on January 10, 2006
This movie is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by William Nolan and George Johnson. This movie inspired a short-lived 1970's television show.
It begins with the printed word:
"Sometime in the 23RD century, the survivors of war, overpopulation, and pollution are living in a great domed city sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world, [human]kind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything. There's only one catch: life must end at thirty years [of age] unless reborn [or 'renewed'] in the fiery ritual of carousel."
From here, we are introduced to two "sandmen." The first sandman's name is "Logan 5" (Michael York) and the second one, his partner, is named "Francis 7" (Richard Jordan). Their job (which they love) is to put "runners" (those who decide not to go to carousel when they're thirty but run, or more accurately, try to escape from it) to sleep--forever (that is, they "terminate" or kill them.) (It is interesting to note that both actors York and Jordan were over thirty in this movie but they don't look it.)
The society of the domed city is run by a giant supercomputer and thus this society is very orderly & efficient. In fact, each person in this enclosed society has a "life clock" from birth. (Life clocks are crystals attached to the palm of a person's hand. Amazon provides a picture, for the DVD released in 2004, of this movie's DVD case that has a picture of such a life clock-see above.) Life clocks change color as the person ages. (Sandmen also have life clocks.) The color-coding scheme is as follows:
(1) Birth: crystal is clear
(2) Age 8: crystal turns yellow
(3) Age 16: it turns green.
(4) Age 24: crystal turns red. (The picture mentioned above has a red crystal)
(5) Last few days before age 30: crystal is still red but blinking
(6) Age 30: crystal turns black. (The thirtieth birthday is called "Last Day." It is time for these senior citizens to renew in carousel.)
Also, everyone in this enclosed society wear clothes the same color as their life clock (except sandmen who wear black).
At this point, I should mention that I picked up this movie's vocabulary by listening and watching carefully. There are other terms introduced as the movie proceeds (especially in its first half). I recommend perhaps turning on the English subtitles so you don't miss some of this vocabulary.
The action really begins when the computer gives Logan a special assignment: to eliminate those involved with "sanctuary" (a place outside the domed city where runners can go without being killed). To do so, he must become a runner (thus the movie's title) so the computer advances his life clock from red to blinking red. He enlists the aid of a scantily clad female named "Jennifer 6" (Jenny Agutter who is really under age thirty in this movie) whom he suspects knows about sanctuary.
Francis, who doesn't know Logan is under assignment is determined to kill him for running. The movie at this point becomes a chase movie with Francis chasing Logan (and Jennifer) but with Logan trying to find sanctuary.
One of the faults with this movie that can be frustrating is that it doesn't explain everything. For example, we are not told why Logan is picked by the computer for this special assignment. As well, at one point Logan goes from runner under special assignment to a genuine runner. The viewer is not told the reason for Logan's change or even when it occurs.
Farrah Fawcett (of "Charlie's Angels" fame) has a small role in this movie. The late Sir Peter Ustinov as the "Old Man" appears in the last thirty minutes of this movie.
All actors do decent jobs in their roles. I think special kudos should go to Michael York, Richard Jordan, and Jenny Agutter for sustaining the energy of the movie (especially in its first half).
The special effects were decent for its time (mid-1970s). In fact, this movie won an Oscar for Best Special Effects. The only thing that I felt was bad was the antiquated cyborg on wheels (played by Roscoe Lee Browne). Fortunately this scene does not last very long. Even the futuristic scenery (computers, domed city, etc.) I thought was decent. Some may disagree with me on this, however.
I did not completely understand the ending or why it even occurred the way it did.
The DVD (the one released by Warner Home Video in 2004) has acceptable though not perfect picture and sound quality. There are four extras, all of them interesting.
Finally, this movie coincidentally is thirty years old (from the year of this review). Time for renewal? Perhaps. There is talk of remaking this movie.
In conclusion, this may not be the best Sci-Fi movie of the 1970s but it's one you can't forget. Especially as you approach your thirtieth birthday!!
