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Logan's Run (1976) - Run Logan Run!

Updated on September 30, 2016

Capricorn 15's. Born 2244.

Enter the Carousel.

This is the time of renewal.

The year is 2274 and everyone lives a beautifully ordered sterile life in huge geodesic domes until the age of 30 when they are “renewed” (i.e. killed). Based on the novel Logan's Run (1967) by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, Logan's Run describes a society in which people are required to commit ritual suicide at the age of 30 (21 in the original novel), or are gunned down by 'Sandmen' who maintain peace and order. This has resulted in an inexperienced society of the perpetually young, in which no one questions the social order and those that do are terminated without thought. It has become a totalitarian regime which is presided over by a decrepit artificial intelligence.

Logan’s Run (1976) was directed by Michael Anderson and follows the progress of Logan 5 (Michael York), a renegade Sandman and his girlfriend Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter) as they flee the city in search of the mythic Sanctuary within which they will be saved from their ritual termination. They are pursued by Sandman Francis 7 (Richard Jordan) Logan’s former friend and now arch enemy.

However, once outside the domed city they find the crumbling remains of Washington DC, complete with rundown old monuments and moss covered walkways. They come across an old man (Peter Ustinov), who embodies the living proof that society does not have to dispose of its members at the age of thirty. It transpires that the technique was originally a method of population control, but has taken on a religious meaning. Logan heads back to the city and after being caught and interrogated confuses the Al to the extent that it self destructs. The people flee the city as it explodes around them.

Jessica 6: A friend of mine went on carousel. Now he's gone.
Logan 5: Yes, well, I'm sure he was renewed.
Jessica 6: He was killed.
Logan 5: Killed? Why do you use that word?
Jessica 6: Isn't that what you do? Kill?
Logan 5: I've never killed anyone in my life. Sandman terminate runners.

The special effects and modelwork of the domed city are interesting, but the cityscape represents a rather naively realized future, which, far from looking like the ambiguous Utopia it purports to portray, actually resembles a vast theme park. There is effective use of matte art depicting Washington D.C.’s crumbling architecture. The film won an Oscar for it’s visual effects and was nominated for art direction and cinematography.

Jerry Goldsmith composed the excellent score for Logan’s Run. The film wasn’t a huge hit on release but successful enough to spawn a short-lived television series. William F. Nolan wrote two sequels, Logan's World and Logan's Search, published after the film's release. A remake of Logan’s Run with Ryan Gosling starring as Logan is set to start filming in the near future.

(At the climax of Logan’s Run there is a shot of a man with his hand up in the Vulcan salute, it looks like Star Trek will still be popular even in the 23rd century)

The critics wrote -

“A rewarding, futuristic film that appeals both as spectacular-looking escapist adventure as well as intelligent drama” (Variety)

"The special effects are impressive: too impressive, perhaps, for the players, who - possibly to keep up the appearance of an advanced society - are persuaded to act very woodenly indeed... There is plenty of fantasy adventure, and just to show that violence hasn't been quite forgotten the finale indulges in the usual explosions and crashing masonry." (Dilys Powell)

"A nitwit sci-fi saga... The movie, silly but affable, has some rather short-sighted social notions, and its portrait of an oppressive future society looks no more menacing than the California beach culture run riot. Everyone is bland and pretty, decked out in outfits that look like togas designed by Frederick's of Hollywood. The special effects are rather more elaborate, but not necessarily more convincing." (Time)

"Logan's Run" is a vast, silly extravaganza that delivers a certain amount of fun, once it stops taking itself seriously. That happens about an hour into the film, but even the first half isn't bad if you're a fan (as I am) of special effects and cities of the future and ray guns and monorails whizzing overhead. The movie was made on a very large budget - the figure $9 million has been whispered about Hollywood - and it looks it." (Roger Ebert)

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    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      I'm always worried about boring people hence all the pictures I add to my hubs. I get the impression if someone opens a hub and it's nothing but text with one photo at the top they won't bother to read it all, just the first paragraph. :)

      On my forum I kept all my new movie reviews to a couple of paragraphs. I've seen reviews on the latest movies here that fill up a page and a half and with no paragraph breaks. I want to know if the film is worth watching not a shot by shot analysis [wink].

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 6 years ago from Essex, UK

      Yeah, I feel I could do with being 'renewed', tho' the method depicted here is a little bit extreme!

      This hub may be simpler than subsequent ones you've published, but there's still clearly a lot more effort been put into it Steve than in many hubs one encounters on this site.

      I know when I started on HubPages, I felt my hubs were a bit too long and were taking too much time to write, and I resolved to make them shorter - but they seem to be getting longer and longer. I guess there's always a desire to improve on what one has done before.

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      Hello Greensleeves and welcome to the 23rd century. In Logan's universe we would have been "renewed" ages ago (assuming you're over 30).

      I'm a little shocked at how simple this hub is, compared to my more recent movie hubs. It was my 6th movie hub. I really didn't have anything else to add here apart from more pictures and maybe a trailer?

      Yep Ryan (Drive) Gosling is in the running to play Logan in a remake. The effects will be flashier but I suspect I'll still prefer this 'old classic' plus Jenny Agutter's in it. :)

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 6 years ago from Essex, UK

      Logan's Run is a nice easy-to-watch movie, Steve - visually very attractive. I like the 'Time' comment about everyone looking 'bland and pretty' - it's true, but if you get past the limitations on acting, script, and set design, it's still an enjoyable story - not too heavy going or dark (even tho' everyone gets killed when they reach 30 !)

      And speaking of being visually attractive, I have to agree with your comment to Cogerson re-Jenny Agutter!

      Good to hear there may be a remake in 2012, though I suspect what it gains in special effects and realism from a 21st century interpretation, it may lose in the fantasy appeal of the original (which actually seems to me to have more of a hippyish 60s feel than a 70s feel, when it was actually made).

    • Steve Lensman profile image
      Author

      Steve Lensman 6 years ago from London, England

      This was one of my first hubs, you can tell because there are fewer pictures than usual. :)

      I saw this at the cinema when it was first released. A year later Star Wars was out and no one could remember Logan's Run. [wink]

      I started enjoying the film more after recording it off the telly in the early 80's, watched it many times back than. I had the hots for Jenny Agutter, she was always taking her clothes off even in this family friendly film.

      Thanks for being the first to comment on this 'old' classic movie Cogerson, cheers.

    • Cogerson profile image

      UltimateMovieRankings 6 years ago from Virginia

      Nice hub Steve. I remember this being one of the first science fiction movies I really paid attention to....I had forgotten that Farrah Fawcett was in the movie until reading the credits in the movie poster you posted. I really liked Peter Ustinov's part as the old man....the tv show that followed was pretty bad.

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