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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)
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Popularity
2,971 ( 2,453)
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:

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

The Andromeda Strain was a moderate box office success. Produced on a relatively high budget of $6.5 million, the film grossed $12,376,563 in North America, earning $8.2 million in US theatrical rentals. It was the 16th highest-grossing film of 1971. See more »

Goofs

When Dutton, Stone and Hall walk towards the electrostatic decontaminator, they are shown full-body from the rear to be nude entering the chamber. The next scene, tastefully blurred and solarized, still shows Dutton and Stone wearing athletic supporters, and Hall wearing bikini underwear. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jeremy Stone: Hall? Take a look at this.
[gestures to dead man with peaceful facial expression]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Are you sure that isn't coronary?
Dr. Mark Hall: No. Coronary's painful. They should grimace.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: If it was fast, they wouldn't have time.
Dr. Mark Hall: Fast? These people were cut down in mid-stride!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits read: "ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This film concerns the four-day history of a major American scientific crisis. We received the generous help of many people attached to Project Scoop at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Wildfire Laboratory in Flatrock, Nevada. They encouraged us to tell the story accurately and in detail." "The documents presented here are soon to be made public. They do not in any way jeopardize the national security." 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 'Silent Running': By Director Douglas Trumbull (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Sci-Fi with a capital "S".
22 May 2004 | by haggarSee all my reviews

I have always been attracted by science, since my early childhood. I remember seeing this movie and being fascinated by the science and technology on display in it. Today, as a MSC EE, I can see that the science in "Andromeda Strain" is accurate. In fact, it's the most accurate of all Sci-Fi movies I have ever seen (and I have seen the great majority of Sci-Fi cinema).

That's one reason I love this movie.

But there are other, probably subjective reasosn for my adulation of "Andromeda Strain": believable people and believable situations (no "last microsecond decision/action/occurance", no over-the-top behaviour, just human quirkyness, no one-man-does-it-all but teamwork and birth of ideas) and the avoidance of the cliche of only-1-will-survive. So, yes, I liked the script a lot.

I also thought the actors were good and the setting was brilliant. I am not put off by dated computer technology: the film clearly illustrates the computing capabilities at the beginning of the '70, and I find something educative and strangely reassuring in that.

I give it 10/10, and am sad that nobody produced a Sci-Fi as scientificly accurate ever since.


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