Logan, a Sandman (police assassin), is forced to search for \"Sanctuary\" - a place to which people have apparently escaped from the sealed city of the future in which he lives. Jessica is caught up along the way and becomes his companion fugitive as they are both pursued by Francis, a fellow Sandman. Sanctuary is not what they expect.
Michael York ... Logan
Richard Jordan ... Francis
Jenny Agutter ... Jessica
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Box
Farrah Fawcett ... Holly (as Farrah Fawcett-Majors)
Michael Anderson Jr. ... Doc
Peter Ustinov ... Old Man
Randolph Roberts ... 2nd Sanctuary Man
Lara Lindsay ... The Woman Runner
Gary Morgan ... Billy
Michelle Stacy ... Mary 2
Laura Hippe ... Woman Customer
David Westberg ... Sandman
Camilla Carr ... Sanctuary Woman
1976\'s \"Logan\'s Run\" is an all-time science fiction classic, and one of my personal favorite films ever since I first saw it on TV as a kid. I\'ve always been fascinated by the storyline, and although the film\'s Oscar-winning visual effects have long since been surpassed, they\'re still quite colorful to look at (including the groundbreaking use of holography). There\'s fine performances all around, such as the perfectly-cast Michael York as Logan, the very lovely Jenny Agutter as Jessica (she & York have terrific chemistry together), as well as the delightful Peter Ustinov as Old Man (who Logan & Jessica discover living alone with his cats outside the city), Richard Jordan as Logan\'s best friend Francis, and there\'s even an enjoyable appearance from Farrah Fawcett (Majors) in her sexy, 70\'s prime, as an attractive assistant working in a facelift shop called New You. And director Michael Anderson steers the film quite nicely from beginning to end.
Some have criticized \"Logan\'s Run\" as being too long, saying that the film bogs down in the middle when Logan & Jessica get outside the city and meet the Old Man. I say hogwash---I\'ve always enjoyed this part of the film, featuring Ustinov\'s charming turn as the Old Man. Besides, it\'s an important part of the story, as Logan & Jessica fall in love with one another, and learn through meeting the Old Man that there IS, in fact, life after 30. Without this segment of the film, \"Logan\'s Run\" would be pointless. It\'s there for a reason, and I like it just as much as the rest of the film.
Upon it\'s release in 1976, \"Logan\'s Run\" was arguably the \"hippest\" sci-fi film ever made up to that point. Then, of course, the original \"Star Wars\" was released the following year, which pretty much knocked \"Logan\'s Run\" off the sci-fi pedestal. But no matter---the film remains an enduring classic of it\'s genre, with a big following to this day. Over 25 years later, \"Logan\'s Run\" is still a ton of futuristic fun. :-)
I must admit that I should be ashamed as a sci-fi fan: I hadn\'t seen this film until recently, and I wanted to better understand the parody from \"Free Enterprise\".
But I enjoyed the film.
Watching this film against the more recent glut of sci-fi films, I have to say that they made them a little more original back in the 70\'s-80\'s, instead of everything being techno-computer-CG-spaceship fights. A grim look at the downside of maintaining an \"ideal\", utopian society. When you hit 30, you either have the option of willingly submitting yourself to be killed under a pretense of renewal, or having the Sandmen play with you before they go in for the kill. Neither option seems really appealing. But the idea of one of the killers having to face their mortality is an interesting idea.
A little slow in places (but I did keep wanting to see what would happen next), and some of the special effects look really dated (even to \'77\'s \"Star Wars\"), but the story holds up well, and it\'s an entertaining ride overall.
It\'s truly a classic of the genre, and I wish I had seen it sooner.
Logan\'s Run is a polarizing film: you either like it or hate it, there isn\'t much in between. It also tends to be loved more by the people who saw it in the 70\'s and early 80\'s. It features an interesting dystopian society and plenty of action, plus top notch special effects (for pre-ILM 1976).
Spoilers- Logan\'s Run is based on the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. The movie departs from the novel in several aspects, the main ones being a lifespan of 30, instead of 21; and a domed city, rather than the entire country as a playground.
