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The Andromeda Strain (1971)

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A team of top scientists work feverishly in a secret, state-of-the-art laboratory to discover what has killed the citizens of a small town and learn how this deadly contagion can be stopped.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), Nelson Gidding (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Kermit Murdock ... Dr. Robertson
Richard O'Brien Richard O'Brien ... Grimes
Peter Hobbs ... General Sparks
Eric Christmas ... Senator from Vermont
Mark Jenkins Mark Jenkins ... Lt. Shawn (Piedmont team)
Peter Helm ... Sgt. Crane (Piedmont team)
Joe Di Reda Joe Di Reda ... Wildfire Computer Sgt. Burk (as Joe DiReda)
Carl Reindel Carl Reindel ... Lt. Comroe
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Storyline

When virtually all of the residents of Piedmont, New Mexico, are found dead after the return to Earth of a space satellite, the head of the US Air Force's Project Scoop declares an emergency. Many years prior to this incident, a group of eminent scientists led by Dr. Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill) advocated for the construction of a secure laboratory facility that would serve as a base in the event an alien biological life form was returned to Earth from a space mission. Stone and his team - Drs. Dutton, Leavitt and Hall (David Wayne, Kate Reid, and James Olson, respectively)- go to the facility, known as Wildfire, and try to first isolate the life form while determining why two people from Piedmont (an old wino and a six-month-old baby) survived. The scientists methodically study the alien life form unaware that it has already mutated and presents a far greater danger in the lab, which is equipped with a nuclear self-destruct device should it manage to escape. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rated G...But May Be Too INTENSE For Younger Children See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La amenaza de Andrómeda See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The phrase "Let's go back to the rock and see it at four forty" is sampled in the Apollo 440 song "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub". See more »

Goofs

The lips of the dead man in the barber's chair in Piedmont can be seen moving in the close shot. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Mark Hall: I'll have the answer when I know why a sixty-nine-year-old sterno drinker with an ulcer is like a normal six-month-old baby.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits read: "ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This film concerns the four-day history of a major American scientific crisis. We received the generous help of many people attached to Project Scoop at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Wildfire Laboratory in Flatrock, Nevada. They encouraged us to tell the story accurately and in detail." "The documents presented here are soon to be made public. They do not in any way jeopardize the national security." See more »

Alternate Versions

Earlier VHS releases showed the scene where Stone and Hall search the town as full screen shots cutting back and forth from them to the victims inside their houses, and does not show the shot of the topless victim. The DVD release shows both searchers and victims simutaniously in reduced size split-screen shots and include the topless woman both in that scene as well as in a later flashback by Stone at Project Wild Fire. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinematic Excrement: Inchon (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The finest example of how to make science-fiction movies
23 December 2002 | by danila_1See all my reviews

The Andromeda Strain is virtually perfect. And it doesn't need the special effects of Alien to succeed in telling the similar story of alien life and our contact with it. The movie is captivating right from the starting credits that introduce us to story. Of course, the director had a brilliant novel of Michael Crichton, but he also did his best to bring this novel to the screen sacrificing neither the main idea, nor the minor details. Actually, all the details that mark every scientific thriller by Crichton are there in the film. The Andromeda Strain doesn't have any dinosaurs, it only has a small virus, but overall it is a much better film than any of the Jurassic Parks. And it succeeds in telling us a great story about science much better than some modern CGI-filled movies like Invisible Man.

Finally, the acting is flawless, the actors are great, sets are excellent. If you want to see a great sci-fi movie, choose this one and you want be disappointed.


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