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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.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writer:

Peter Hyams
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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:
Sean Connery ... O'Niel
Peter Boyle ... Sheppard
Frances Sternhagen ... Lazarus
James Sikking ... Montone (as James B. Sikking)
Kika Markham ... Carol
Clarke Peters ... Ballard
Steven Berkoff ... Sagan
John Ratzenberger ... Tarlow
Nicholas Barnes Nicholas Barnes ... Paul O'Niel
Manning Redwood ... Lowell
Pat Starr Pat Starr ... Mrs. Spector
Hal Galili ... Nelson
Angus MacInnes ... Hughes
Stuart Milligan ... Walters
Eugene Lipinski ... 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 Jupiter's moon something deadly is happening See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atmósfera cero See more »

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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:

The Ladd Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (MegaSound encoding) (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Five years after this film was released, Dr. Lazarus (Frances Sternhagen) joined the cast of the television series Cheers (1982), as the mother of Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger, who played Tarlow in Outland). See more »

Goofs

The terrestrial atmosphere of the studio is evident even though the exterior scenes take place in the near-vacuum of Io. When O'Niel drops the panel atop the greenhouse, it flutters away from him instead of falling straight down. The gunman shoots at the panel through the greenhouse window, breaking it, and the resulting explosive decompression causes a billowing cloud of gas and debris. Nothing "billows" in a vacuum, the surrounding air allows that, so the gas and debris should have sprayed away from the greenhouse in more or less straight lines. See more »

Quotes

Station Manager Sheppard: You know, I misjudged you. You're not stupid. You're crazy. You think you've caused more than an inconvenience here? Is that what you think? Why don't you go home and polish your badge. You're dealing with grown-ups here!
Marshal William T. O'Neil: Whoever sent you that shipment is going to be mad that you lost it. Grown-ups don't have a sense of humor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Misery (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Very well crafted and entertaining film with a good Sean Connery
18 July 2003 | by tharsis-1See all my reviews

In the near-future, in a space mine set on the Jupiter satellite Io, the new Marshall O'Niel (Sean Connery) discovered a mortal drug trafic. This amphetamine-like drug drives the addicted miners mad and makes them committed suicide. O'Niel encovers the conspiracy, involving the director of the mine, but becomes the target of hitmen, with almost no body helping him. The film is a Science Fiction remake of "High Noon"("le train sifflera trois fois" in French). The train is here replaced by a shuttle from a space station and the Far West by the set on a deep space mining outpost (Not Deep Space Nine).

This a well paced film with a solid acting from Sean Connery. The pursuits, especialy the first in the corridors of the space habitat, are gripping. The film was made in 1981, when the CGI effects were not as prevalent as today. For exemple scenes where humans are dwarfed by huge metalic structures, were executed thanks to a then traditional play of mirrors. I have seen this film at the cinema when it played for the first time in 1981. I have recently watched it again on cable TV and I think it has not aged much. Because it is set on a makeshift sleazy outpost and not a shiny white place as too often in science fiction film, it remains realistic enough, twenty two years later. The themes,a bit overlooked, dangerous mind drugs, greedy multinational (or multi-planet, here) companies, the will and courage of one man against the cowardice of all the others, resonate still in our mind, nowadays. But make no mistake, it not a heavy political film but a good suspense and action film with a science fiction flavour.

Despite some scientific oddities like heads exploding and weightlessness in a zero pressure atmosphere, where as inside the habitat the gravity is normal (by Earth standards), the script remains coherent enough. The strong performance of Sean Connery is helped by those of a serious Peter Boyle and a pre-ER Frances Sternhagen. Rent this film on your local video store or watch it on TV, it is worth seeing it.


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