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The Andromeda Strain (1971)

A group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Andromeda - Tödlicher Staub aus dem All  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, the computer code 601 indicates a crash due to an overload of data. In the real world this code number indicates a variety of failures. With Windows computers, 601 indicates the failure of the internal CMOS battery (the battery that maintains the clock and other basic functions). In the computers of some automobiles it indicates corrupted flash memory. In remote accessed (VPN) computer systems, 601 means that a connection cannot be established. See more »

Goofs

The Air Force technical sergeant in Wildfire's communications room is wearing black or dark brown rank chevrons on his tan 1505 uniform shirt. In fact, the stripes should be silver-gray on a dark blue background. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Mark Hall: [referring to Dr. Dutton] Poor devil! Look at how he's breathing. He's scared to death.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: We'll increase his oxygen. It'll slow down his breathing.
Dr. Mark Hall: [beat] No, we want him to breathe fast! In Piedmont the old man survived drinking Sterno... Sterno, acidosis! Acidosis, rapid breathing!
[begins working a control panel]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: What the hell are you doing?
Dr. Mark Hall: I'm turning off the oxygen.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: But the baby! He's normal!
Dr. Mark Hall: He's crying. He's not leaving it in his lungs long enough to do anything.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: [incredulous] Rapid breathing...
[...]
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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 »

Connections

Featured in The Andromeda Strain: Making the Film (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The finest example of how to make science-fiction movies
23 December 2002 | by See 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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