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
Roscoe Lee Browne voiced and performed Box the robot on-set. The unwieldy costume made it impossible for Browne to right himself if he fell over. See more »
When Logan first meets Jessica in his apartment, the level of his drink changes from full to half full and back after he takes a drink, but does not add any liquid to the glass. 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 »
Scenes edited out:
The Francis Hunt: The original opening scene had Francis 7 hunting a runner and shooting him backwards into a water fountain to applause from the onlookers.
Box carving an ice sculpture of Logan and Jessica. This was removed as they were fondling each other in a lovers' embrace and this would have meant an R rating in the USA.
Francis and Logan meeting a woman on Lastday. They casually chat about it and this illustrates the society's indifference to death.
Longer, racier version of sequence involving characters passing through an orgy shop.
And I Thought Turning 40 Was Supposed To Be the Bad Age....
I must admit that I should be ashamed as a sci-fi fan: I hadn't seen this film until recently, and I wanted to better understand the parody from "Free Enterprise".
But I enjoyed the film.
Watching this film against the more recent glut of sci-fi films, I have to say that they made them a little more original back in the 70's-80's, instead of everything being techno-computer-CG-spaceship fights. A grim look at the downside of maintaining an "ideal", utopian society. When you hit 30, you either have the option of willingly submitting yourself to be killed under a pretense of renewal, or having the Sandmen play with you before they go in for the kill. Neither option seems really appealing. But the idea of one of the killers having to face their mortality is an interesting idea.
A little slow in places (but I did keep wanting to see what would happen next), and some of the special effects look really dated (even to '77's "Star Wars"), but the story holds up well, and it's an entertaining ride overall.
It's truly a classic of the genre, and I wish I had seen it sooner.
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