The Andromeda Strain (film): Wikis

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The Andromeda Strain

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Wise
Produced by Robert Wise
Written by Screenplay:
Nelson Gidding
Novel:
Michael Crichton
Starring Arthur Hill
James Olson
Kate Reid
David Wayne
Paula Kelly
George Mitchell
Music by Gil Melle
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Editing by Stuart Gilmore
John W. Holmes
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) March 12, 1971 (USA)
Running time 130 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science-fiction film, based on the novel published in 1969 by Michael Crichton about a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin that causes rapid, fatal blood clotting. Directed by Robert Wise, the film starred Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne. The film follows the book closely. The special effects were designed by Douglas Trumbull.

Contents

Filming

Robert Wise used a single set to create Wildfire's color-coded corridors, repainting it for scenes that take place on the different levels. Wise would use this trick again in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. When filming the scene where Dr. Ruth Levitt has an epileptic seizure due to watching a blinking red light, care had to be taken when choosing the frequency of the blinking, so it was the least likely frequency to induce seizures among susceptible viewers in the theater audience.

Cast

The cast of characters in the novel was modified for the film, most notably by changing the male Dr. Peter Leavitt in the novel into a woman, Dr. Ruth Leavitt. Screenwriter Nelson Gidding suggested the change to Wise, who at first was not enthusiastic, as he initially pictured the sex-changed Dr. Leavitt as a largely decorative character reminiscent of Raquel Welch's character in the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. When Gidding explained his take on Leavitt, Wise resolved the question in an appropriately scientific way by asking the opinion of a number of scientists, who were unanimously enthusiastic about the idea. Eventually Wise came to be very happy with the decision to make Leavitt female, as Kate Reid's Dr. Leavitt turned out to be, in his words, "the most interesting character" in the film.[1] Another minor change was the character of Burton in the novel, who became Charles Dutton in the film; no reason was given for this name change.

A young Michael Crichton makes a cameo appearance in a non-speaking role during the scene where Dr. Hall is told to break scrub because he has to report to Wildfire, the government's secret underground research facility.

Critical reception

The opinion of critics is generally mixed, with some critics enjoying the film for its dedication to the original novel and with others disliking it for its drawn-out plot. Overall, the film has earned a 63% "fresh" rating from the film review site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 23 reviews.[2]

Awards

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards:[3]

Soundtrack

Like Forbidden Planet, The Andromeda Strain is one of the few mainstream Hollywood productions to feature an electronic music score. The soundtrack was composed by composer-musician Gil Mellé, who is probably best known for his theme music for the 1970s Rod Serling TV series Night Gallery. It is a unique blend of electronically generated sound, manipulated taped sounds (musique concrete) and some traditional instrumentation (piano, double bass, percussion), punctuated by bursts of electronic white noise and pink noise.

A limited edition soundtrack (10,000 copies) was released by Kapp Records in 1971 under the supervision of director Robert Wise (at a cost of $20,000).[citation needed] The vinyl discs were hexagonal and came housed in a die-cut hexagonal enclosure (which folded out to reveal photographs from the film) attached to a square backing board. The album was re-released shortly afterward as a conventional circular 12" LP in a regular square sleeve.

Other media

Footage and stills from the movie were used in the first serial episode — titled "Population: Zero," aired January 18, 1974 — of the television show Six Million Dollar Man, an episode which deals with a town where all the citizens have succumbed to some external force.[citation needed]

The 1995 television series Neon Genesis Evangelion uses the computer readout "601" in green letters on a black screen to depict the same unreadable data error that is encountered in The Andromeda Strain. This occurs in several episodes, most notably in episode 5 "Rei I." In addition, there are two other concrete references to The Andromeda Strain in the series. First, the layout of Central Dogma is a near carbon-copy of Wildfire. Second, episode 13 Lilliputian Hitcher features an Angel which behaves much like Andromeda — a small crystalline life-form which attacks the seals and vents in Central Dogma, infecting the installation and threatening to trigger its self-destruct sequence.[citation needed]

