Logan’s Run is a 1976 dystopian scifi action thriller drama film directed by Michael Anderson, and starring Michael York, Jenny Agutter and Richard Jordan. The screenplay by David Zelag Goodman is based on the 1967 novel Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.
Logan’s Run depicts a utopian future society superficially but revealed as a dystopia where the population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by killing everyone who reaches the age of 30. The story follows the actions of Logan-5 (York), a “Sandman” who has terminated others who have attempted to escape death and is now faced with termination himself.
Logan’s Run is a dark scifi morality tale – very typical in the 1970s when society was concerned with overpopulation and scarce resources. Together with other similar films like Soylent Green and the Planet of the Apes franchise, Logan’s Run presented mankind’s future as bleak – a stark contrast to the game-changing Star Wars that would appear the following year.
The first two-thirds of the film present life in the 23rd century – hedonistic and seemingly care-free – with nobody older than 30 and procreation/parenting being handled by computers, the inhabitants of this future city can focus on having as much fun as possible. That is until it is time for them to die – or possibly reborn – in a ritual called Carrousel. Logan-5 hooks up with Jessica-6 (Agutter) and the couple ultimately discover all is not as it appears (isn’t that always the case?) and seek to escape Carrousel and find Sanctuary away from the city.
As you might already suspect, the third act cannot live up to the expectations set up for Sanctuary and it all falls rather flat. Not only that but the illogical ending simply cannot be justified and the film crashes like a house of cards. Pity. For us, Logan’s Run will always be about Jenny Agutter’s raw sex appeal and the colourful veneer of what a future utopian city might look like, when your baseline is 1976!
Happy 45th anniversary, Logan’s Run. Still holds up despite its flaws. Better than most!
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