Voice Controlled Thriller Unknown Number Gets Release Date

1971 film by Robert Wise

The Andromeda Strain

Theatrical release poster

Directed by Robert Wise
Screenplay by Nelson Gidding
Story by Nelson Gidding
Robert Wise
Based on The Andromeda Strain

past Michael Crichton
Produced past Robert Wise
  • Arthur Loma
  • James Olson
  • Kate Reid
  • David Wayne
  • Paula Kelly
  • George Mitchell
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Edited by
  • Stuart Gilmore
  • John W. Holmes
Music past Gil Mellé


Universal Pictures

Distributed past Universal Pictures

Release date

  • March 12, 1971 (1971-03-12)

Running time

130 minutes[ane]
State U.s.
Language English
Budget $half dozen.five meg[two]
Box office $12.iv million[4]

The Andromeda Strain

is a 1971 American science fiction thriller film produced and directed by Robert Wise. Based on Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel of the same name and adapted by Nelson Gidding, the film stars Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, and David Wayne equally a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin. With a few exceptions, the picture follows the book closely. The special effects were designed past Douglas Trumbull. The picture is notable for its use of split screen in sure scenes.



The story unfolds in flashback, told past Dr. Jeremy Rock as he testifies earlier the U.s.a. Senate Committee on Space Sciences in 1971:

After a U.Southward. government satellite crashes almost the small rural town of Piedmont, New Mexico on February 5, nigh all the residents are expressionless. A military recovery team from Vandenberg Air Force Base tries to recover the satellite but is unsuccessful. Suspecting that the satellite has brought back an alien organism, the military activates an aristocracy team of scientists.

Wearing protective suits, Dr. Stone, the squad leader, and Dr. Marker Hall, a surgeon, are dropped into Piedmont by helicopter. They discover the boondocks’s physician opened the satellite in his function and that all of his blood has crystallized into a powder. They soon discover that almost all of the town’southward victims’ claret has crystallized, causing rapid death. Two other townspeople take committed suicide after going insane. Stone and Hall retrieve the satellite and discover two survivors, a 69-year-former alcoholic man named Peter Jackson and a 6-calendar month-quondam crying infant, Manuel Rios.

In addition to Stone and Hall, the aristocracy team too includes Dr. Charles Dutton and Dr. Ruth Leavitt, who are summoned to a peak-secret Nevada underground facility, code named Wildfire. Upon arrival, they undergo farthermost decontamination procedures, descending through four disinfection levels to a fifth level where laboratories are located. This underground lab complex has sophisticated technology, including CRT computer displays and lasers. If the organism threatens to escape, the Wildfire facility includes an automated nuclear self-destruct machinery to incinerate all infectious agents. Under the “odd man hypothesis”, Dr. Hall is entrusted with the merely key that can deactivate the device, the theory being that an unmarried male is the about dispassionate person within a group to make disquisitional decisions in a crisis.

By examining the satellite with powerful cameras, the team discovers the microscopic alien organism causing the deaths in New Mexico. The greenish, throbbing life form is assigned the lawmaking proper noun “Andromeda.” Inhaled through the lungs, Andromeda kills biological life almost instantly via a blood clot in the brain and blood clotting causing asphyxiation. It appears to exist highly virulent. The team studies the organism using animal subjects, an electron microscope, and culturing in various growth media in an endeavor to learn how it behaves. The microbe contains chemical elements required for terrestrial life (hydrogen and carbon) and appears to have a crystalline structure, but lacks the DNA, RNA, proteins, and amino acids present in all forms of terrestrial life, and directly transforms energy to affair with no discernible byproducts. Hall tries to determine why the two Piedmont residents survived.

A military machine jet crashes near Piedmont subsequently the airplane pilot radios that his plastic oxygen mask is dissolving. Meanwhile, Dr. Stone, who created the Wildfire laboratory, is accused past Dutton and Leavitt of designing the lab for biological warfare research. Unknown to other team members, Leavitt’s inquiry on the germ is dumb by her undisclosed epilepsy.

Hall realizes that the alcoholic Jackson survived because his blood was acidic from drinking Sterno, and that the infant lived due to his blood existence too alkali metal from constant crying, suggesting that the organism, Andromeda, tin can survive simply within a narrow range of blood pH. Just as he has this insight, the organism mutates into a not-lethal form that degrades constructed rubber and plastics. Andromeda escapes the containment room into the lab where Dutton is working. Once all the laboratory’s seals start decaying due to Andromeda’due south escape, a v-infinitesimal inaugural to nuclear destruction is initiated.