Trivia

When the Wildfire Alert is called, we find Dr. Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill) and his wife Alice hosting a dinner party for friends and fellow Berkeley academics. When Capt. Morton arrives to "collect" Dr. Stone, Alice interrupts her husband to tell him there's someone at the door. He jokes; "The S.D.S. has arrived, no doubt". This is a reference to the 1960's era Students for a Democratic Society.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Making of The Andromeda Strain, DVD documentary.
  2. ^ The Andromeda Strain at Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed June 8, 2009.
  3. ^ "NY Times: The Andromeda Strain". NY Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/2247/The-Andromeda-Strain/awards. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

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It has been suggested that The Andromeda Strain#The film be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)

The Andromeda Strain is both the title of a 1969 science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton and a 1971 film based on the book, directed by Robert Wise. The film follows the book closely, down to most names, events, and even dialog, although it is necessarily an abridged version.

A mysterious government project scrambles a team of scientists to investigate the cause of a spaceborne disease that kills nearly everyone in a small desert town. They find an extraterrestrial form of life that causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood, and make some disturbing discoveries about the project as well.

Contents

Quotes

Maj. Manchek: Hello, Ops. This is Major Manchek, Scoop Control A-12. We need a fly-by over Piedmont, New Mexico. Infrared, a fluoroscan, all sectors, film to come direct to Scoop. Assign… Gunner Wilson. If he's not crocked some place.

[Two military men summon Dr. Jeremy Stone from a party.]
Capt. Morton: There's a fire, sir.

[Helicopter pilot Dempsey takes Drs. Stone and Mark Hall toward the dead town.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: If anything happens to us, you have your orders.
Dempsey: Yes sir. Proceed directly to Wildfire, and then, uh…
[He makes a slashing motion across his neck.]
Dempsey: … zzzt!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: [to Hall] If we're eliminated, the aircraft and pilot'll have to be sterilized.
Dempsey: Uh, wait a minute! That's not what they told me. Just "incinerated".

[Stone shows Hall a dead man with peaceful, composed posture.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Are you sure that isn't coronary?
Dr. Mark Hall: No, coronary is painful. They should grimace.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: If it was fast, they wouldn't have time!
Dr. Mark Hall: Fast? These people were cut down in mid-stride!

[Hall reads a suicide note from an old woman hanging over her stairs.]
Dr. Mark Hall: "The Day of Judgement is at hand. Have mercy on my soul… and to Hell with all the others, amen!"

[The two doctors find a dead man kneeling over a bathtub, head in the water.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: I wouldn't believe you could commit suicide that way.
Dr. Mark Hall: Most of them died instantly, but a few had time to go quietly nuts.

[Dr. Ruth Leavitt shields her eyes as she and Dr. Charles Dutton walk past a barricade with flashing red lights.]
Dr. Charles Dutton: Something wrong?
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: I never liked red lights. Reminds me of my years in a bordello.

[Ruth recalls a conversation with a colleague.]
Dr. Rudolph Karp: Fools! They refuse to believe life exists in meteorites. I showed them at the astrophysics conference what I just showed you. But no! Even with a microscope, they are blind! What do I have to do, hit them over the head?

[Stone hands out suppositories to the team members.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Um… stop by your rooms and insert these before taking the elevator.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: I have risked drowning in that foul bath! I have been par-boiled, irradiated, and xenon-flashed! And now you suggest I—
Dr. Jeremy Stone: I have to! We haven't done a thing about the G.I. tract yet. On Level 5, we must be as nearly germ-free as possible!
[Leavitt eyes her suppository distastefully.]
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: Anyone care to join me for a smoke?

[Dr. Dutton orders a bio-suited Toby out of a contaminated chamber.]
Toby: No sweat, sir. Those cages are airtight.
Dr. Charles Dutton: I wish you would sweat a little more, Toby. Sweat is a safeguard against some kinds of bacteria and carelessness.

Dr. Jeremy Stone: Stick to established procedures!
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: Establishment gonna fall down go boom.

Dr. Stone (unsure): Whatever it is, it's larger than a virus.

