Lone Wolf Sullivan is a writer, songwriter, and studio musician.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

LOGAN'S RUN (1976) * * *

LOGAN'S RUN is a big-budget futuristic sci-fi fantasy based on the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. After Earth has been decimated by a nuclear holocaust, citizens live in a hedonistic society within a huge domed bubble.

In 2274 Logan 5 (Michael York) and his partner Francis 7 (Richard Jordan) are "Sandmen", policemen who hunt down "runners"--people over 30 who refuse "renewal" by "Carousal" (execution). Logan, approaching age 30, is ordered to find and destroy "Sanctuary", the mythical place of refuge where "runners" can live out their natural lifespans. He meets "runner" Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter).

Logan 5: "Killed? Why do you use that word?"
Jessica 6: "Isn't that what you do? Kill?"
Logan 5: "I've never killed anyone in my life. Sandmen terminate runners. What's your name?"
Jessica 6: "Jessica."
Logan 5: "You're sad enough. You're beautiful. Let's have sex."
Jessica 6: "No."
Logan 5: "Then why are you wasting my time. Why did you put yourself on the circuit?"
Jessica 6: "I thought I had to do something. I told you it was a mistake. And I've changed my mind."
Logan 5: "Because I'm a Sandman? Am I your first?"
Jessica 6: "Yes."

They discover a devasted Washington, D.C. overrun with countless cats. An old man, Ballard (Peter Ustinov) educates them about the truth. Regarding the cats, the old man says, "The naming of cats is a difficult matter, it's not just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter, when I tell you that each cat's got three different names." He tells Logan 5 that he was raised by Logan's parents. Logan realizes the system is wrong, and returns to the dome to destroy the computer responsible for the homicidal madness.

Logan 5: "NO! Don't go in there! You don't have to die! No one has to die at 30! You could live! LIVE! Live, and grow old! I've seen it! She's seen it!"
(Shows the crystal on his palm)
Logan 5: "Well, look! LOOK! LOOK, IT'S CLEAR!"
P.A. System: "Lastday, Capricorn 29's. Year of the City: 2274. Carousel begins."
Jessica: "No. Don't! Don't go! Listen to him! He's telling the truth!"
(crowd laughs)
Jessica: "We've been outside! There's another world outside! We've seen it!"
(Sandmen grab them)
Logan 5: "Life clocks are a lie! Carousel is a lie! THERE IS NO RENEWAL!"

This interesting movie has good production values, inventive sets, and beautiful realistic miniatures. It won an Oscar for visual effects. Everything reflects the 1970's, from the swinging neo-hippie society to the ultra-clean environment. The first half is better than the last half, but nonetheless LOGAN'S RUN is a classic science fiction film.

The cast also includes: Farrah Fawcett-Majors (Holly 13), Roscoe Lee Brown (Box), Michael Anderson Jr. (Doc), Randolph Roberts (2nd Sanctuary man), Lara Lindasy (woman runner), Gary Morgan (Billy), Michelle Stacy (Mary 2), Laura Hippe (woman customer), David Westberg (Sandman), Camilla Carr (Sanctuary woman), Greg Lewis (Cub), Ashley Cox (timid girl), Bill Couch (Sandman), Glenn R. Wilder (Great Hall runner), and others. Michael Anderson directed, David Zelag Goodman wrote the script, and Jerry Goldsmith composed the music.

CBS ran a brief TV version in 1977-1978. There are 13 episodes (60 minutes) plus the 90 minute pilot. Gregory Harrison is probably a little better than Michael York as Logan, but the series is rather weak compared to the film.

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