Hall rescues Leavitt from an epileptic seizure, triggered by the flashing scarlet lights of Wildfire’due south warning organization. Meanwhile, the team realizes that the microbe would thrive on the free energy of a nuclear explosion and would consequently be transformed into a super-colony that could destroy all life on Earth. Hall races against the laboratory’due south automated defenses to reach a station where he tin disable the nuclear bomb with his central. He endures multiple attacks past automated lasers equally he climbs through the laboratory’s central core. He finds a working station, disables the bomb with seconds to spare, and collapses.

Hall awakens in a hospital. His colleagues reveal that clouds are being seeded over the Pacific Ocean, which volition cause rain to sweep Andromeda from the atmosphere and into alkaline seawater, rendering it harmless. Rock finishes testifying to a U.S. senator by saying that while they were able to defeat the alien pathogen, they may exist unable to do and then in the time to come. The film ends with a computer feed suddenly stopping and the computer flashing the number “601”, the Wildfire code for data coming in also fast to analyze.



  • Arthur Loma every bit Dr. Jeremy Stone
  • James Olson as Dr. Marking Hall
  • David Wayne equally Dr. Charles Dutton
  • Kate Reid every bit Dr. Ruth Leavitt
  • Paula Kelly as Karen Anson (nurse, laboratory technician)
  • George Mitchell as Mr. Peter Jackson (Piedmont)
  • Mark Jenkins as Lt. Shawn (Piedmont Team)
  • Peter Helm as Sgt. Crane (Piedmont Team)
  • Joe Di Reda as Sgt. Burk (Wildfire Computer Technician)
  • Ramon Bieri every bit Major Arthur Manchek (Scoop Mission Control)
  • Carl Reindel as Lt. Comroe (Scoop Mission Control)
  • Frances Reid as Clara Dutton
  • Peter Hobbs as Full general Sparks
  • Kermit Murdock equally Dr. Robertson (White House Science Advisor)
  • Richard O’Brien as Grimes
  • Eric Christmas as Senator Phillips (Vermont)
  • Ken Swofford as Toby (Technician)
  • John Carter equally Capt. Morton (military police)
  • Richard Bull every bit Air Strength Major
  • James West. Gavin as Dempsey (helicopter airplane pilot) (uncredited)
  • Garry Walberg every bit a scientist (uncredited)
  • Emory Parnell as Pete “Old Doughboy” Arnold (uncredited)
  • Georgia Schmidt equally Old Lady (Piedmont) (uncredited)
  • Victoria Paige Meyerink as Boosted Character
  • Don Messick equally Alert Voice
  • Michael Crichton makes a cameo advent in a non-speaking role during the scene where Dr. Hall is told to intermission scrub, because he has to written report to the Wildfire research facility.



Film rights were bought by Universal for $250,000 in 1969.[five]
The bandage of characters in the novel was modified for the film, including by replacing the male Dr. Peter Leavitt in the novel with the female Dr. Ruth Leavitt. Screenwriter Nelson Gidding suggested the change to Wise, who at first was not enthusiastic, as he initially pictured the female Dr. Leavitt as a largely decorative character reminiscent of Raquel Welch’s character in the 1966 film
Fantastic Voyage. When Gidding explained his take on Leavitt, Wise resolved the question by request the opinion of a number of scientists, who were unanimously enthusiastic about the idea. Eventually Wise came to be very happy with the decision to brand Leavitt female person, feeling that Kate Reid’south Dr. Leavitt was “the most interesting graphic symbol” in the film.[7]
Another pocket-sized change was the character of Burton in the novel, who became Charles Dutton in the film; no reason was given for this proper name change.[
citation needed

The Andromeda Strain
was i of the first films to utilise advanced computerized photographic visual effects, with work by Douglas Trumbull, who had pioneered furnishings for
2001: A Space Odyssey, along with James Shourt and Albert Whitlock who worked on
The Birds.[ii]
Reportedly $250,000 of the picture show’s budget of $6.5 one thousand thousand was used to create the special effects, including Trumbull’s simulation of an electron microscope.[8]

The pic contained a faux computer rendering, created with conventional film-making processes, of a mapped three-D view of the rotating structure of the five-story cylindrical underground laboratory in the Nevada desert named Project Wildfire.[two]
The filming in the fictional town of Piedmont took place in Shafter, Texas, while other filming was conducted at Ocotillo Wells, California.[v]



Box function


The Andromeda Strain
was a box part success. Produced on a relatively high upkeep of $6.five one thousand thousand,[2]
the motion picture grossed $12,376,563 in North America,[four]
earning $8.2 1000000 in U.s.a. theatrical rentals.[ten]
It was the 16th highest-grossing movie of 1971.[11]

