Logan’s Run (1976)
Jenny Agutter naked.
Jenny Agutter naked and wet.
For many a Sci-Fi fanboy in the 1970s and ‘80s that pretty much summed up the movie ‘Logan’s Run’.
But (surprise) there is actually much more to the 1976 release than that. Loosely based upon an earlier, collaborative novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson the film is set in a seemingly utopian future, an enclosed city where everyone is young, healthy and happy. With one proviso. At the age of 30 each person must die, with the hope that some day they may be reborn.
However not everyone accepts the inevitability of their doomed fate and these individuals, the ‘runners’, try to escape death and the law by hiding out in the sealed domain or leaving it altogether. The city-authorities try to prevent this by tasking a policing force, the ‘Sandmen’ (appropriately enough), to catch and kill the outlaws. The eponymous Logan of the title (a former Sandman) becomes one of the ‘runners’, along with Jessica 6, the character played by Jenny Agutter, and they too attempt to escape the city, taking them on a long odyssey through its crumbling edges and beyond.
The movie was poorly received by audiences and critics alike upon its release but it still crops up in TV broadcasts every now and again (though usually in a ‘family-friendly’ edit). Despite the negativity there are a few things to recommend it. Admittedly Michael York gives one of his typical overly-cinematic performances, largely free of character. Beyond the ‘Three Musketeers’ I cannot think of a movie I ever liked him in. Jenny Agutter on the other hand plays things in a far more understated manner and is the better for it. There is also a wonderfully eccentric performance from the great Peter Ustinov, who pretty much saves the last third of the production. It’s semi-cultic status makes it a film that you should watch at least once (to get all the pop-culture references if nothing else). Though maybe not more than once.