Logan's Run (film)
poster for US theatrical release
|Directed by||Michael Anderson|
|Produced by||Saul David|
|Screenplay by||David Zelag Goodman|
|Based on||Logan's Run
by William F. Nolan and
George Clayton Johnson
Roscoe Lee Browne
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Editing by||Bob Wyman|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Running time||119 minutes|
Logan's Run is a 1976 American science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett, and Peter Ustinov. The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman was based on the novel of the same name by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expedient of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, preventing overpopulation. The story follows the actions of Logan 5, a "Sandman", as he runs from society's lethal demand.
The film was shot primarily in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex – including locations such as the Fort Worth Water Gardens and the Dallas Market Center – between June and September 1975. The film only uses the basic premise from the novel, that everyone must die at a specific age and Logan runs with Jessica as his companion while being chased by Francis. The motivations of the characters are quite different in the film. It was the first film to use Dolby Stereo on 70mm prints.
In the year 2274, the remnants of human civilization live in a sealed domed city, a utopia run by a computer that takes care of all aspects of their life, including reproduction. The citizens live a hedonistic lifestyle but understand that in order to maintain the city, every resident when they reach the age of 30 must undergo the ritual of "Carrousel" [sic]. There, they are vaporized and ostensibly "Renewed." To track this, they are implanted at birth with a "life-clock" crystal in the palm of their hand that changes colors as they approach their "Last Day."
Most residents accept this promise of rebirth, but some realize it is a brutal population control, and go into hiding to avoid Carrousel. These fugitives are known as Runners, and there are Sandmen who are assigned to pursue and terminate them.
Logan 5 (Michael York) and Francis 7 (Richard Jordan) are partner Sandmen. After terminating a Runner, Logan finds an ankh among his possessions. Later, he meets Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter), a girl also wearing an ankh pendant. Logan takes the ankh to the computer, where he is told it is a symbol for a secret group who helps the Runners find "Sanctuary". The computer instructs Logan to find Sanctuary and destroy it. It then changes the color of his Lifeclock to flashing red, four years early. In order to escape Carrousel himself, Logan is now forced to become a Runner.
Logan regroups with Jessica and explains his situation. Together, they meet with the underground group that leads them to the periphery of the city. Logan finds the ankh symbol unlocks an exit from the city. They come out into a frozen cave, with Francis following closely behind. In the cave, they meet Box (Roscoe Lee Browne), a robot designed to capture food for the city from the outside. Box also captures escaped Runners and freezes them like artwork. Before he can freeze them, Logan and Jessica escape the robot, causing the cave to collapse down on Box.
Once outside, Logan and Jessica notice that their Lifeclocks are dead. They discover that the wilderness has overrun the remains of human civilization. They explore the area, which was once Washington D.C.. In the ruins of the United States Senate chamber, they discover an elderly man (Peter Ustinov). His appearance is a shock to them since neither has ever seen anyone over the age of 30. The old man explains what happened to humanity outside of the city and the fugitives realize Sanctuary is a myth. However, Francis has followed them and he and Logan fight. Logan fatally wounds Francis and as he dies, he sees that Logan's Lifeclock is now clear, believing Logan has Renewed.
Logan and Jessica convince the old man to return to the city with them. Leaving the man outside, the two enter and try to convince everyone that Carrousel is a lie and not necessary. The two are captured by other Sandmen and taken to the computer. The computer interrogates Logan and asks if he completed his mission, but Logan insists "there is no Sanctuary." This answer is not accepted by the computer, even after scanning Logan's mind, and the computer overloads, causing the city's systems to fail and release the exterior seals. Logan and Jessica regroup with the old man as the citizens flee the ruined city. There when the citizens are all released outside they see the old man who is the first human they see far older than 30 proving that they can live their lives much longer which brings them freedom.
The score was composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith, with orchestrations by Arthur Morton. The score "adheres to two distinct sound palettes: strings, keyboards and abstract electronics only for cues inside the City, and full orchestra for Outside."
