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The Andromeda Strain (1971)

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

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), Nelson Gidding (screenplay)
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 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:

Rated G...But May Be Too INTENSE For Younger Children 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:

Andromeda - Tödlicher Staub aus dem All See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,376,563, 31 December 1971
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

Leavitt, in a protest against inserting something to clean out the GI tract, makes the statement about "risked drowning in that foul bath". The book, but not the movie, had the Wildfire Team submerge completely in an antibiotic solution. The scene may have been cut, but Leavitt still makes reference to it in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Level 3 is the blue level, as shown in the layout diagrams, but when Dr. Hall climbs back up to it to disarm the bomb, it is a light-gray/white level. See more »

Quotes

[Dutton has just finished drawing a picture on the blackboard of a scientist examining a specimen under a microscope. A speech balloon from the slide says "Take us to your leader". His students all laugh]
Dr. Charles Dutton: I'm glad you're amused gentlemen, but it might just turn out to be true. During this symposium, we'll discuss the possibility that intelligent life on a distant planet may be no larger than a flea.
[more laughter]
Dr. Charles Dutton: Perhaps no larger than... a bacterium.
[silence]
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

Italian version is 10 minutes shorter than original version (released at 130 min.) and omits many scenes from a subplot about a fallen fighter plane. See more »

Connections

Version of The Andromeda Strain (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A Perfect Film!
20 April 2001 | by Mr_SpiffySee all my reviews

Most of Crichton's fabulous works have been made laughable when filmed. However, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN is a wonderful adaptation of his classic novel. As others have told the storyline, I will not waste your time be regurgitating it. The one change of Dr. Leavitt from male to female improves the film, IMO. It also adds some great humor. It's also enjoyable to see scientists that look like scientists, not hot studs and big breasted bimbos. The story is realistic, and as I said, a perfect adaptation of his novel. My only complaint is the thrown in narration explaining the piece of paper that had caused the machine to not ring its bell when the new messages came in. Other than that, it's a fabulous film. :) (I was able to get one of the few remaining copies of the now out-of-print DVD widescreen version) Go to an auction site and get it if you can.. Highly recommended!


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