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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure art, pure science, no artificial ingredients.
People expecting a sci-fi film of the James Cameron ("guns are fun") variety, will be either disappointed, or find their horizons pleasantly expanded. This film is, to my mind anyway, the most realistic portrayal of what might happen if we really did come across alien life. The acting, camera work, soundtrack and highly realistic sets (no cardboard here, and all the...
Published on 16 Sep 2004 by R. Paijmans

versus
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic film
Now - this is easily a 4 star film, but the DVD presentation means I can only give it a 3.

As another reviewer has said, the tickertape introductions to various scenes in the film are an integral part to the overall feel, to replace these with substandard ones feels nonsensical.

Anyway - the film is very slow paced, very different to contemporary...
Published on 11 April 2007 by @GeekZilla9000


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic film, 11 April 2007
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
Now - this is easily a 4 star film, but the DVD presentation means I can only give it a 3.

As another reviewer has said, the tickertape introductions to various scenes in the film are an integral part to the overall feel, to replace these with substandard ones feels nonsensical.

Anyway - the film is very slow paced, very different to contemporary Hollywood films with quick editing and catchy dialogue. The slow pace gives the film an added tension.

The sets are spectacular, everything feels real and solid, the idea of having to go through several hours of cleaning and sterilisation adds further to the realistic feel of the film. Some of the sterilisation processes were fantastical yet based to some extent in real science.

Speaking of real science - that's where this film excels. It somehow captures what a scenario like this might be like. Even down to the beurocracy, politics, and less than glamorous settings. There are lines in the film that aren't designed to be sound bites, or further the plot, they are there to represent the realities of human interaction.

This is a great film for any Sci-Fi fan.
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Botched Reissue, 7 July 2006
By 
M. N. Malik "Nefarious" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
I think very highly of this film and enjoy it a lot.It's a shame that when the studio released this version they failed to include the original ticker tape introduction to various scenes and put in their own bastardized version. I imagine this was to simplify reissue for the foreign language versions on the disc. I wish I knew who was reponsible for this decision as I would like to explain to him what a mistake they have made.I am glad I still have an original VHS copy of the film still.
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly low quality release., 2 Sep 2006
By 
Holly Jepps (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
To repeat the comments made by M. N. Malik "Nefarious", this version has butchered titles. Don't buy it, it's a shoddy lazy release of a classic film which deserves more respect.

The video is of mediocre quality transfer, the audio is clear, there are a couple of extras but neither anything to write home about. For a DVD it would be pretty average.

But his film is an all time classic and deserves the best, let alone taking the average and making it worse by removing style and content from the original film and replacing it with cheap pixelated titles which look like a 5 year old did the job.

Poor show Universal!

Wait for them to release a proper version. Ticker-tape and all!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure art, pure science, no artificial ingredients., 16 Sep 2004
By 
R. Paijmans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
People expecting a sci-fi film of the James Cameron ("guns are fun") variety, will be either disappointed, or find their horizons pleasantly expanded. This film is, to my mind anyway, the most realistic portrayal of what might happen if we really did come across alien life. The acting, camera work, soundtrack and highly realistic sets (no cardboard here, and all the equipment you see existed in real life) add to its unique athmosphere of trepidation and creeping paranoia, as the microscopic but extremely contageous and destructive lifeform is discovered and carefully examined. The alien lifeform is satisfyingly alien and unlike anything conceivable on Earth. The science is suffiently meaty and substantial to satisfy any geek --no airy pseudo-scientific babble here, and the whole film manages to avoid descending into simple schlock-horror.
People have commented on a lack of plausibility of the slow Government response to the alien threat, the illogical selection of scientists and the possible suggestion (which eludes me, actually) that the microscopic lifeform might have some form of intelligence ("how can a microbe be intelligent?" Well, ever hear of collective intelligence?). But to me, the unpreparedness, miscalculation and inconsistency with which the government and scientific bodies respond, despite the fact that they thought they had prepared for this eventuality, sounds scarily true-to-life to me. So do the mishaps that cause mistakes and miscommunication at vital moments. And when you are confronted with an incident like this, who you gonna call?
People have also commented on the lack of glamour and charisma of the main characters. Well, we are talking real geeks here, and to my mind they are far more credible than the eponimous double-D cupped 25 year old pouty blonde who just happens to be a brilliant scientific authority on exo-biological physics, or the war-decorated, tanned, athletic he-man who, inbetween his career as a test pilot, also happens to dabble in nuclear physics a fair bit. Yeah, right... Closer to the truth is that real top-scientists, the driven, obsessive geeks who put in the hours to become foremost authorities in their field, tend to be not so tanned, not so athletic, not so groomed, and perhaps not so abundant in people skills. And that is what is portrayed here.
The film was shot in 1971 and this, of course, shows in its style. It is almost presented as a documentary however, and is best viewed as a hypothetical account of Earth coming in contact with alien life in that time period, and how it dealt with it. The conclusion to some is a bit contrived and disappointing, but to me again a scarily realistic portrayal of how we, despite our "preparedness" and scientific cleverness, tend to survive the big crises that threaten humanity almost through pure dumb luck in the end.
In short, Director Robert Wise refused to give in to Hollywood formula and made an artful, realistic portrayal of a darn good book. The story is what matters. This film, I do not hesitate to say, is art. Ignore the cheesy (irrelevant) cover illustration on the DVD. Watch the film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rating is for the FILM ONLY, 12 Nov 2007
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This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
As I have never seen the version referred to in other reviews on here, I can't comment on the effect of the removal of the ticker tape intros to various scenes. However, the film as it stands i would give 5 stars; tense, thought provoking, well acted, tightly directed and generally very entertaining. The quality of the video could be slightly better (the film seems too dark in some places) but the film itself is top notch.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie bastardized - shame, 24 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
Firstly I think this is a classic movie which I like a great deal. However this version has been spoilt and hence only gets 1 star. As has already been mentioned it's criminal that the studio released this version with the orginal ticker tape removed (replaced with sub-titles: anyone with half a brain would have left the movie as is, in English with ticker tape, and simply added foreign language sub-titles). Any one know if there is an original DVD/Blu-ray with ticker tape (movie original)?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Textbook Exercise in Film Making, 29 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
"There's a fire, sir." is one of my favourite lines in cinema, and indeed, books. Every time I watch this gem of a movie, that line alone makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.*The moments preceding this are also masterly in context.

