With the news that the long-anticipated remake of the 1976 movie Logan’s Run (itself adapted from the 1967 novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson) is back on the fast-track, we think it’s a good time to ask: what made the original so great?
1. A Really, Really, Really Cool Premise
It’s all explained right after the opening credits:
Sometime in the 23rd century…the survivors of war, overpopulation and pollution are living in a great domed city, sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world, mankind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything. There’s just one catch: Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of Carousel.
2. The Red Light Inset in the Palm of Their Hands
How do people know when they’re 30 years old and their time is up and they must be “reborn” in Carousel (and how do “Sandmen” know how to find the “Runners” who don’t agree to go voluntarily?). A light goes off in the palm of their hand!
3. A Young and Beautiful Farrah Fawcett
Take a look at her, right before her break-out fame in Charlie’s Angels, in this classic scene where Logan 5 and Jessica 6 visit A New You:
4. An Accurate Prediction of Internet Hook-ups.
What do people do when they’re bored in the world of the domed city? Why, they have recreational sex with someone they pick from The Circuit — what appears to be a combination of holography and Craig’s List.
Man, talk about predicting the future!
5. Jenny Agutter (And For That Matter, Michael York!)
Agutter and York, the two stars of the movie, are almost breathtakingly beautiful. Better still, they are frequently at least semi-naked.
It’s impossible to overstate the impact of Box, the shiny metal robot who feeds the domed city by freezing “fish and plankton and sea greens and protein from the sea!” From his first appearance in the ice cavern under the city, Box’s voice and overall look are both comic … and also a little scary. Needless to say, it’s both inevitable and somehow completely unexpected (and genuinely frightening!) when he turns on Logan 5 and Jessica 6, saying those immortal words, “It’s my job to freeze you!”
7. Peter Ustinov
The guy won two Academy Awards for roles in other movies, but he was never better than he was in this one: needy, childlike, and more than a little unbalanced. Isn’t this exactly what any of us would be like after living in isolation for so long?
It’s also a great detail that he lives inside the Senate Chamber.
8. “There Is No Sanctuary!”
In a movie filled with classic lines (and images), this may be the most classic line of them all. When the computer that controls the city forces Logan 5 to tell it what he knows, he is forced to comply — but it’s a very inconvenient truth, contrary to everything that computer is programmed to think, so it destroys not only the computer, but the city it controls.
What a great metaphor for any society that refuses to assimilate new ideas and is unable to change!
It’s also a wonderfully ironic line, because, of course, Sanctuary does exist — it’s all around them, if only they’re willing to give up their old ways and think outside the, well, box.
God, what a great movie this is. Kinda makes you wonder why they have to screw it up by remaking it.
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