Logan's Run (film)

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Logan's Run
Logans run movie poster.jpg
US theatrical release poster by Charles Moll
Directed by Michael Anderson
Produced by Saul David
Screenplay by David Zelag Goodman
Based on Logan's Run 
by William F. Nolan and
George Clayton Johnson
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Edited by Bob Wyman
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • June 23, 1976 (1976-06-23)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $9 million[2]
Box office $25 million[3]

Logan's Run is a 1976 American science fiction film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov.[4] The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman is based on Logan's Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. It depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, preventing overpopulation. The story follows the actions of Logan 5, a "Sandman", as he runs from society's lethal demand.[5][6]

The film was shot primarily in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex—including locations such as the Fort Worth Water Gardens and the Dallas Market Center—between June and September 1975.[7] The film uses only the basic premise from the novel, that everyone must die at a set age and Logan runs off with Jessica as his companion, while being chased by Francis. The motivations of the characters are quite different in the film. It was the first film to use Dolby Stereo on 70 mm prints.[8]

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, won a Special Academy Award for its visual effects (shared by L. B. Abbott, Glen Robinson and Matthew Yuricich), effects which included the use of laser holography for the first time in a feature film, and won six Saturn Awards including Best Science Fiction Film.[9] In 1977, a short-lived TV series aired, though only 14 episodes were produced. Since 1994, there have been several unsuccessful efforts to remake Logan's Run.


In the year 2274, the remnants of human civilization live in a sealed city contained beneath a cluster of geodesic domes, a utopia run by a computer that takes care of all aspects of their life, including reproduction. The citizens live a hedonistic life but, to maintain the city, everyone must undergo the ritual of "Carrousel" [sic] when they reach the age of 30.[10] There, they are vaporized and ostensibly "renewed." To track this, each person is implanted at birth with a "life-clock" crystal in the palm of their hand that changes color as they get older and begins blinking as they approach their "Last Day." Most residents accept this promise of rebirth, but those who do not and attempt to flee the city are known as "Runners." An elite team of policemen known as "Sandmen," outfitted in predominantly black uniforms and serving in an agency of the city called "Deep Sleep," are assigned to pursue and terminate Runners as they try to escape.

Logan 5 and Francis 7 are both Sandmen. After terminating a Runner, to whose presence they were alerted during a Carrousel ritual, Logan finds an ankh among his possessions. Later that evening, he meets Jessica 6, a young woman also wearing an ankh pendant. Logan takes the ankh to the computer, which tells him that it is a symbol for a secret group whose members help the Runners find "Sanctuary," a mythical place where they will be safe to live out the rest of their lives; it points out that the Sandmen have lost one thousand and fifty-six (1056) Runners that way. The computer instructs Logan to find Sanctuary and destroy it, a mission he has to keep secret from the other Sandmen of Deep Sleep, which it code-names "Assignment 033-03." It then (by a procedure it calls a "retrogram") changes the color of his life-clock to flashing red, four years early. In order to escape Carrousel, Logan is now forced to become a Runner. Logan meets Jessica and explains his situation. They meet with the underground group that leads them to the periphery of the city. Logan finds that the ankh symbol is actually a key that unlocks an exit from the city. They come out into a frozen cave, with Francis following closely behind. In the cave, they meet Box, a robot designed to capture food for the city from the outside. Logan discovers to his horror that Box also captures escaped Runners and freezes them. Before he (Box) can freeze Logan and Jessica, they escape, causing the cave to collapse on Box.

Once outside, Logan and Jessica notice that their life-clocks are no longer operational. They discover that the remains of human civilization have become a wilderness. They explore an old, seemingly abandoned city, which was once Washington D.C.. In the ruins of the United States Senate chamber, they discover an elderly man. His appearance is a shock to them since neither has seen anyone over the age of 30. The old man explains what he remembers of what happened to humanity outside of the city, and Logan realizes that Sanctuary is a myth and had been all along. However, Francis has followed them and he and Logan fight. Logan fatally wounds Francis and as he dies, he sees that Logan's life-clock is now clear and assumes that Logan has renewed. Logan and Jessica convince the old man to return to the city with them. Leaving the man outside, the two enter and try to convince everyone that Carrousel is a lie and unnecessary. The two are captured by other Sandmen and taken to the computer. The computer interrogates Logan about Assignment 033-03 and asks if he completed his mission. But Logan insists, "There is no Sanctuary." What he had found was "old ruins, exposed," "an old man," and that the missing Runners were "all frozen." These answers, however, are not accepted by the computer, even after scanning Logan's mind, and the computer overloads, causing the city's systems to fail and release the exterior seals. Logan, Jessica and the other citizens flee the ruined city. Once outside, the citizens see the old man, who is the first human they have met who is older than 30, proving that they can indeed live their lives much longer.



Logan's Run was forced to take liberties with the source novel, which required all inhabitants of the community to die at the age of twenty-one. (This was changed to the age of thirty in the film.)

It was also the first film to employ actual holograms, which Multiplex Company provided. Six of these, in total, were employed in the sequence of Logan's interrogation by the Deep Sleep central computer, where they served as Logan's "surrogates."