Michael York, Jenny Agutter and William Devane were originally cast in the lead roles. Devane bowed out when Alfred Hitchcock requested him to replace actor Roy Thinnes in Family Plot. Richard Jordan stepped in for DeVane and was best known for his performance in Rooster Cogburn and the TV mini-series Captains and the Kings. York had previously appeared in Cabaret, Murder on the Orient Express and The Three Musketeers while Agutter was best known for The Railway Children (1970) and Walkabout (1971) .
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City and locations in California and Texas:
- Burton Park Building, 8700 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas - 23rd Century Apartment Building
- Dallas Market Center, Dallas - Interior city scenes, main interior courtyard
- First National Bank Building, 1401 Elm Street, Dallas - exteriors
- Oz Club, Dallas - Love Shop sequences
- Fort Worth Water Gardens – return to city
- Hulen Mall, Fort Worth
- Health Center, Arlington - Sandman Gymnasium
- Hyatt Regency Hotel, Houston - interiors
- Zale Jewelry Headquarters, Irving - Sandman Headquarters exteriors
- Malibu Creek State Park - swim taken by Jessica 6 and Logan after escaping the city
- Sewage Disposal Plant, El Segundo - underground escape sequences*
The film was previewed for test audiences prior to its release. A few sequences were edited out or shortened as a result. These included a longer sequence in the ice cave where Box asked Logan and Jessica to pose for his ice sculpture. This was cut partially due to extensive nudity so that the film could receive a PG rating and partially due to the length of the scene. There were several other scenes removed including a sequence where Francis hunts down a runner by himself at the beginning of the film. Other sequences were trimmed. These scenes survive in the shooting script but the footage itself appears lost.
Roger Ebert gave the film a three-star rating, calling the film a "vast, silly extravaganza", with a plot that's a "cross between Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars and elements of Planet of the Apes," but "that delivers a certain amount of fun."
Just why and for what particular purpose Logan makes his run is anything but clear after you've sat through nearly two hours of this stuff. Logan's Run is less interested in logic than in gadgets and spectacle, but these are sometimes jazzily effective and even poetic. Had more attention been paid to the screenplay, the movie might have been a stunner.
Awards and honors
Logan's Run was very popular at the Saturn Awards, winning the six awards it was nominated for: Best Science Fiction Film, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume, Best Make-up and Best Set Decoration. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the older award for science-fiction and fantasy films, and for the Nebula Award for Best Script. For the film, Anderson was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival.
- Marvel Comics published a short-lived comic book series in 1976, which adapted the film's story in five issues and briefly continued beyond it until the book was cancelled after issue #7.
- Logan's Run was continued in comic book form by Bluewater Productions and Devil's Due Digital in 2010.
- June 1976 Review of Logan's Run by Roger Ebert
- "Logan's Run, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- "NY Times: Logan's Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- http://www.snowcrest.net/fox/logan/location/index.htm Logan's Run filming locations
- "1976". In70mm.com. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
- Director's commentary on the BluRay
- Bond, Jeff; Lukas Kendall (2002). "Logan's Run". Jerry Goldsmith. Film Score Monthly (CD insert notes) (Culver City, California, U.S.A.) 5 (2): 5.
- "Logan’s Run (1976 Feature Film)". Film Score Monthly. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- Bond, Jeff and Kendell, Lukes sleeve notes for Film Score Monthly CD release "Logan's Run, 2002
- http://www.britannia.org/Film/filmdetails/00000750%7CBritannia Film Archives
- Logan's Run, a Science-Fiction Fantasy, a June 1976 review from The New York Times
- "10th Moscow International Film Festival (1977)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Logan's Run at the Internet Movie Database
- Logan's Run at AllMovie
- Logan's Run (film) at the TCM Movie Database
- Logan´s Run at Rotten Tomatoes
- The World of Logan's Run
- Various releases on LP and CD of the music from the film
- Logan's Run digital comic books from Devil's Due Digital.