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The Andromeda Strain

James Olson , Arthur Hill , Robert Wise    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Andromeda Strain + Fantastic Voyage (Bilingual Special Edition)
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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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5 of 5 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 ROBERT WISE IN CONTROL Feb. 22 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, Okay But Why Is This Movie Good ? Feb. 16 2004
Format:DVD
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. But the question is... why is this old move based on a story by Michael Crichton so good? There are many sci-fi movies.
We know why Jurassic Park was a hit. It was the first time someone thought of taking DNA and then re-created pre-historic dinosaurs - and then it was all done in fabulous beautiful color with special effects and helicopter shots and scenes in the rain. But this movie does not have that.
Andromeda Strain is in black and white about a small group of people and dominated mainly by Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill) and Dr. Ruth Leavitt (Kate Reid) locked underground in this small laboratory trying to figure out what is this biohazard (exactly) and how can they control it. They use various gadgets including scanning electron microscopes etc. all dressed in white lab coats - the stereotypical scientists, never entertaininng people!!
My take on it is that it has a certain feel like the "Twilight Zone" where you really do not know if this investigation will succeed or suddenly go terribly wrong. It leaves you glued to the movie (TV). In fact it turns out that the "thing" is not from our world. It grows when it is radiated and they almost have a disaster blow up in their face. It is all just very suspenseful and well executed, i.e.: good acting and directing, with enough technical stuff to make it seem credible.
5 Stars.
Jack in Toronto
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4.0 out of 5 stars Effortless Strain Jan. 19 2004
Format:DVD
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. Since, the 70's saw a surge for the genre, that's quite a feat.
When a small space probe falls to earth in a remote village of New Mexico, all but two of the town's population meet their death, as their blood turns to a powder. After two reconnaissance pilots are called on to investigate the tragedy, they also perish, a national state of emergency is declared. The survivors and the recovered space probe are transported to a five-story underground laboratory, and a team of scientists--biologist Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill), microbiologist Ruth Leavitt (Kate Reid), blood chemistry authority Mark Hall (James Olson), and pathologist Charles Dutton (David Wayne)--is quickly brought to the lab to discover the nature of the deadly organism transported by the space probe. The special team learns that the small bioagent nicknamed the Adromeda Strain, has an alien origin, and the scientists must somehow find a cure before all of the human race becomes extinct.
As with many of Crichton's works, there is clearly a battle between man and science, as its basis here. Adapted by Nelson Gidding, who also worked with Wise on the first film version of The Haunting, captures that aspect perfectly. Wise makes the film with lots great touches. Even though, it was made for a fraction of what it costs to make today's "blockbusters", thanks to a strong cast and winning production values--it hasn't lost any of its drama or excitement.
Sadly, the DVD doesn't have an audio commentary from Wise, and after enjoying his tracks on The Day The Earth Stood Still and The Haunting, given the film's history--I was a bit disappointed.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Scientific Thriller
This film is an interesting story about events that occur when a spacecraft brings an alien organism back to Earth. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Roller
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Probably the most believable SI-FI movie I've ever seem even if it is old
Published 1 month ago by William A. Bolduc
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 6 months ago by D.W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd men and computers
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. Read more
Published on March 17 2009 by Michael W. Perry
4.0 out of 5 stars FRIGHTENING WHAT IF MOVIE
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... Read more
Published on June 12 2004 by Michael Butts
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
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
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
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