(1976; 2 hr; widescreen)
on February 11, 2001
As in the 1960's, in the future, you can't trust anybidy over 30. The difference is that, in the 22nd century, anybody that old is supposed to be dead. Nobody seems to mind that, since life until then is pleasure free, a non-stop party. As a further inducement, those who hit their 30th get a splendid lastday party, complete with levitation, pyrtotechnics and a good chance of getting "renewed". Logan (Michael York) doesn't think anything's wrong with that, and as a "sandman" his job is to track down those who would try to outlive their lastday or even (shudder) try to escape the cozy confines of the domes - a computer managed megalopolis cut off from the outside world since an undescribed catastrophe. When the Domed City's computer (with a sexy female voice) realizes that too many of these fugitives - called "runners" - remain unaccounted for, it "volunteers" Logan into going undercover as a runner by advancing him onto the terminal list. Having already hooked up with a prospective runner - Jessica (Jenny Agutter) - Logan explores the periphery of the domed city and even makes the impossible leap into escaping to an outside world neither he nor Jessica (nor Francis, once Logan's former sandman colleague, now turned hunter) ever thought existed.
Logan's Run is a fave for several reasons - it's incredibly dated, nobody would ever confuse this film with one made a few years earlier or (with Star wars) a few years later. But that gives the film an identity that the script doesn't, unlike any anonymous late-night cable movie which could have been made anytime between 1992 and last week (Jerry Goldsmith's score certainly helps). "Run" is also great because its message is deeper than its cheesy setting (a futuristic paradise committed to hedonism) would suggest. Sure it looks like a cross between a mall and Tomorrowland, but anything less would dilute the shallowness of the domed city's pleasure-seeking denizens. Worse, it would minimize the shock and release shared by Logan and Jessica. Lastly, "Run" excels because it's so much better than the novel, in which their is no domed city (and no comfortable future to hold onto), and the charachters seem pretty resigned to the fact that their gonna die. The book never offers its heroes the prospect of "renewal", nor do they seem to embrace their cruel fates with anything approaching the gusto of those in the film. Sci-fi heroes in these Star-Trek-the-next-Generation days are hailed for their brilliance in technological derring-do under fire, almsot as if techno-supermen. When Logan asks the computer if the shortfall between missing and confirmed runners can be accounted for by those who have been "renewed", the sexily-voiced computer is appropriately silent. Logan's expression, now appropriately pained by the realization that there is no renewal, contains enough cognitive dissonance for 20 years worth of scripts. And the reservoir remains untapped after 25 years. Grab this film now before somebody in Hollywood learns the lesson, and makes a film far more insightful than this.
I saw this movie in its original theatrical release. I was 10 years old. I was stunned, amazed, entranced, shocked, excited and thrilled by the colors, lights and sounds.
For the next 5 years I was Logan and all my friends were Sandmen.This movie is Michael Anderson (the Director)at his best. An extremely inventive and innovative film for its time. This movie has a great story, great perfomrnaces and great sets and props. Even the model city is stunning. (Built on a 25 foot by 35 foot table top on the stages of MGM.
Colorful and almost magical. It was the very first "Special Acadamy Award" for Special Effects and diservedly so! Michael York and Jenny Augutter are wonderful and the late Richard Jorden was the perfect villan.
The best performace is the "Old Man" played by Peter Ustinov. Rosce Lee Brown plays the predesor to C-3PO and Lt, Cmdr. Data. The costumes are simple but unique.
This is a must to own.. The DVD commentary is fantastic! And for me, it brought back a lot of memories!
on May 9, 2010
I was wary of this purchase due to other reviewer's claims of a poor transfer. However, I found this Blu-Ray Disc to be very clear and clean. The original print used to make the transfer from does have scratches and the colours seem a bit washed-out, and the special effects were 70s effects and not up to today's standards... but there really wasn't very much graininess at all (which is my major peave). So, I was pleased. They did a very good job with this older film.
on May 30, 2006
Logan's Run belongs to a class of old school science fiction films which were popular in the early and mid-1970's, prior to the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. These films did not rely on non-stop action or dazzling special effects, but rather on thoughtful, intelligent stories, intriguing "What if?" scenarios, and astute social commentary. They included Sci Fi classics such as Soylent Green, The Omega Man, The Andromeda Strain, Westworld, and others. While the shopping mall setting and some of the special effects of Logan's Run are pretty cheesy, it is still an interesting film and its themes may be even more relevant in today's botox era than they were in the 70's. I have heard they are doing a remake and would like to think it will improve on the original. Unfortunately, given the recent history of Hollywood, it is more likely that they will drain every last bit of intelligence out of the story, and replace it with more explosions, and perhaps Will Smith.
