleyburg in High Noon is passed the wild and woolly frontier days and the impending gunfight is not wanted because it will bring those days back. Gary Cooper dealt with ingratitude, what Connery is dealing with on Io is systemic corruption.
The boss of the place is Peter Boyle the head of mining operations. One of the things he provides are illegal synthetic narcotics which make the men work like mules and increase his productivity. They also eventually fry your brain and you turn paranoid.
Connery notices several suspicious deaths have occurred in the past two years after he's had to deal with some miners who've gone haywire. The presence of narcotics is confirmed by station doctor Frances Sternhagen during an autopsy.
When Boyle's confronted with this, bribery doesn't work so he puts out a contract on Connery. His deputies are all on the pad and the miners won't help either. His one friend in the place is Sternhagen.
In fact acting honors in Outland go to Frances Sternhagen as the tough old bird of a doctor who's also in a kind of exile on Io.
Outland has good special effects and the mining colony on Io is marvelously created with the use of miniatures, much like the Himalayas were in Black Narcissus. But it is better known for a good story and some fine acting by all, especially Sternhagen. It's one of Sean Connery's better films and shouldn't be missed by science fiction fans or Sean Connery's many fans.
So what if it took a few bites out of High Noon.
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