This film is genuinely a text book exercise in how to make a film of this type work.

The claustrophobic element has never been done better. While the cast contains few if any A-listers, the acting is universally up to the task. Yes, in true Crighton style, the characters lack a little dimensionality, but that only helps to allow the movie to concentrate a little better on the situation. The pool of characters we get in the bunker is nicely differentiated, and each one brings a different element to the solution of the puzzle. There are few if any obvious scientific howlers, and while it's not quite perfect in that respect, it doesn't have one screaming at the mind-numbing inaccuracies they can get away with today after decades of dumbing down our education system (writing in England).

The access to the bunker complex is a "Man From Uncle" style delight; the story is not completely linear-there are changes of course in the plot (how rare is that today?); (SPOILER !)they persuade the authorities to A bomb the town, then find out they should not.

End of spoiler

The final sequences are very, very tense, and if the final ending of the organism is a rather anticlimactic, it's probably the more accurate for that.

This is one of Science Fiction's very best movies.

*There is one better line in cinema- "Night of the Lepus"'s "Run for your lives! There's a horde of killer rabbits coming this way !"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing sci fi, 16 April 2009
By 
stripeyunited - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
I'm not a purist about films transferred onto dvd, and having never had the pleasure of seeing this film on its original release or in any other format, I've no quibbles about the way the ticker tape works.

This is the first of Michael Crichton's novels to make it into film, although I daresay most people are more familiar with Jurassic Park.

This is one of my all-time favourite films, regardless of genre. It's blessed with an almost documentary feel and the time and space to let its story unfold. We're not burdened with sub-plots or even much insight into the personal lives of the protagonists. The isolation of the setting for the majority of the film removes the risk of this kind of blind alley which blights so many films. Another refreshing element is the absence of bombastic and intrusive sound-tracks. We get a minimal, pulse-like sound-effect at appropriate moments. We also don't get grandstanding characters or actors.

The pared-back simplicity of delivery allows you to concentrate on the unfolding story, where you get to supply the drama yourself.

Don't get me wrong - there is nothing boring, bland or stodgy about this film. There is plenty of biting humour in the interaction between the scientists. There is the horror of the tests which allow them to understand what they're up against [if you are against animal testing, you may find this element particularly distressing]. Then you have the inexorable, chilling, logic of the progress of the strain, and where it's going.

This is intelligent film making, by the late great Robert Wise, which doesn't play to the gallery, rewards your attention, and repays repeat viewing. I'll keep watching whilst I wait with fingers crossed for another Crichton adaptation, Westworld, to make it onto dvd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd man and computers, 17 Mar 2009
This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
This is a 1971 film based on a 1969 book with the same name. Together, they established Michael Crichton's reputation as a talented writer of techno-thrillers. His success culminated in his immensely successful Jurassic Park.

The plot is excellent and reflects Crichton's education as a physician. A returning spacecraft has brought back to earth a deadly organism, and a race begins to understand how it functions before it spreads to the rest of humanity.

I found the "odd man hypothesis" particularly intriguing. If you needed someone to make a decision that might require them to die to save humanity from a deadly plague, what sort of person should you select? For this tale, Crichton manufactured scientific research claiming that your best choice was the "odd man"'an unmarried man. Personally, I suspect you'd have to be careful to select the right sort of man.

Coming along after the 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, this film helped to pioneer special effects in movies. In fact, the circular hallways of the underground laboratory in it reminded me of those in 2001. Here, however, the computers are impersonal and benign. In fact, to modern eyes, they seem distinctly primitive, displaying green text on terminals and printing to teletypes. You're getting a glimpse into the past. I worked with minicomputers in 1968, and that's how they looked. Don''t laugh. In thirty years or less, our computers will seem equally primitive.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of Eugenics and Other Evils : An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi., 10 April 2009
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This review is from: The Andromeda Strain [DVD] [1971] (DVD)
This is an excellent science fiction film, that only occasionally suffers from datedness.

It is one of the best of the early modern (colour but pre-dating Star Wars) sci-fi movies I think. Now, I like action sci-fi, but sometimes a slower, more plot orientated film such as this is the order of the day. Also, by being set in what was then "near future", it acquires a rather unusual feel.

Blighted by a poor presentation, as mentioned in other reviews. Still good to watch though.
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