on October 19, 2009
Am I the only one who remembers the 3 Laserdisc CAV box set that came out in the late 90's with ALL THE MIRACULOUS Bonus features for Logan's Run? 100's of stills, 2 mini docs, stills and script from Deleted Scenes and a whole lot more. Warner owns the same MGM material, there's absolutely no reason for them NOT to release it on this Blu ray. Pathetic
on August 13, 2008
People may see this as another cheesy 70s sci-fi movie, but it illustrates the state of special effects in Hollywood before George Lucas dropped the bomb on us. I loved this movie as a little kid, and the spin-off TV series was a favorite of mine, even at 4 years old. The "futuristic" fashions and hairstyles are hilarious, as is most of the miniature work, but that's what passed for state of the art in 1976. The story is out there, when your hand starts flashing, you're a goner so you'd better run. This, alongside THX-1138 shows a future where humanity is contained in an artificial world, afraid of what's outside, and it's the protagonist's job to find out. Overall, a forgotten classic of the science fiction genre, and hopefully the remake will get off the ground with a good director.
on January 4, 2008
It's a shame Logan's Run was not polished for a dvd release, because it remains a fairly mediocre science fiction film. As another reviewer has noted, LR became immediately redundant with the release of Stars Wars just a year later, which made LR's cheesy effects and sluggish pace look like a made-for-tv flick. What gives LR its enduring power, though, is its committed performances, especially York and Agutter (even if Michael York, with his hopelessly plummy diction, remains one of my least favourite actors). The director gives us plenty to look at in terms of futuristic settings, but today the movie is a curio - like most futuristic sci-fi - and a bit of a chore to sit through. The picture quality is very flat and washed-out, and the soundtrack lacks depth and clarity; the extra features are also meagre (I turned off the commentary by York after 15 minutes because it was so dry and boring and I didn't want to sit through the pic again). In brief, an inessential buy.
on October 14, 2009
This is my younger brother's favorite movie.....I thought it was quite good when I saw it in the theatre 30 yrs ago. The sets were, what was thought of as "futuristic" at the time where most public areas resembled an airport or superdome type location. This concept has been overdone but in Logan's Run it is understandably new. My favorite part is when the young girl touches the old man's wrinkles at the end. It still gives me the same hopeful feeling. A cute and somewhat meaningful film and a must see for sci-fi fans.
on March 29, 2014
What can I say about this movie that hasn't been said, except for my opinions of it. When I was a kid, I hated the part when Farrah was killed. Back then, this was a decent look at what a futuristic society would loo like after some "apocalypse" occurred, and it still has some potential as a model today, with domes and automation keeping air and water clean and humans alive. This was a utopia, and people willingly paid a price to live there, that is, death at 30. Never understood why that was never explained, and as I read somewhere else, the plot holes were left out for time management. Too bad those scenes weren't found or re-added, it would really make a difference in the movie. Anyway, watching this now gives me pause to look back at the history of sci-fi films as I grew up. This, and others like it, were stories of what the Earth might be like after some terrible "apocalypse" that wiped out most of humanity. To my mind, there is also an undercurrent relevant to today: the usurping of free will and individuality by some central controlling agency. In the film, it was software. In today's times, it is our government. The story reveals what just a few people can do, even through the frightening experiences they had. Pity they never really fleshed out the ending much, instead leaving it to imagination. How would so many survive after being "freed", with no knowledge of the outside world... although, I suppose the old man could have taken them to the library and they could have read about growing food, or hunting. In the end, would it have been better to leave them where they were, and how they were? I can't say. Still, it is a refreshing look at how humanity could experience the "world outside", after living their lives in a bubble. If one wanted to take a look at the evolution of this genre, this certainly would be one movie that would have to be included. I would recommend this, and enjoyed the trip down memory lane.