Critical response


The opinion of critics is generally mixed, with some critics enjoying the picture show for its dedication to the original novel and with others disliking it for its drawn-out plot. At review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 67% blessing rating based on 39 reviews, with an boilerplate score of 6.3/ten. The website’s critics consensus reads: “Although its urgent subject matter warrants less a deliberate pace,
The Andromeda Strain
brings Michael Crichton’s techno-thriller to the big screen with hitting intelligence and an engrossing sense of paranoia.”[12]
Roger Greenspun of
The New York Times
panned the picture show in the 22 March 1971 issue, calling the novel “dreadful.”[13]
John Simon chosen
The Andromeda Strain
“a tidy pic, nonetheless it completely fades from memory after its 130 minutes are over.”[14]

Scientific response


A 2003 publication by the Infectious Diseases Society of America noted that
The Andromeda Strain
is the “most significant, scientifically accurate, and prototypic of all films of this [killer virus] genre … information technology accurately details the appearance of a mortiferous amanuensis, its bear on, and the efforts at containing it, and, finally, the piece of work-upwardly on its identification and clarification on why certain persons are immune to it.”[fifteen]

Awards and honors


The film was nominated for 2 Academy Awards:

  • All-time Fine art Management (Boris Leven, William H. Tuntke, Crimson R. Levitt); lost to
    Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Best Movie Editing (Stuart Gilmore, John Due west. Holmes); lost to
    The French Connectedness

The film was nominated for science fiction’s 1972 Hugo Award for All-time Dramatic Presentation (for works appearing in calendar year 1971)

Encounter likewise


  • List of American films of 1971
  • The Andromeda Strain, a 2008 boob tube miniseries adaptation of the same novel



  1. ^

    British Board of Film Classification. March 12, 1971. Archived from the original on Apr two, 2015. Retrieved
    February 27,

  2. ^





    Greatest Visual and Special Effects — Milestones in Film. Archived June 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine AMC’s FilmSite. Retrieved May 17, 2014.

  3. ^

    Browning, Norma Lee (August 30, 1970). “Hollywood Today: Mike Crichton, a Skyscraper in Whatever Form”.
    Chicago Tribune. pp. ten–2. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020. Retrieved
    February 21,

    – via Newspapers.com.
    The movie, budgeted at $half dozen million…

  4. ^



    Box Office Data for
    The Andromeda Strain. Archived May 17, 2014, at the Wayback Auto The Numbers. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  5. ^



    “The Andromeda Strain”.
    . Retrieved
    Dec 5,

  6. ^

    Shenker, Israel (June 8, 1969). “Michael Crichton (rhymes with frighten)”.
    The New York Times. p. BR5. Archived from the original on August nineteen, 2020. Retrieved
    February 21,

  7. ^

    The Making of The Andromeda Strain, DVD documentary.

  8. ^

    DOUGLAS TRUMBULL, VES: Advancing New Technologies for the Future of Movie Archived June 26, 2018, at the Wayback Automobile VFXVoice.com. Retrieved June 25, 2018.

  9. ^

    “The Andromeda Strain, Overview”.
    Scientific discipline Fiction Movies. National Taiwan University. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015.

  10. ^

    Box Office Information for
    The Andromeda Strain. Archived March xvi, 2016, at the Wayback Automobile IMDb. Retrieved May 17, 2014.

  11. ^

    Height Grossing Films of 1971. Archived September 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Listal.com

  12. ^

    The Andromeda Strain
    at Rotten Tomatoes

  13. ^

    Greenspun, Roger (March 22, 1971). “Screen: Wise’s ‘Andromeda Strain’“.
    The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved
    February 21,

  14. ^

    Simon, John (1982).
    Reverse Angle: A Decade of American Films. Crown Publishers Inc. p. 35. ISBN9780517544716.

  15. ^

    Pappas, G.; Seitaridis, S.; Akritidis, N.; Tsianos, E. (2003). “Infectious Diseases in Cinema: Virus Hunters and Killer Microbes”.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases.
    (7): 939–942. doi:x.1086/377740. PMID 13130406.

Further reading


  • Tibbetts, John C., and James Thousand. Welsh, eds.
    The Encyclopedia of Novels into Moving-picture show
    (2nd ed. 2005) pp 17–18.

External links


  • The Andromeda Strain
    at IMDb
  • The Andromeda Strain
    at the TCM Moving picture Database
  • The Andromeda Strain
    at Rotten Tomatoes

  • The Andromeda Strain
    picture trailer

    on YouTube
  • The Andromeda Strain
    film review at Taint The Meat.com

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Andromeda_Strain_%28film%29

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