In the movie, after overpopulation brings on a cataclysmic war, society is restructured so that life ends at 30, and the citizens must go on Carousel to try to renew. However, some people don\'t like these options and go on the run. Sandmen are charged with hunting down these misfits. Logan is a Sandman who is ordered to track down these runners and destroy Sanctuary, the final goal of the runners. The controlling computer alters the lifeclock embedded in his palm and advances it three years, to Logan\'s Lastday. Logan encounters Jessica, a young woman with knowledge of the route to Sanctuary. Together, they go on the run to find Sanctuary, while Logan\'s partner, Francis, hunts for them.
Logan and Jessica find a whole world outside the dome of the city and encounter an eccentric old man. They return to the city to reveal what they have seen and tear down the system.
Michael York and Jenny Agutter are excellent in the lead roles of Logan and Jessica. Robert Jordan and Peter Ustinov make for a fine supporting cast. All are classically trained actors who bring a lot to the film. Farrah Fawcett appears in a small role and is little more than window dressing.
The effects were state-of-the-art, for 1976. ILM would bring a revolution in effects work the following year; but, for the time and the budget, Logan\'s effects were quite good. Some of the model shots are obvious and the Sandman\'s gun takes some getting used to, but it works.
The costumes are pure \"Disco\", which puts them on par with other films of the era. Even Star Wars didn\'t totally escape this problem. The Sandman uniforms look fairly menacing and the citizens\' clothes do fit in with the hedonistic society.
The story is a byproduct of 60\'s and early 70\'s concerns (the novel was published in 1967); overpopulation and a large youth culture who felt marginalized. The story is more cerebral, in keeping with other sci-fi films of the era (like Silent Running and the Planet of the Apes films), but does have a healthy dose of action.
The main flaws of the movie occur when Logan and Jessica discover the world outside the domed city. It\'s never quite as interesting as the city, and the discovery of Washington, DC is swiped from Planet of the Apes. Although Peter Ustinov adds some color and humor to the film, these scenes tend to slow things down too much. When Francis re-enters, things pick back up; but the time in between seems too long.
I\'ve always loved the film, although it\'s not perfect. I don\'t consider it to be the \"greatest\" sci-fi film of the 70\'s, it is one of the better ones. Consider the major sci-fi films of the 70\'s: Soylent Green, Omega Man, Escape from/Conquest of/Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Dark Star, Silent Running, Logan\'s Run, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Outland, Alien, Star Trek TMP, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Superman. The best films came in near the end of the decade of the 70\'s. Logan\'s Run is kind of a dividing line between old sci-fi films and the more modern. Sure, Soylent Green and Escape from the POTA are considered classics (by some) but they are still mainly cult films. Logan\'s Run is closer to being a blockbuster than those early films (with the possible exception of Escape). It shares the more plot and character-driven elements of those earlier films, with the action and special effects of the later films. It\'s not a perfect synthesis, but it was a step in that direction. In some ways, sci-fi has regressed; too many films now are glorified action pieces, with futuristic trappings; but, little in the way of deep thought or forward-thinking ideas.
Logan\'s Run is an excellent film that still, mostly, holds up well. It is a blend of thoughtful ideas and action, in an interesting setting. The performances are good and most of the effects serve their purpose well. It does slow down in the later half, but it has a good ending. Definitely a must or any student of sci-fi cinema.
* The costuming was originally intended to be relatively scanty for all the actors in the film, but it was decided the resulting demands on makeup were prohibitive.
* The first choices for the roles of Logan and Jessica were Jon Voight and Lindsay Wagner. The role of Peter Ustinov\'s character, the Old Man, was offered to James Cagney.
* The character of Francis was originally to be played by William Devane, but he pulled out of the film.
* According to Michael Anderson, the old man\'s buttons are United States pennies. He made makeshift buttons out of them because he couldn\'t find any real buttons.
* An extra makes the Vulcan salute from \"Star Trek\" (1966) when waving to the old man after everyone escapes the exploding city.
* The shots of the pistons that controlled the elevator leading to the scene in the ice cave were taken directly from director Michael Anderson\'s previous film, The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
* The life clocks on everyone\'s hands all start out clear (at birth), turn yellow at age 8, green at 16, and red at 23. Everyone wears clothes the same color as their life clocks (except Sandmen, who wear black uniforms). As Lastday - age 30 - approaches, the life clocks flash red and black, then, at 30 turn totally black.
* During the encounter between the old man and the runners Logan and Jessica, the old man often quotes poems out of \"Old Possum\'s Book of Practical Cats\" by T.S. Eliot.
