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Outland (1981)

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A federal marshal stationed at a mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io, uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy. He gets no help from the workers or authorities when he finds himself marked for murder.


Peter Hyams


Peter Hyams
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Marshal William T. O'Niel
Peter Boyle ... Mark B. Sheppard
Frances Sternhagen ... Dr. Lazarus
James Sikking ... Sergeant Montone (as James B. Sikking)
Kika Markham ... Carol G. O'Niel
Clarke Peters ... Officer Ballard
Steven Berkoff ... Sagan
John Ratzenberger ... Tarlow
Nicholas Barnes Nicholas Barnes ... Paul O'Niel
Manning Redwood ... Officer Lowell
Pat Starr ... Mrs. Flo Spector
Hal Galili ... Officer Nelson
Angus MacInnes ... Hughes
Stuart Milligan ... Walters
Eugene Lipinski ... Cane


Marshal O'Niel's assigned to a mining colony on Io, one of Jupiter's moons. He soon encounters miners who are dying, due to use of an illegal amphetamine. O'Niel follows the trail, and now O'Niel must watch his back, as he's now their target. Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On Jupiter's moon he's the only law. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

22 May 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atmósfera cero See more »


Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,059,638, 25 May 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (MegaSound encoding) (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (MegaSound encoding) (70 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie draws on the Gary Cooper classic High Noon (1952). Killers are on their way to kill the marshal, who finds himself abandoned by his deputies, and with none of the residents willing to stand with him. Numerous villains await the arrival of the killers. As the arrival time approaches, Sean Connery enters a public facility (in High Noon, a saloon, and then a church) and speaks to the "townspeople" repeating the classic Cooper line, "I could use a little help" and receiving none. As in High Noon, the response is that it is his job to protect them, and not the reverse. His only ally is a woman with a sullied reputation - in this case, a doctor who describes herself as being "one step short of a malpractice suit." Despite this, she has become a solid citizen. This parallels the character of the old flame in High Noon (1952), who had become a hotel owner. The marshal must decide between joining his wife, or doing the right thing - staying behind and facing almost certain death. Also, as with High Noon, the name of the site is never specifically mentioned, although it is displayed here and there on signs throughout the movie. There are parallels in the set design as well, as with the swinging saloon doors outside the marshal's office, although they are made from metal and not wood. See more »


While Marshal O'Niel is outside in his pressure suit, he walks and runs normally, as if he was on Earth. But since Io has only a fraction of Earth's gravity, he should have been moving in slow, hopping steps similar to astronauts on the Moon. See more »


Paul O'Niel: Mommy let me stay up late because this is when the call came through. I miss you.
Marshal William T. O'Niel: I miss you, too.
Paul O'Niel: Mommy says as soon as you get done, you're going to come home with us.
Marshal William T. O'Niel: As soon as I get done.
Paul O'Niel: What's it like on Earth?
Marshal William T. O'Niel: Oh, it's beautiful. You're going to see many wonderful things. And you'll have many friends to play with.
Paul O'Niel: Mommy says that on the flight, they put you to sleep for more than a year.
Marshal William T. O'Niel: That's true.
Paul O'Niel: Will it hurt?
Marshal William T. O'Niel: Not a bit. You'll just wake up... be home.
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Remade as Outland See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

under-estimated sci fi western,
31 July 2006 | by raegan_butcherSee all my reviews

After leaving the James Bond franchise in 1971, Sean Connery gave a number of notable performances in films such as The Offense and The Man Who Would Be King but Outland is really the film that started him on the comeback trail that culminated with his Oscar acceptance speech 6 yrs later for The Untouchables. No one seems to recall this but at the time of Outland's release, no one had seen or heard from Connery for a few years and most of the reviews, while not kind to the film for a variety of reasons--chief among them being the fact that most movie critics (at least back then) harbored serious prejudice against sci fi--the main comment was "It is good to see Sean Connery back in action again".

This film has one of the best production designs ever.Phillip Harrison did a superb job. Obviously the look was copped from Alien--blue collar workers in space--but it works remarkably well. I was often reminded of OUTLAND during my seven year prison term; the housing was remarkably similar--as was the company. But I digress...

Nothing special about the plot-- it's routine cop show or western movie stuff--but who cares? Sean Connery gives a splendid performance and the whole film moves at a nice clip. Very enjoyable.

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