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Outland (1981)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Sci-Fi  |  22 May 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 20,302 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 69 critic

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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Title: Outland (1981)

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Sheppard
Dr. Lazarus
Sgt. Montone (as James B. Sikking)
Carol O'Niel
Nicholas Barnes ...
Paul O'Niel
Manning Redwood ...
Pat Starr ...
Flo Spector
Hal Galili ...
Stuart Milligan ...


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


On Jupiter's moon he's the only law. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atmósfera cero  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When Spota is shown walking through the locker room he he passing behind a man wear a red hat as he open his locker to change before continuing further down center aisle. A few seconds later Spota is shown passing behind the exact same man (now shirtless and with no hat) a second time. While it's possible that Spota doubled back it is unlikely because he is shown entering both shots from the same direction. if he had doubled back he would have been coming from the opposite direction in order to pass the man the second time. See more »


Marshal William T. O'Neil: Hey, Sheppard. Guess what I just found in a meat locker.
Station Manager Sheppard: Y'know, I have a feeling that you'll tell me even if I don't guess.
Marshal William T. O'Neil: 250 pounds of hamburger named Yario that works for you. I also found your shipment of PDE. So, I threw the hamburger in the jail, and the PDE in the toilet. Or was it the other way around? I can't remember now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An impression of the films style
22 August 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

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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Old Tech all over the Movie mwromano-793-127406
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