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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
Stuart Milligan ... 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:

On Io, one of Jupiters moons, Sean Connery is the law. 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

One of the few films to be released theatrically with the "Megasound" sound system format. Megasound was a movie theater sound system created by Warner Bros. in the early 1980s. It was used to enhance the premiere engagements of a handful of Warner features. Theaters equipped for Megasound, had additional speakers mounted on the left, right and rear walls of the auditorium. Selected soundtrack events with lots of low-frequency content (thuds, crashes, explosions, etc) were directed to these speakers at very high volume, creating a visceral effect intended to thrill the audience. See more »

Goofs

The shuttle carrying the two hit-men arrives 42 minutes early on its 70-hour trip from the space station. Since the laws of physics couldn't have been broken, this means that someone made a huge error in calculating the orbit of the shuttle (all objects in this case are in orbit of Jupiter), but by blind luck still managed to intersect with Io anyhow. If the shuttle HAD arrived on time, Io would have been in a totally different position, as it moves at 17.3 km per second due to its low orbit around Jupiter. The only way to arrive early would be to expend a lot more energy, which would mean lost money for Con-Am. (Even then you would still know the exact time of arrival - it's just physics.) See more »

Quotes

Lazarus: That's pretty good. Playing by yourself and losing. I'd join you in this dumb game if I could play sitting down. Yes, I'm well, thank you. Been pretty busy. Seems there's some kind of 'flu' going around. You have no idea the number of workers who are going to be sick this Sunday.
Marshal William T. O'Neil: What about you? Are you going to be sick this Sunday?
Lazarus: If you're looking for sterling character you're in the wrong place.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Big Sleaze (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's Not Exactly High Noon In Space
17 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Both in the Citadel Film Series book The Films of Sean Connery and a quick survey of the user comments here, everyone seems to be conceding that Outland is simply High Noon transferred to outer space. It's not really, but there are certain plot similarities. Of course there were enough similarities that Fred Zinneman stated that Peter Hyams had ripped off his western classic.

For one thing Gary Cooper is a newlywed in High Noon, Sean Connery is a married man with a 12 year old son. His wife however wants him to give up the futuristic law enforcement business, but it's what he knows and because he's such an independent minded fellow who speaks his mind he gets one garbage assignment after another.

Here he's on a mining colony on the Jupiter satellite Io. It's a frontier town, not unlike some in the west. But Hadleyburg in High Noon is passed the wild and woolly frontier days and the impending gunfight is not wanted because it will bring those days back. Gary Cooper dealt with ingratitude, what Connery is dealing with on Io is systemic corruption.

The boss of the place is Peter Boyle the head of mining operations. One of the things he provides are illegal synthetic narcotics which make the men work like mules and increase his productivity. They also eventually fry your brain and you turn paranoid.

Connery notices several suspicious deaths have occurred in the past two years after he's had to deal with some miners who've gone haywire. The presence of narcotics is confirmed by station doctor Frances Sternhagen during an autopsy.

When Boyle's confronted with this, bribery doesn't work so he puts out a contract on Connery. His deputies are all on the pad and the miners won't help either. His one friend in the place is Sternhagen.

In fact acting honors in Outland go to Frances Sternhagen as the tough old bird of a doctor who's also in a kind of exile on Io.

Outland has good special effects and the mining colony on Io is marvelously created with the use of miniatures, much like the Himalayas were in Black Narcissus. But it is better known for a good story and some fine acting by all, especially Sternhagen. It's one of Sean Connery's better films and shouldn't be missed by science fiction fans or Sean Connery's many fans.

So what if it took a few bites out of High Noon.


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