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.
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Richard C. Sarafian
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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
Director Peter Hyams actually handled the cinematography for most of the film. Stephen Goldblatt was misleadingly hired by Hyams, who only wanted him to stand aside and do nothing, and to use him as a scapegoat for the production company in case anything went wrong while using the IntroVision process. According to Goldblatt, he was furious at being lied to and wouldn't have taken the job if he'd known Hyams' intentions at the outset. He stayed on in order to learn how to use IntroVision, and because as a young cinematographer with a sole prior feature credit, quitting a film could have ruined his career. It is the only one of his films whose wrap party he skipped. See more »
While fighting with Ballard out in space, O'Niel grabs his foot to pull him off of a ledge. When he does, you can see his arm and hand inside his glove, showing his spacesuit to be fake. See more »
Outland is brilliant. So many good moments in the movie -the first time you see someones head explode from change of pressure, the bloodied elevator as it returns from the bottom of the mining shaft and the overall excellent visionary style of the mining colony. Connery is perfectly cast as the marshall who cannot be bought and Frances Sternhagen brings much needed warm relief from the terror with her smart, down-to-earth manner. Hyams directs the film with excellent vigour and his choice of filters and lighting, (especially the scene in the prostitues room which is blood red from the emergency lighting), gives an instant impression of heat, fear and so cool relief from the space shots. It could quite easily be overlooked as just another sci-fi flick but I think it established much more the benefits of bringing earth-realism to outer-space than any other film in it's day.(Probably best to watch it, as I did, when you are 10 years old!!)
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