It's 2274, and on the surface, it all seems to be an idyllic society. Living in a city within an enclosed dome, there is little or no work for humans to perform, and inhabitants are free to pursue all of the pleasures of life. There is one catch however: your life is limited and when you reach thirty, it is terminated in a quasi-religious ceremony known as "carrousel". Some, known as "runners", try to escape their fate when the time comes, and it's the job of Sandmen to track them down and kill them. Logan (Michael York) is such a man, and with several years before his own termination date, thinks nothing of the job he does. Soon after meeting a young woman, Jessica-6 (Jenny Agutter), he is ordered to become a runner and infiltrate a community outside the dome known as "Sanctuary" and to destroy it. Pursued by his friend Francis (Richard Jordan), also a Sandman, Logan and Jessica find their way to the outside. There, they discover a beautiful, virtually uninhabited world. Logan ...Written by
The Senate set appears to be reused from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. See more »
The face of the robot Box is obviously made of shaped metal foil that Roscoe Lee Brown is wearing. You can see his lips and teeth as he talks. See more »
[tapping on a glass window of maternity room]
Logan, you are here. I couldn't believe it when they told me. What are you doing?
Logan 6. Well it's not everyday that they authorize a new sandman. I tell you Francis,
Well maybe, maybe not. What does it matter? Anyway, he isn't yours anymore.
[continues tapping lightly on the glass]
All right, you want me to wake him?
[bangs loudly on the glass with his baton]
[...] See more »
A bootleg audio recording exists of the May 1976 sneak preview in San Diego, suggesting that the preview cut ran approximately 130 minutes. In addition to the inclusion of the scene after the titles where Francis kills a runner who falls into a pool to applause from onlookers, it includes:
A longer exchange in the Nursery.
A longer Carousel sequence, with no overdubbed computer voice announcing Last Day.
Slightly longer scenes between Logan and Jessica, including one where Jessica asks if Logan thinks "flame-out" is the ultimate kill. Another cut bit includes Logan explaining the danger of cubs "flying on Muscle," an unauthorized drug that "speeds up the reflexes" but is "no good for anyone over 13; shake you and me to pieces."
A brief snip where Francis hears Logan's page to Cathedral and announces he will go to help him.
A longer introduction to Holly, who announces that she is "Holly 13" and that "in ancient times, my number was unlucky."
A longer Sex Shop sequence.
There is a reference in Box's dialogue to the ice sculpture existing in the preview print because he says "What a pair! I'd like to sculpt you...Let me sculpt you and I'll show you where the others have gone...over there, arms 'round each other...nude, of course..." The dialogue between Logan and Jessica as they pose also sheds light on the plot hole of why Logan signaled the Sandmen to the Runners' hideout. Logan admits that he tried to send her back because he was going to return to the city all along. "That was the plan. I'd been ordered to find out where the Runners had gone and destroy it. That's why I brought in the Sandmen that killed them." He expresses remorse and confusion at his change of heart.
A science fiction film that gives the genre a run for its money
Beyond the entrapment of lavish special effects (for which "Logan's Run" won an Oscar anyway), few science fiction films actually present a good story, much less one that makes you think and/or presents new ideas. "Logan's Run" is one of those few.
Before "Stars Wars" enraptured audiences with its stunning special effects and created a precedent for a string of similarly effects-laden knock-offs and genre wanna-be's (mirroring what "The War of the Worlds" had done for audiences in the 50's), true science fiction films such as "Logan's Run" were giving us stories simply complimented by special effects, not about them. I say "true" because "Star Wars" is of the fantasy genre; it is not a science fiction story, though it does share some common elements.
"Logan's Run" presents us with a vivid, somewhat horrifying vision of a possible future. It doesn't take place "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." It happens on earth in a believable time frame. It doesn't ask us to greatly suspend disbelief by accepting alien races and magic powers. Instead, it presents us with a chilling fast forward of our own technology, attitudes, and policies. Concerning the latter, the film includes an almost creepy euthanasia undertone to it.
Though, in all honesty, I care more about and become more closely associated with the characters in "Star Wars," the disassociation I feel for LR's characters somewhat aids the lack of individuality that the story tries to convey. The actors, however, give great performances.
Beautiful cinematography and settings greatly compliment the film's mood and timeframe, from the sterile domed city to the decimated Washington D.C., which still provides one of (if not) the best visuals of a post-apocalyptic world that I've ever seen. It's right there with "The Planet of the Apes'" Statue of Liberty.
Another thing that SW does well is disassociate itself from the decade in which it was created. You have to overlook this aspect in LR because like so many films of the 70's, it carries its decade's time stamp.
Though minor, another thing I, in particular, enjoy about LR are the weapons. Unlike every other weapon in and out of science fiction history, LR's "blasters" do not actually shoot anything. There is simply an explosion at their designated target. It may be campy (or corny), but it's definitely different and a fine example of real, working props.
Another interesting note: the film varies greatly from the original novel, but most people agree that the film is much better. I tend to agree with them.
For me, in terms of science fiction, "Logan's Run" takes its place among such decade-defining films as "The War of the Worlds" (50's) and "The Planet of the Apes" (60's) and among such thought-provoking science fiction as "Soylent Green" and "Gattaca."
Ask yourself this: what or where is "sanctuary?" Isn't that what we're all looking for? Answer both, and you'll have the film's theme.
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