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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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mark Sheppard
...
Dr. Lazarus
...
Sgt. Montone (as James B. Sikking)
...
Carol O'Niel
...
Ballard
...
Sagan
...
Tarlow
Nicholas Barnes ...
Paul O'Niel
Manning Redwood ...
Lowell
Pat Starr ...
Flo Spector
Hal Galili ...
Nelson
...
Hughes
...
Walters
...
Cane
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Storyline

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 Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Even in space, the ultimate enemy is man. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atmósfera cero  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(MegaSound encoding) (35 mm prints)| (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was originally intended to be set in a western period but Peter Hyams decided to move it into the outer space background due to the influence of Alien and Blade Runner. The original title was Io, but Hyams was persuaded to change the title by an executive from the Ladd Company following a demonstration on random people that many would read the title as number 10 instead. See more »

Goofs

While Marshal O'Neil is outside in his pressure suit, he walks and runs normally, as if he was on Earth. But since Io has only a fraction of Earth's gravity, he should have been moving in slow, hopping steps similar to our astronauts on the Moon. See more »

Quotes

Lazarus: That's pretty good. Playing by yourself and losing. I'd join you in this dumb game if I could play sitting down. Yes, I'm well, thank you. Been pretty busy. Seems there's some kind of 'flu' going around. You have no idea the number of workers who are going to be sick this Sunday.
Marshal William T. O'Neil: What about you? Are you going to be sick this Sunday?
Lazarus: If you're looking for sterling character you're in the wrong place.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the word "Principal" is misspelled. See more »

Connections

References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Recommended
9 July 2006 | by (Maryland) – See all my reviews

What an entertaining movie this is. The plot is believable; the acting, from the minor characters right up to and including the leads, is excellent; the dialogue is natural and realistic (and intelligible); and the special effects have aged well and are quite good, as good as today's CGI stuff. But unlike today's sf movies, it's not the f/x that play the central role here but rather plot, character, and acting.

I can understand some of the comments about some of the movie's science, particularly in the way earth gravity suddenly appears inside buildings and the way people's cranial cavities literally expand like balloons when exposed to near zero pressure, but none of that is central. I'm pleased when I see real science in movies (maybe surprised would be a better term), but if I want science I can read a textbook. Anyway, this shortfall is more than made up for by having a doctor in the movie named Lazarus - over scientific accuracy I'll take a little humor. Or good dialogue, such as when O'Neil, having just chased a perp through half the installation, finally corners him in a kitchen, gets the drop on him, and leveling his shotgun at his desperate kitchen knife-wielding opponent says to him, 'Think it over'.

Comparisons have been made to other movies like High Noon and sf classics like Alien and 2001. I'll leave 2001 go at least until I can figure out how that giant fetus got out there in outer space, but as to Alien, well, in my view Outland compares quite well despite Alien's iconic status. Alien conveys all the niceness of a vat of sulfuric acid. What a bunch of dismal characters inhabited that movie. Outland has a different feel to it and portrays more than a few positive human characteristics (the interaction between O'Neil and his wife is quite affecting although, or maybe because, it takes place via a video screen). And as to this being a 'remake' of High Noon set in outer space, well, it really isn't. In fact there's only one aspect of the plot that is similar (the first half of Outland is a whodunit), though the device of periodically showing a clock to countdown when the bad guys will arrive is of course an obvious imitation. Someone else said that this movie is actually a 'western', and that's true if you mean a movie with a real hero who stands virtually alone despite the odds on the side of right vs. wrong (though he does get a little help especially from one particular rather brave woman). Basically though, this is just a very good movie that makes good use of and occasionally even exceeds the limits of its genre. It's got plenty of action and suspense and not a single dead spot. It's worth seeing.


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