Director: Michael Anderson
Screenplay: David Zelag Goodman
Based On A Novel By:William F Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
Starring: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Peter Ustinov
Duration: 118 mins
BBFC Certification: 12
The ‘70s produced some classic sci-fi films, Silent Running, Omega Man, and Dark Star being among my favourites, as is 1976’s Logan’s Run. It’s a film that I remember watching on TV in the early ‘80s, and then in the school playground the next day, corralling my friends in a game of Sandmen and Runners – I, of course played Logan. I’ve re-watched the film a few more times over the years, and was excited to hear it was getting a new release on Blu Ray.
Logan’s Run is set in the 23rd century, after years of war, over-population and pollution have forced mankind to live in a great domed city. Here they live solely for pleasure, but with one catch: life must end at thirty unless reborn in a ritual called “Carousel”. However, not everyone wants to die at thirty, and become Runners hunted and terminated by the city’s police force, the Sandmen. Logan 5 (Michael York) and his partner, Francis 7, are two such Sandmen seemingly content with their lives. However, after meeting Jessica 6 (played by a stunningly beautiful Jenny Agutter), Logan begins to question why life must end at thirty and whether “renewal” really happens during Carousel. Soon he is sent on an undercover mission to leave the city and discover Sanctuary, a fabled save haven for Runners. Jessica accompanies him outside the city walls, being pursued by Francis.
Back in 1976, Logan’s Run was a big budget ($9m) epic and won the Oscar for Best Special Effects. However, one year later saw the release of Star Wars and suddenly Logan’s Run looked hopefully dated. Compared to the stunning model work in George Lucas’ film, it’s hard to believe Logan’s Run won the Oscar with the cardboard looking miniatures. That being said, future sci-fi films and TV series owe a debt to Logan’s Run, most noticeably in the set and costume design of Buck Rogers. Like many sci-fi films of the time, Logan’s Run is part social commentary and works as an allegory warning of the dangers of allowing technology to control every aspect of our lives.
The Blu Ray transfer is very good, although some colours can seem a little washed out which I suspect is a flaw of the source material. The impressive Carousel sequence looks great in HD, although it does highlight some of the wires suspending the actors. The remastered sound is excellent, particularly in the crisp dialogue. Jerry Goldsmith’s score sounds suitability bombastic and powerful.
Although very dated, Logan’s Run is still a highly entertaining romp, with some interesting ideas. Definitely one for fans of dystopian sci-fi.
Logan’s Run is released Warners Brothers on dual DVD/Blu Ray. Extras are audio commentary by Michael York, director Michael Anderson and costume designer Bill Thomas and a featurette from 1976.