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The Andromeda Strain
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Directed with clinical precision by Academy Award winner Robert Wise, this compelling account of the earth’s first biological crisis is perhaps the most chillingly realistic science fiction thriller ever made. After an errant satellite crashes to earth near a remote New Mexico village, the recovery team discovers that almost everyone in the town are victims of a horrible death, with the mysterious exception of an infant and an old homeless man. The survivors are brought to a state-of-the-art laboratory descending five stories beneath the ground where the puzzled scientists race against time to determine the nature of the deadly microbe before it wreaks worldwide havoc. A trailblazer in the areas of special effects and inventive sets, The Andromeda Strain is based on Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel that created national paranoia for its topical relevance to the first moon landing.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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.Read more ›
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.
Jack in Toronto
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
Most recent customer reviews
This film is an interesting story about events that occur when a spacecraft brings an alien organism back to Earth. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Roller
Probably the most believable SI-FI movie I've ever seem even if it is oldPublished 19 months ago by William A. Bolduc
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 morePublished on Feb. 3 2014 by D.W.
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 morePublished on June 12 2004 by Michael Butts
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 morePublished on June 8 2004
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 morePublished on April 25 2004 by Lotus Scrum