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The Andromeda Strain (1971)

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A group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.

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:

Rated G...But May Be Too INTENSE For Younger Children 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:

Andromeda - Tödlicher Staub aus dem All See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,376,563, 31 December 1971
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

Screen writer Nelson Gedding read numerous science fiction books while researching for his work on this film. To further his self education, he attempted to look up all of the items listed in the Bibliography section in Crichton's original book. To his surprise, he discovered they were all made up as the book is a work of fiction. In fact, as you peruse the list you will notice that several items are accredited to characters in the novel. Gedding took this lesson to heart and imaginatively created most of the techo-jargon used in the film, especially for the highly detailed printed props and the station wide announcements heard throughout the lab. See more »

Goofs

When the scientists in Piedmont check the dead driver of the satellite recovery van, his eyes are glistening wet. He had been dead for many hours, so they should have been dried out. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jeremy Stone: According to this, there'll be a super-colony of Andromeda over the entire southwest in...
Dr. Charles Dutton: Jeremy! These are biological *warfare* maps!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Why, yes... so they are... uh... but... simulations, Charlie. Defensive... it's just a scenario.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: That's not the POINT, for God's sake! Wildfire was built for germ warfare! Wildfire AND Scoop! And you knew, Stone! YOU KNEW IT!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: That's not true, Ruth! I learned about Scoop the same time you did!
Dr. Charles Dutton: They already have Andromeda programmed! The purpose of Scoop was to ...
[...]
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 Gone Home (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Suspenseful sci-fi thriller with brains
25 April 2000 | by DarkObserverSee all my reviews

The first time I saw this movie I was still in my early teens. Already having an interest in the sciences and the movies, "Andromeda Strain" really caught my attention. A recent viewing -this time as an adult in his early thirties- showed that the movie hadn't lost much of its riveting quality. It's not a low-brow action movie, but an intelligent sci-fi thriller about a micro-biological crisis (initiated by an extra-terrestrial(!) virus brought to earth by a space probe), made long before "Outbreak" and the like. Fine acting and the thorough re-creation of the scientific procedures described in Michael Crichton's novel -on which the movie is based- make this a first choice for viewers with an interest in sci-fi with more than a slight touch of reality. Hints at U. S. plans for biological warfare near the end also make this a political thriller of sorts! Only drawback: The colors appear a bit pale nowadays, as is the case with many 70's films, but since most of the scenes are set in a sterile, monotonous laboratory environment, this doesn't spoil one's viewing experience. Watch out for the eerie opening sequence set in a small desert town where everyone was killed by the "Alien" virus, except for an old drunkard and a baby!


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