Logan’s Run (1976)

Logan's Run (1976) movie poster

director Michael Anderson
viewed: 02/20/2017

Logan’s Run is a great example of what passed for big studio science fiction filmmaking in the 1970’s, before Star Wars.

Now Star Wars, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg may have brought about the “blockbuster” era of Hollywood, sounding the death knell of the great Hollywood director films of the Seventies, but they did up the ante on how cool science fiction could look.

I grew up with Logan’s Run, the movie, the TV show. And while it was part of the scenery, I never loved it. Watching it for the first time in decades, I’m hit by how much I remember the first 30-45 minutes of the film and then the end of the film. And not a ton in between.

For a present day viewing, the miniatures that stand in for special effects don’t even quite live up to a good Toho film. And height of the Seventies fashion design now has a somewhat charming campiness to it. The additional FX, particularly “Box” the robot, were possibly outdone on even the low budgets of the BBC’s Dr. Who of the era (and they were CHEAP!)

On the plus side, there’s Jenny Agutter. Really there was never enough Jenny Agutter. And Farrah Fawcett-Majors, the ubiquity of 1976, a standard bearer for the time. And Peter Ustinov, I actually quite like his lonely cat man.

Wherever else it falls in analysis (and there are many, many perspectives), Star Wars made science fiction “cool” and aesthetically interesting. Something it never really was (save maybe 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)) before. Logan’s Run is my documentary evidence exemplar.

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