Dr. Stone (unsure): The pair survived because the baby's blood was too alkaline, and the old man's too...acid. That's it!! I'll bet the ability of Andromeda to survive inside the human body has something to do with blood chemistry!

[Gen. Sparks and Maj. Manchek examine bare human bones and a crumbled oxygen mask from a jet crash.]
Consultant: I'd say it was done by a chemical reaction of some sort, or maybe a microorganism.
Gen. Sparks: Meaning?
Maj. Manchek: Meaning there was something in that plane that consumes plastic.

[Jackson slaps his hand on bio-suited nurse Karen Anson's butt while being examined.]
Karen Anson: Feeling better, aren't you, Mr. Jackson?
Jackson: Yehhhp! You always have to wear that iron suit?
Karen Anson: [imitating Jackson] Yehhhp!
. . .
Dr. Mark Hall: Tell us what happened, Mr. Jackson.
Jackson: I don't wanna think about it.
Dr. Mark Hall: You know what people will say: "Piedmont was bad. That's why it was punished." First the town went crazy, and then was destroyed.
Jackson: You're crazy. Folks at Piedmont was good! Decent, normal folks!
Dr. Mark Hall: The man we found all dressed up in his doughboy's uniform - [who wrote a note before committing suicide in a spectacular fashion] call that normal?
Jackson: Pete Arnold, who worked at the store. It was the disease!
Dr. Mark Hall: How do you know?
Jackson: 'Cause the only thing wrong with him before that night, was sugar.
Dr. Mark Hall: Diabetes? Did he take insulin?
Jackson: Couple of times a day! Hated the needle. I tried to talk him into usin' squeeze.

[After insisting on nuclear sterilization of Piedmont, the Wildfire team reverses themselves.]
Presidential Aide: The boss'll be pleased to know that he made the right decision on 7-12 in the first place.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: [sarcastically] Congratulate him on his scientific insight!

[The scientists examine an electronic map to determine the projected spread of the organism.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Well, according to this, there'll be a super-colony of Andromeda over the entire southwest in—
Dr. Charles Dutton: Jeremy! These are biological warfare maps!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Why, yes, so they are. Well, but… simulations, Charlie. Defensive! It's just a scenario.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: That's not the point, for God's sake! Wildfire was built for germ warfare! Wildfire and Scoop! And you knew, Stone! You knew it!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: That's not true, Ruth! I learned about Scoop the same time you did!
Dr. Charles Dutton: They already had Andromeda programmed! The purpose of Scoop was to find new biological weapons in outer space, and then use Wildfire to develop them!
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: It stinks, Stone!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: You're blowing your tops! We have no proof.
Dr. Charles Dutton: The map!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Don't be an ass! That map only shows what Andromeda could do in the hands of an enemy!
Dr. Charles Dutton: Enemy? We did it to ourselves!

Jackson: Hell of a way to run a hospital.

Dr. Jeremy Stone: When the bomb goes off there'll be a thousand mutations! Andromeda will spread everywhere! They'll never be rid of it!
. . .
[Stone observes the unfinished disarming substation nearby.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: The defense system is perfect, Mark! It'll even bury our mistakes!

[Hall runs past Jackson in the observation room toward the Central Core hatch.]
Jackson: Hey, Doc! You ain't leavin' us here, are ya?!

Wildfire P.A. System: Self-destruct has been cancelled.

[Final lines of the film.]
Sen. Phillips: This cloud-seeding business, Stone — [are] you absolutely sure it worked? You better be!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: All reports continue to indicate that the experiment was successful, Senator.
Sen. Phillips: Then we can feel confident your so-called biological crisis is over.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: As far as Andromeda is concerned, yes. We have the organism at Wildfire, and we continue to study it. We know now beyond a doubt that other forms of life exist in the universe.
Sen. Phillips: Thanks to Scoop.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Yes. [pauses] However, with this new knowledge, there's no guarantee that another "so-called biological crisis" won't occur again.
Sen. Phillips: Hmm. What do we do about that?
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Precisely, Senator. What do we do?

Cast

See also

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