The score was composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith, with orchestrations by Arthur Morton. The score "adheres to two distinct sound palettes: strings, keyboards and abstract electronics only for cues inside the City and full orchestra for outside."[12] The first release of portions of the score was on MGM Records on LP, in 1976.[13] The complete expanded and newly remixed score was issued on CD in January, 2002 by Film Score Monthly.[13]


York, Agutter, and William Devane were originally cast in the lead roles. Devane bowed out when Alfred Hitchcock requested him to replace actor Roy Thinnes in Family Plot (1976). Richard Jordan stepped in for Devane and was best known for his performances in Lawman (1971), Chato's Land (1972), Rooster Cogburn (1975) and the 1976 TV mini-series Captains and the Kings (he would later star as Dirk Pitt in the unsuccessful film version of Raise the Titanic). York had previously appeared in Cabaret (1972), The Three Musketeers (1973) and Murder on the Orient Express (1974), while Agutter was best known for The Railway Children (1970) and Walkabout (1971).[14]


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in Culver City and locations in California and Texas:



  • Malibu Creek State Park, swim taken by Jessica 6 and Logan after escaping the city
  • The Sewage Disposal Plant, El Segundo, underground escape sequences[15][16]


The film was previewed for test audiences prior to its release. A few sequences were edited or shortened as a result. These included a longer sequence in the ice cave, where Box asked Logan and Jessica to pose for his ice sculpture. This was cut due to extensive nudity so that the film could receive a PG rating and for length. Other scenes were removed, including a sequence where Francis hunts down a runner by himself at the beginning of the film. Other sequences were trimmed. These scenes survive in the shooting script but the footage appears lost.[14]


Roger Ebert gave the film a three-star rating, calling the film a "vast, silly extravaganza", with a plot that's a "cross between Arthur C. Clarke's The City and the Stars and elements of Planet of the Apes but "that delivers a certain amount of fun."[2]

The New York Times was less positive:[17]

Just why and for what particular purpose Logan makes his run is anything but clear after you've sat through nearly two hours of this stuff. Logan's Run is less interested in logic than in gadgets and spectacle, but these are sometimes jazzily effective and even poetic. Had more attention been paid to the screenplay, the movie might have been a stunner.

Awards and honors

The film won a Special Academy Award and was nominated for two more, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.[9] Logan's Run was very popular at the Saturn Awards, winning the six awards it was nominated for: Best Science Fiction Film, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume, Best Make-up and Best Set Decoration. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the older award for science-fiction and fantasy films, and for the Nebula Award for Best Script. For the film, Anderson was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival.[18]

Comic books

  • Marvel Comics published a short-lived comic book series in 1976, which adapted the film's story in five issues and briefly continued beyond. The book was cancelled after issue #7 when Marvel discovered they only had the rights to adapt the movie and not to continue using the characters beyond that.[19]
  • In 1990 Adventure Comics published an adaption of the novel as well as one for its sequel, Logan's World, the following year, both by Barry Blair. A promised adaptation of the third book, Logan's Search, never materialized.
  • Logan's Run returned to comics in 2010 by Bluewater Productions and Devil's Due Digital.


  1. "LOGAN'S RUN (A)". British Board of Film Classification. July 13, 1976. Retrieved July 9, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 June 1976 Review of Logan's Run by Roger Ebert
  3. "Logan's Run, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 23, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Ian Nathan. "Logan's Run". Empire.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Muhlbauer, Peter Josef (February 8, 2006). "Chapter 8: Frontiers and dystopias: libertarian ideology in science fiction". In Plehwe, Dieter; Walpen, Bernhard; Neunhoffer, Gisela (eds.). Neoliberal Hegemony: A Global Critique. Routledge. p. 165. ISBN 978-0415460033.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Erbland, Kate (August 15, 2014). "The Complete List: Everything You Will Find in a Dystopian Movie". Vanity Fair. Conde Nast. Retrieved February 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://www.snowcrest.net/fox/logan/location/index.htm Logan's Run filming locations
  8. "1976". In70mm.com. August 30, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "NY Times: Logan's Run". The New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Hinant, Cindy (2012). "Grids Next Door". Gnome. 1 Winter (1): 48–53. Utopias require its participants to give something up in order to create harmony and uniformity ... in Logan’s Run they gave up old age...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Director's commentary on the Blu-ray
  12. Bond, Jeff; Lukas Kendall (2002). Jerry Goldsmith. "Logan's Run". Film Score Monthly (CD insert notes). Culver City, California, U.S.A. 5 (2): 5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Logan's Run (1976 Feature Film)". Film Score Monthly. Retrieved September 3, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 Bond, Jeff and Kendell, Lukes sleeve notes for Film Score Monthly CD release "Logan's Run, 2002
  15. This specific location was also used in Harem Girl (1952), Soylent Green (1973), and The China Syndrome (1979).
  16. Film Archives
  17. Logan's Run, a Science-Fiction Fantasy, a June 1976 review from The New York Times
  18. "10th Moscow International Film Festival (1977)". MIFF. Retrieved January 9, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Comic Book Legends Revealed January 24, 2014".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Succeeded by
Star Wars