6.6/10
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140 user 77 critic

Outland (1981)

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In the distant future, a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy, and gets no help from the populace when he later finds himself marked for murder.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Marshall William T. O'Niel
... Mark Sheppard
... Dr. Lazarus
... Sgt. Montone (as James B. Sikking)
... Carol O'Niel
... Ballard
... Sagan
... Tarlow
Nicholas Barnes ... Paul O'Niel
... Lowell
Pat Starr ... Flo Spector
... Nelson
... Hughes
... Walters
... Cane
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Storyline

Marshal W.T. O'Niel is assigned to a mining colony on Io, one of Jupiter's moons. During his tenure miners are dying - usually violently. When the marshal investigates he discovers the one thing all the deaths have in common is a lethal amphetamine-type drug, which allows the miners to work continuously for days at a time until they become "burned out" and expire. O'Niel follows the trail of the dealers, which leads to the man overseeing the colony. Now O'Niel must watch his back at every turn, as those who seek to protect their income begin targeting him... Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Even in space, the ultimate enemy is man. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atmósfera cero  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,059,638, 25 May 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$17,374,595
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(MegaSound encoding) (35 mm prints)| (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film draws on the Gary Cooper classic, High Noon (1952). Killers are on their way to kill the Marshal, who finds himself abandoned by his deputies, and with none of the residents willing to stand with him. Numerous villains await the arrival of the killers. As the arrival time approaches, Connery enters the "saloon" and speaks to the "townspeople", repeating the classic Cooper line, "I could use a little help," receiving none. His only ally is a woman with a sullied reputation, in this case, a doctor who describes herself as being, "one step short of a malpractice suit." Despite this, she has become a solid citizen. This parallels the character of the old flame in High Noon (1952), who had become a hotel owner. The Marshal must decide between joining his wife, or doing the right thing; staying behind and facing almost certain death. Also, as with High Noon (1952), the name of the site is never specifically mentioned, although it is displayed here and there on signs throughout the film. See more »

Goofs

When Spota is shown walking through the locker room he passes behind a man wear a red hat as he open his locker to change before continuing further down center aisle. A few seconds later Spota is shown passing behind the exact same man (now shirtless and with no hat) a second time. While it's possible that Spota doubled back it is unlikely because he is shown entering both shots from the same direction. if he had doubled back he would have been coming from the opposite direction in order to pass the man the second time. See more »

Quotes

Lazarus: Your wife is one stupid lady. You wanna go and get drunk?
Marshal William T. O'Neil: Yes...
Lazarus: At least you have SOME sense left.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, the word "Principal" is misspelled. See more »

Connections

References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Recommended
9 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

What an entertaining movie this is. The plot is believable; the acting, from the minor characters right up to and including the leads, is excellent; the dialogue is natural and realistic (and intelligible); and the special effects have aged well and are quite good, as good as today's CGI stuff. But unlike today's sf movies, it's not the f/x that play the central role here but rather plot, character, and acting.

I can understand some of the comments about some of the movie's science, particularly in the way earth gravity suddenly appears inside buildings and the way people's cranial cavities literally expand like balloons when exposed to near zero pressure, but none of that is central. I'm pleased when I see real science in movies (maybe surprised would be a better term), but if I want science I can read a textbook. Anyway, this shortfall is more than made up for by having a doctor in the movie named Lazarus - over scientific accuracy I'll take a little humor. Or good dialogue, such as when O'Neil, having just chased a perp through half the installation, finally corners him in a kitchen, gets the drop on him, and leveling his shotgun at his desperate kitchen knife-wielding opponent says to him, 'Think it over'.

Comparisons have been made to other movies like High Noon and sf classics like Alien and 2001. I'll leave 2001 go at least until I can figure out how that giant fetus got out there in outer space, but as to Alien, well, in my view Outland compares quite well despite Alien's iconic status. Alien conveys all the niceness of a vat of sulfuric acid. What a bunch of dismal characters inhabited that movie. Outland has a different feel to it and portrays more than a few positive human characteristics (the interaction between O'Neil and his wife is quite affecting although, or maybe because, it takes place via a video screen). And as to this being a 'remake' of High Noon set in outer space, well, it really isn't. In fact there's only one aspect of the plot that is similar (the first half of Outland is a whodunit), though the device of periodically showing a clock to countdown when the bad guys will arrive is of course an obvious imitation. Someone else said that this movie is actually a 'western', and that's true if you mean a movie with a real hero who stands virtually alone despite the odds on the side of right vs. wrong (though he does get a little help especially from one particular rather brave woman). Basically though, this is just a very good movie that makes good use of and occasionally even exceeds the limits of its genre. It's got plenty of action and suspense and not a single dead spot. It's worth seeing.


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