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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)
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4,561 ( 1,093)
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 ... 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:

The picture runs 130 minutes!... The story covers 96 of the most critical hours in man's history!... The suspense will last through your lifetime! 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:

The Andromeda Strain 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 Central Core set required the digging of a 70-ft.-deep by 40-ft.-wide hole in a soundstage. See more »

Goofs

The plane approaching Piedmont for the initial flyover is an RF-4C, a two pilot reconnaissance aircraft. Later, a shot is looking forward showing the cockpit and forward section of the plane. It is clearly not a two cockpit aircraft nor does it have the distinctive profile of the F-4. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Mark Hall: Air doesn't matter! Blood does. That's the answer.
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

The VHS version deletes a few scenes of the "searching the town" scene, including a shot of a topless young woman lying in bed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Making the 'Lost World' (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Shows its Age ??? What ???
4 September 2005 | by triplem33See all my reviews

OK. I'm reading these reviews and I keep seeing the same things. Its shows its age. What ? That's like saying the aircraft in a WWII movie show their age. Of course it shows its age - this was the 1970s. Did you expect to see Pentium 4s with DVD Drives? If thats you main criticism then the movie must be good.

It is good. Probably one of the most realistic and suspenseful movies of its kind ever made. Though PURSUIT was pretty good as well. Robert Wise does a very good job of building the story in a leisurely pace that keep you rivetted. I've seen the movie now about a dozen times and it still keeps me interested. Its not one of those movies where you can stop it and watch the remainder the next day. It has to watched in one sitting. I think the casting of ordinary Joes in the leads was very telling. This is a story about science not about characters.

It will be interesting to see what they will do with the remake. Obviously the story is still relevant today - maybe even more so then in the late 60s.


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