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The Andromeda Strain
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including the computers still looks up-to-date, with the main difference being that today, the graphical displays of the data would be much more colorful. However, the techniques used to analyze the "Andromeda" organism would be the same ones used today. Of course, much of the suspense of the movie is created by a stuck sliver of paper, and that would not occur today, but 99% of what is shown (including the threat to mankind for terrestrial biological warfare or extra-terrestrial organisms) is still very relevant. In fact, the society in which the film takes place is more "future-oriented" than our current one because reference is made to the Lunar Receiving Laboratory in Houston which processed the samples returned from the Moon by the Apollo astronauts, and which has since been idled by the loss of the spirit of exploration in our current society, so the makers of the film were able to do more futuristic thinking and make a story and laboratory that looks contemporary even decades later. Finally, the actors, led by Arthur Hill (one of my favorites) are all "cool, intellectual" types, and although there are differences of opinion between them, they all submerge their egos to get their vital work done. It is sad that films of this type are not made any more. Get it and see what I mean!
The story begins in a small, isolated town in the desert where a satellite that re-entered earth's atmosphere crashed. Shortly after the crash, most of the town's residents mysteriously die. The government calls in four scientists to determine what killed the townsfolk. The scientists are Dr. Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill), Dr. Charles Dutton (David Wayne, known for his portrayal of inspector Ellery Queen in 1975 TV series of the same name), Dr. Mark Hall (James Olsen) and Dr. Ruth Leavitt (Kate Reid, known also for her role in the 1977 film "Equus"). They are taken to a top-secret government facility code-named Wildfire, an underground laboratory, to search for the cause of death and why two townspeople remained unaffected. Their quest leads to a very exciting discovery, but also several grave questions.
Special effects used in "The Andromeda Strain" were very good for the early 1970's. The design of the Wildfire facility, which earned "The Andromeda Strain" an Oscar nomination for Best Set Decoration, is somewhat reminiscent of interior designs used in "2001: A Space Odyssey". Director Robert Wise (who also directed "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (1951), "West Side Story" (1961) and "The Sound of Music" in 1965) did a brilliant job escalating the suspense and fear throughout the film.Read more ›
Even though this movie is over 2 decades old, and the computer equipment at the Wildfire laboratory shows its age, this is a perfect change-of-pace film for any movie monster fan. Instead of the usual radioactive mutated towering apparition that flattens cities and topples skyscrapers, the monster in "The Andromeda Strain" is so tiny, it takes powerful electron microscopes to see it. Though tiny in size, Andromeda has the potential to wreak more havoc than your typical Godzilla. The average movie monster can only cause damage wherever he can stomp, smash or exhale a blast of fiery breath. Andromeda has the potential to be carried to every corner of the world by the winds, where it could conceivably wipe out all life. Try to top THAT, Godzilla! Even worse, it seems to feed on nuclear radiation.
The real star of the film is Wildfire itself. A government facility located safely away from populated areas, it bristles with everything a microbiologist needs to avert a biological disaster. . .or does it?
Seeking an unprecedented realism, director Robert Wise insisted that everything on the set be real, from the computer terminals to the electron microscopes. The Wildfire set is every microbiologist's dream come true.
The Andromeda Strain shows how a hard-science plot can be made exciting. True, the technology is a little dated, but it only adds to the realism. I'm sure this film won't appeal to the same people who will flock to rainless action flicks like this summer's Wild Wild West, but if you have a brain and your willing to use it, this film is great entertainment.
Oh, and just to correct the previous poster, Andromeda did come out on laserdisc and that transfer was gorgeous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One great Movie. And is still better then 90% of the trash they put out now!Published 8 hours ago by Dano Five-0
It was worrisome when we were just exploring space close to Earth. With missions to Mars and beyond in the near future it is more likely than ever that we could find some life form... Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Having seen this classic movie the first time in HD was quite a pristine experience!! I've seen it many times throughout the years - still holds up after 40 + years!! Read morePublished 5 days ago by Capital One
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