The Andromeda Strain (1971) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
The Andromeda Strain (1971).rtf
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
A U.S. Army satellite (Scoop VII) falls to earth near Piedmont, New Mexico. The recovery team experiences difficulties as it becomes clear that the satellite has performed its intended function all too well, and has brought back something from space. A team of scientists is assembled in a high-tech, underground facility to identify and defeat the \"enemy\" before it is too late.
A remake was recently aired as a two-part mini-series. I watched it and thorougly enjoyed it. It was refreshing to see a remake which was almost as good as the original. Worth watching either before or after watching this original version. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424600/)
Arthur Hill ... Dr. Jeremy Stone
David Wayne ... Dr. Charles Dutton
James Olson ... Dr. Mark Hall
Kate Reid ... Dr. Ruth Leavitt
Paula Kelly ... Karen Anson
George Mitchell ... Jackson
Ramon Bieri ... Major Manchek
Peter Hobbs ... General Sparks
Kermit Murdock ... Dr. Robertson
Richard O\'Brien ... Grimes
Eric Christmas ... Senator from Vermont
Mark Jenkins ... Lt. Shawn (Piedmont team)
Peter Helm ... Sgt. Crane (Piedmont team)
Joe Di Reda ... Wildfire Computer Sgt. Burk (as Joe DiReda)
Carl Reindel ... Lt. Comroe
Robert Wise is an under rated director but in his body of work are such gems as \'The Body Snatcher\', \'The Set-Up\', \'The Day the Earth Stood Still\', \'Odds Against Tomorrow\', \'The Haunting\', \'West Side Story\', \'I Want to Live!\' and on its own terms, \'The Sound of Music\'. He managed to make genre films more interesting and watchable than other more celebrated directors.
\'The Andromeda Strain\' is an engrossing film from beginning to end. It is science fiction, alien virus comes to earth type thing, but has more depth than just that. The scientists, played very well by Arthur Hill, David Wayne, Kate Reid and James Olson, are fallible and have real emotions. Yet in them is a longing to know, to discover, to solve. Most popular cinema celebrate the fist or the gun but part of the excitement of this film is the use of the intellect to tackle the problem. Brains and not brawn is key.
The early scenes in the town of Piedmont are fascinating. Nothing dramatic, only small details adding up to a large tragedy. Restrained film making is not common but in this case it is really effective. After these scenes the film moves on as fear and wonder grip the scientists to a satisfying conclusion.
The electronic music is just right, the sets are atmospheric, the hard ware plausible and the photography simple and effective. A mention should be made of Paula Kelly as a nurse, an excellent actor and shamefully under used in films. (She is great in \'Sweet Charity\' too.)In a supporting role she gives an intelligent, spirited performance.
Easily - EASILY - the best film Michael Crichton has had anything to do with. (That is, of the ones I\'ve seen. For the record, the rest are: `Westworld\', `The First Great Train Robbery\', `Disclosure\', `Jurassic Park\', `Twister\', and `Congo\', although I\'ve never made it to the end of `Congo\'.) Does this say something about Crichton\'s career, or the state of film-making, or neither? Can\'t say.
Whatever - this is pretty darned good science fiction. Sure, it has the vices we\'ve come to expect: scientists with a tendency to act like the crew of the Enterprise, and central protagonists who begin the film by swimming through treacle and end it by leaping tall buildings in a single bound. As for the former problem, well, it\'s not so bad here as it usually is. As for the latter, well, it\'s easy to forgive, because we\'re put through a very tense ride before our heroes crawl out of the treacle - even afterwards. They don\'t make films this tense these days. Or at least, this particular film would have been less tense if it had been made these days. I don\'t think a modern director would have resisted the temptation to goof off at some point.
THAT\'S part of the charm. The film\'s idea of how scientists behave is rather a silly one, but at least the scientists aren\'t forced to act GOOFY in order to show that scientists are really human, after all - as if there was any need to show this. And I\'ll say this: whatever the scientists were like, the SCIENCE is much more intelligent than a modern public has any right to expect. So far as I could tell (not that I\'m an expert in anything) it only stretches into fantasy when it needs to. Wise gives us information, and plenty of it - not techno-babble.
I\'ve heard people snicker at the thirty-year-old look of the film, but I think they\'re nuts. The art direction is wonderful. In a way it does the same thing as the original Star Trek: it creates a coherent, claustrophobic world by force of sheer simplicity. But to see `The Andromeda Strain\' is to see it done WELL.
And yet, you just can\'t help yourself. Under Robert Wise\'s direction, this tale of microbiological Armageddon unfolds with such perfectly metered suspense that by the 100th viewing, you STILL find yourself glued to your couch. You HAVE to see how it turns out, even though you already know.
Although the film is well over 20 years 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. Heck, you\'ve probably already let your kids see the bloody carnage in \"Jurassic Park\" anyway.
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. 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!
The real star of the film is Wildfire itself. A government facility located (we thought) 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 (with their quaint light pens) all the way to the electron microscopes. The Wildfire set is every microbiologist\'s dream come true and it\'s populated by a quartet of actors!
Since the presence of a big-name star might blunt the impact of this high-tech visual feast, Wise carefully assembled a cast of fine actors who just don\'t happen to be household names. Without rehashing the characterizations, we\'ll just say that Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson and Kate Reid couldn\'t possibly have been more perfect for their roles. With a less competent cast, \"The Andromeda Strain\" could have degenerated into a parody of itself. This is gritty work, saving the world from biological annihilation. It takes real ACTORS, not just pretty-boy movie stars!
Go ahead. Be scared out of your wits by something so tiny, you can\'t even see it. I dare you to try and get up before it\'s over.
* The germ from space cost $250,000 to create in special effects.
* The Wildfire scientific lab sets cost more than $300,000 to build, and were described at the time as \"one of the most elaborately detailed interiors ever built.\"
* The Central Core set required the digging of a 70 ft deep by 30 ft wide hole in a soundstage.
* In the novel, the character of Leavitt is a man, but is a woman (played by Kate Reid) in the film.
* Michael Crichton wrote the rough draft for the novel from which this film is adapted while he was still a medical student. He was inspired after a conversation with one of his teachers about the concept of crystal-based life-forms.
* Leavitt in a protest against inserting something to clean out the GI tract makes the statement about \"risked drowning in that foul bath\". The book, but not the movie, had the Wildfire Team submerge completely in an antibiotic solution. The scene may have been cut, but Leavitt still makes reference to it in the movie.
* Dr Stone says, \"The SDS has arrived, no doubt.\" when his wife says someone is at the door to see him. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was a college protest group active in the late 1960s to whom Dr Stone alludes.
* The monkey was \"killed\" by being placed in a large set filled with carbon dioxide. When the monkey\'s cage, containing oxygen was opened, it was rendered unconscious by the CO2. An Assistant director was off camera and brought a breathing apparatus to the monkey who recovered immediately.
* At the plane crash site, the actor that was supposed to call out, \"Major Mancheck,\" fell out of his trailer and broke his leg. He was replaced on the spot with actor Bob Olen, who did the lines but was never credited for it.