The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Ah, now you’re talking! One of my favorite movies from the heyday of pre-Star Wars 1970s Sci-Fi (damn you, Lucas…!). Based upon a novel by uber-writer Michael Crichton, this movie is generally regarded as one of the best and certainly most stylistic sci-fi movies of its era. The story is a simple and familiar one. Space probe goes out, space probe comes back. Crashes in small dusty mid-western US town where all the inhabitants promptly die. Team of scientist sent in, probe taken to vast underground laboratory, and all sorts of trouble ensues.
As you may have guessed, I love this movie. It is one of my tea and biscuits favorites and I will quiet happily sprawl out on the couch and watch it in preference over most of the contemporary fair on offer out there. And why not?! Everything here is perfect. Forget that it was made 40 odd years ago. The basic storyline, though done to death now, was new and fresh then. The acting is wonderful, the characters are marvelous, the dialogue zippy and snappy and relatively free of long-winded bursts of earnestness. There are a few chills, a few spills and lots of fun. The direction is very 1970s, spilt screens and box-images, but all the better for it. And it is at least half-way believable. And what Sci-Fi made these days can you say that of?
‘The Andromeda Strain’ comes with four decades worth of popularity and is well worth a viewing.