* The waterfalls and steps that Logan jumps into to get back into the dome are real. This is the \"active pool\" of the Water Gardens located in Ft. Worth, Texas. The active pool has been closed since June 2004, when four people drowned there, near the spot where Logan and Jessica dove in.
* Michael York, Richard Jordan and Michael Anderson Jr. were all over 30 when they made the film.
* This was originally going to be produced by George Pal, but by this time, Pal had already left the studio.
* Though the model of the dome city\'s interior lacks sufficient detail to give it any sense of realism, it was nonetheless constructed on a fairly large scale in order to accommodate the rail system for the miniature maze cars. Many of the buildings in the foreground of the model were three to four feet in height. The buildings were built at differing scales based on their distance from the camera, to give the model landscape a greater sense of depth (a common photographic/special effects technique known as \"forced perspective\").
* At least two full-sized maze cars were built for the film, powered by electric golf cart motors.
* The stairs which Logan and Jessica climb down to escape from the \"Love Shop\" actually led to the catwalk above one of the MGM sound stages.
* The \"Love Shop\" sequence originally ran much longer, but had to be cut down under pressure from the MGM censors. Other cut scenes include Box making a nude ice sculpture of Logan and Jessica, and several characters visiting the \"Hallucimill\" shop in Arcade (the latter was cut for its depiction of drug use). All of the additional footage and its background music score were subsequently lost in what is now known as \"the great MGM purge\", when studio owner Kirk Kerkorian sold off what he could of the studio\'s extensive archives and simply threw out the rest.
* The pool from which Logan and Jessica emerge when they re-enter the city is the famous \"Esther Williams\" tank at MGM.
* The \"Carousel\" sequence is one of the most complex flying wire stunts ever done for a motion picture. A circular rig was constructed above the set, designed to rotate in sync with the revolving floor plate below. Initially, the performers were all supported by a single winch driving the mechanism for their thin support cables. Unfortunately this resulted in the cables becoming tangled during rehearsal; each stuntman had to be untangled and brought down from the rig in a maintenance lift. The rig then had to be redesigned so that each stuntman was on their own separate winch, with all of the winches connected to a \"panic\" switch that cut the power in the event of an emergency. For reversal shots, the white crystal on the arena ceiling was built on the floor of the stage, and the performers were lowered down towards it. These shots were then filmed upside-down so as to make it appear that the performers were moving upward.
* The sandmen\'s laser guns worked using tiny butane gas cartridges, and were difficult to make work reliably on set as the gas did not always ignite when the trigger was pulled.
* When the Old Man is showing Logan some of the portraits that used to hang on the walls of the capital, one of them was originally to have been of President Richard Nixon; \"They used to call him tricky... something\". According to director Michael Anderson, the gag was considered too controversial at the time and was dropped.
* The ice cave sequence was actually filmed in the middle of the summer in Los Angeles. The people frozen in the ice were not mannequins, but extras who were spray painted white. The extras all had to stand perfectly still for several minutes at a time for each take.
* Roscoe Lee Browne both voiced and performed Box the robot on-set. The unwieldy costume made it impossible for Browne to right himself if he fell over.
* On the day of shooting, director Michael Anderson and producer Saul David decided that Logan should look more \"casual\" for the first scene in his apartment. Costume designer Bill Thomas threw together Logan\'s black house robe in about two hours while the set was being lit. Michael York kept the robe as a souvenir after filming.
* The interior shots of the main hall were filmed in the \"Great Hall\" at the Appearel Mart in Dallas Texas.
* If you pay attention to Jerry Goldsmith\'s score, you\'ll find that he uses a full orchestra with no electronic instruments when the action is outside of the city. When inside the city, his orchestra consists solely of strings, piano, and electronic instruments (though the \"New Face\" segment has some metal percussion instruments that are heard). The music at the beginning of the film during the credits does add the electronic instruments with the full orchestra though.
* First film to ever use Dolby Stereo.
* In the Carousel sequence at the beginning of the film, there are approximately 36 citizens (give or take a few) who are \"Renewing\". If we assume that all citizens are required to enter Carousel on their thirtieth birthdays, that all birthdays are distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, and that the number of people who \"run\" is fairly small, a bit of mathematics allows us to conclude that the city\'s population is about 400,000 people.