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The Andromeda Strain (1971)

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1:49 | Clip
A team of top scientists work feverishly in a secret, state-of-the-art laboratory to discover what has killed the citizens of a small town and learn how this deadly contagion can be stopped.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), Nelson Gidding (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Hill ... Dr. Jeremy Stone
David Wayne ... Dr. Charles Dutton
James Olson ... Dr. Mark Hall
Kate Reid ... Dr. Ruth Leavitt
Paula Kelly ... Karen Anson
George Mitchell ... Jackson
Ramon Bieri ... Major Manchek
Kermit Murdock ... Dr. Robertson
Richard O'Brien Richard O'Brien ... Grimes
Peter Hobbs ... General Sparks
Eric Christmas ... Senator from Vermont
Mark Jenkins Mark Jenkins ... Lt. Shawn (Piedmont team)
Peter Helm ... Sgt. Crane (Piedmont team)
Joe Di Reda Joe Di Reda ... Wildfire Computer Sgt. Burk (as Joe DiReda)
Carl Reindel Carl Reindel ... Lt. Comroe
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Storyline

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 (Arthur Hill) 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 (David Wayne, Kate Reid, and James Olson, respectively)- 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

Taglines:

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! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La amenaza de Andrómeda See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Crichton was invited to take a tour of Universal Studios during the production of this film. His guide was none other than Steven Spielberg, who went on to adapt Crichton's most successful novel, Jurassic Park (1993). See more »

Goofs

What's left of the oxygen mask recovered at the crash site is a completely different type to the one the pilot was wearing before the crash. See more »

Quotes

[finding the Scoop satellite in a doctor's office, crudely pried open]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: There it is...
[pause]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: why the damn fool opened it!
Dr. Mark Hall: [sarcastically] Yeah, every country doctor should run his office like the Lunar Lab.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is no music over the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Earlier VHS releases showed the scene where Stone and Hall search the town as full screen shots cutting back and forth from them to the victims inside their houses, and does not show the shot of the topless victim. The DVD release shows both searchers and victims simutaniously in reduced size split-screen shots and include the topless woman both in that scene as well as in a later flashback by Stone at Project Wild Fire. See more »

Connections

Referenced in On Location with Westworld (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Gripping
19 May 2000 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

Easily - EASILY - the best film Michael Crichton has had anything to do with. (That is, of the ones I've seen. For the record, the rest are: `Westworld', `The First Great Train Robbery', `Disclosure', `Jurassic Park', `Twister', and `Congo', although I've never made it to the end of `Congo'.) Does this say something about Crichton's career, or the state of film-making, or neither? Can't say.

Whatever - this is pretty darned good science fiction. Sure, it has the vices we've come to expect: scientists with a tendency to act like the crew of the Enterprise, and central protagonists who begin the film by swimming through treacle and end it by leaping tall buildings in a single bound. As for the former problem, well, it's not so bad here as it usually is. As for the latter, well, it's easy to forgive, because we're put through a very tense ride before our heroes crawl out of the treacle - even afterwards. They don't make films this tense these days. Or at least, this particular film would have been less tense if it had been made these days. I don't think a modern director would have resisted the temptation to goof off at some point.

THAT'S part of the charm. The film's idea of how scientists behave is rather a silly one, but at least the scientists aren't forced to act GOOFY in order to show that scientists are really human, after all - as if there was any need to show this. And I'll say this: whatever the scientists were like, the SCIENCE is much more intelligent than a modern public has any right to expect. So far as I could tell (not that I'm an expert in anything) it only stretches into fantasy when it needs to. Wise gives us information, and plenty of it - not techno-babble.

I've heard people snicker at the thirty-year-old look of the film, but I think they're nuts. The art direction is wonderful. In a way it does the same thing as the original Star Trek: it creates a coherent, claustrophobic world by force of sheer simplicity. But to see `The Andromeda Strain' is to see it done WELL.


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