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The Andromeda Strain

James Olson , Arthur Hill , Robert Wise    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Andromeda Strain + Westworld [Import] + The Omega Man
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The best-selling novel by Michael Crichton was faithfully adapted for this taut 1971 thriller, about a team of scientists racing against time to destroy a deadly alien virus that threatens to wipe out life on Earth. As usual with any Crichton-based movie, the emphasis is on an exciting clash between nature and science, beginning when virologists discover the outer-space virus in a tiny town full of corpses. Projecting total contamination, the scientists isolate the deadly strain in a massive, high-tech underground lab facility, which is rigged for nuclear destruction if the virus is not successfully controlled. The movie spends a great deal of time covering the scientific procedures of the high-pressure investigation, and the rising tensions between scientists who have been forced to work in claustrophobic conditions. It's all very fascinating if you're interested in scientific method and technological advances, although the film is obviously dated in many of its details. It's more effective as a thriller in which tension is derived not only from the deadly threat of the virus, but from the escalating fear and anxiety among the small group of people who've been assigned to save the human race. The basic premise is still captivating; it's easy to see how this became the foundation of Crichton's science-thriller empire. --Jeff Shannon

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Potent Strain of Realism July 13 2004
Format:DVD
When a man-made satellite crash-lands on Earth near a small desert town, the town residents are unaware that it carries a deadly virus from space and therefore take no precautions when handling the device. Within a frighteningly short period of time, all of the town's inhabitants are dead. All, that is, except for a crying baby and the town drunk. After being alerted to the situation, the U.S. government fears that the world's entire population may be in danger of extinction, so a crackerjack team of the nations top medical scientists is dispatched to a secret underground laboratory so that they can study the survivors and discover a cure or treatment for the alien virus before it's too late.
1971's THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN is one of the few science-fiction movies released in the immediate wake of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) that has successfully retained high status in the SF genre, and that's because it is also one of the few SF films from that era that actually takes the genre seriously and challenges the viewer's intellect. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton--one of the first movies based on a work by this now highly sought writer & director--scripter Nelson Gidding and director Robert Wise have crafted a stimulating film that is as much a scientific detective story as it is a sci-fi thriller. Audience members are kept on the edge of their seats as the scientists race against time to prevent the alien microorganism from destroying life on earth, yet viewers are also clued-in enough to stimulate their gray matter and keep them speculating right along with the film's characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Odd men and computers March 17 2009
By Michael W. Perry TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is a 1971 film based on a 1969 book with the same name. Together, they established Michael Crichton's reputation as a talented writer of techno-thrillers. His success culminated in his immensely successful Jurassic Park.

The plot is excellent and reflects Crichton's education as a physician. A returning spacecraft has brought back to earth a deadly organism, and a race begins to understand how it functions before it spreads to the rest of humanity.

I found the "odd man hypothesis" particularly intriguing. If you needed someone to make a decision that might require them to die to save humanity from a deadly plague, what sort of person should you select? For this tale, Crichton manufactured scientific research claiming that your best choice was the "odd man"'an unmarried man. Personally, I suspect you'd have to be careful to select the right sort of man.

Coming along after the 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, this film helped to pioneer special effects in movies. In fact, the circular hallways of the underground laboratory in it reminded me of those in 2001. Here, however, the computers are impersonal and benign. In fact, to modern eyes, they seem distinctly primitive, displaying green text on terminals and printing to teletypes. You're getting a glimpse into the past. I worked with minicomputers in 1968, and that's how they looked. Don''t laugh. In thirty years or less, our computers will seem equally primitive.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State
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4.0 out of 5 stars FRIGHTENING WHAT IF MOVIE June 12 2004
Format:DVD
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN was the first of Michael Crichton's novels to be successfully screened. It's a tense, suspenseful look at what happens when an unknown virus returns to earth via one of our satellites and quickly decimates the entire population (except 2--a baby and a drunk) of a small town. The movie's focus is on finding out what the virus is and how it can kill so expeditiously.
Robert Wise who gave us THE HAUNTING and THE SOUND OF MUSIC uses some split screen techniques which work well, and keeps the movie dark and suspenseful. Although it has become somewhat dated in its technologies, Wise elicits good performances from the cast, especially Kate Reid, David Wayne and Paula Kelly. Arthur Hill is a little to stiff for my liking, and James Olson overplays some of his scenes.
Still a worthwhile film, and one that will scare the pants off of you in light of where we've come with germ warfare.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ROBERT WISE IN CONTROL Feb. 23 2004
By JohnK
Format:DVD
People should know that despite the comparable lack of name recognition director Robert Wise in responsible for landmark films like WEST SIDE STORY, THE HAUNTING,THE SOUND OF MUSIC,THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN as well as many popular movies most people count among their favorites. An aspect common to all of the above is the the palpable presence of a serious, absorbed and controling presenter. Wise films are serious business. There is nothing gratuitous or trivial in his work. One gets the feeling he is watching over we who watch him as he guides us through a story and his fatherly fingerprints are all over ANDROMEDA STRAIN. The science is believable and the effects frighteningly blunt. Entombed with the films desperate characters as they struggle blindly to solve the the impending disaster we are subjected to sterile matter of fact views and emotionless cuts to their unraveling efforts that will wipe us all out - or not. It's as if Wise were saying, "Things like this could happen and they could happen like this and all you could do about it would be to sit and watch." Rarely are science fiction themes supported by such restraint. Young viewers may be lost without the action factor but anyone who likes intelegent thrillers will not be disapointed. Robert Wise's movies are for mature audiences of all ages.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Product may be good. Yet to get it. Prime is a waste.
I received the product, but the whole 'get it within the next 48 hours using Prime' was a bogus as one could endure. Days turned into well over a week and some. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D.W.
1.0 out of 5 stars The crashing Bore from outer space
The Andromeda Strain is one of the worst films ever made. It is about a deadly Bacterium from the Andromeda Galaxy, which is spreading on earth. Read more
Published on June 8 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, boring film.
The story is a good one but the film presented here comes off as lackluster and dated. It was supposed to be a "thriller" but lost the 'thrill' early on in the film. Read more
Published on April 25 2004 by Lotus Scrum
5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, Okay But Why Is This Movie Good ?
From the other reviewers you already know it is about some foreign piece of bio-hazard that lands in this small town in New Mexico killing everyone but two people. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by J. E. Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars They actually use Science in this movie....
There have actually been very few science fiction movies that used any kind of science in their stories. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Effortless Strain
Based on the best selling novel by Michael Crichton, the 1971 film version of The Andromeda Strain, stands as a solid adaptation and one of the decade's top sci-fi films. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by T. Lobascio
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands the Test of Time
"Andromeda Strain" is one of my favorite movies because it stands the test of time. Although made in the early 1970's, the technology shown,
including the computers... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by givbatam3
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilling Premise, but Downhill From There.
The year is 1971. A satellite has fallen to Earth and landed in Piedmont, New Mexico, population 68. Read more
Published on Oct. 5 2003 by mirasreviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favorite movie to date!!!
As a kid I saw this movie but had no idea what it was - my parents did not want to leave us with babysitters so we just tagged along. Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2003 by One World
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