Logan's Run

1976 / Color / 120 minutes

Plot:

On-screen introduction: "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, mankind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything. There's just one catch: Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of carrousel." Of course, some residents start to think this isn't such a good idea when their time is up, so they run and are pursued and killed by "Sandmen." All is well until a Sandman runs, discovers the truth about the outside world, and changes everything.

Cast:

Michael York (as Logan)
Richard Jordan (as Francis)
Jenny Agutter (as Jessica)
Roscoe Lee Browne (as Box)
Farrah Fawcett (as Holly)
Michael Anderson Jr. (as Doc)
Peter Ustinov (as Old Man)
Randolph Roberts (as 2nd Sanctuary Man)
Lara Lindsay (as The Woman Runner)
Gary Morgan (as Billy)
Michelle Stacy (as Mary 2)
Laura Hippe (as Woman Customer)
David Westberg (as Sandman)
Camilla Carr (as Sanctuary Woman)
Greg Lewis (as Cub)

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writer:

David Zelag Goodman (based on the novel Logan's Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson)

Comments:

This movie was a big deal when it premiered. All the sci-fi magazines featured photos of the futuristic sets and the stories fawned over the special effects, which were ground-breaking at the time.

The entire film reeks of that post-hippy feel so common in science fiction of the 1970s: sleek architecture, lots of chrome and glass, commune social structure, predictions of ecological disaster, and all the rest. I can put up with that. In fact, there's an energetic optimism that keeps the movie from wallowing in the depressing dystopianism so popular in recent years.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this film doesn't hit you over the head with its politics. It's mostly a fun romp through the future with cool special effects, skimpy costumes, and plenty of action. It's always been one of my guilty film pleasures.

Notable Moments:

The opening scenes feature "Carousel," a quasi-religious ritual where those who have reached "last day" are "renewed" (or are they?). It's among the most complex flying wire stunts ever filmed, with 36 stuntmen rising and revolving in perfect sync.

Several notable moments didn't make it to the final cut, such as bits of the Love Shop sequence, Box carving nude ice sculptures, and a drug shop scene. Oh well.

Seeing recognizable cities laying in ruin is always fun. The action in this flick takes place near Washington D.C., so we get to see the capital abandoned and overgrown. Sure it's mostly just matte paintings, but it's well done and eminently satisfying knowing all those pointy-headed politicians are long gone.

Trivia:

Watch the crowd coming out of the destroyed city at the end of the film. One waves to the old man using the Vulcan salute.

The cool-looking water area where Logan and Jessica dive in to reenter the city is a real location called the Water Gardens in Ft. Worth Texas. But it was closed in June 2004 after four people drowned ... trying to find the domed city perhaps?

And speaking of real locations, the large interior mall was filmed at the Apparel Mart in Dallas Texas. I find that amusing since there are only about 4 different types of apparel in the city. I guess in the future people not only lose their initiative, they also lose their fashion sense.