Logans Run (1976)

In the year 2274, a faction of the human race, following global war and other apparent catastrophes that have ravaged the Earth, live together in a giant domed city, completely sealed off from the outside world. Here, in this bubbled society, the young, healthy, beautiful people who populate it live in total and complete pleasure, free of labor & strife, and free to do anything & everything they want, sexually or otherwise. It’s a total state of hedonism.

But there’s one catch: no one is allowed to live past the age of 30. On your 30th birthday (known as “Lastday”), the little jeweled lifeclock attached to your hand blinks, and you must be expelled from this society of pleasure through an arena event known as “carrousel,” in which, the city’s young people believe, your soul is “renewed,” afterwhich you will be reborn into the city’s society and start all over again.

But some 30 year-olds in this city know the real truth about carrousel—that it is, in fact, a death sentence—and they try to escape. They’re called “runners.” The domed city has a faction of policemen who hunt down runners, and they’re called “Sandmen.” Logan (Michael York) is a 26 year-old Sandman. Life in the city is good for him, but suddenly, he is given a secret mission by his boss—the city’s master computer—that will change him. Logan’s assignment is to go undercover as a runner, escape the city and go outside, where he is to find a so-called haven for escaped runners called Sanctuary, and destroy it. But Logan soon learns the truth about carrousel himself, and, with the aid of a beautiful girl named Jessica (Jenny Agutter), whom he falls in love with, he must now figure out how to free his people from their horrible fate at the age of 30….

1976’s “Logan’s Run” is an all-time science fiction classic, and one of my personal favorite films ever since I first saw it on TV as a kid. I’ve always been fascinated by the storyline, and although the film’s Oscar-winning visual effects have long since been surpassed, they’re still quite colorful to look at (including the groundbreaking use of holography). There’s fine performances all around, such as the perfectly-cast Michael York as Logan, the very lovely Jenny Agutter as Jessica (she & York have terrific chemistry together), as well as the delightful Peter Ustinov as Old Man (who Logan & Jessica discover living alone with his cats outside the city), Richard Jordan as Logan’s best friend Francis, and there’s even an enjoyable appearance from Farrah Fawcett (Majors) in her sexy, 70’s prime, as an attractive assistant working in a facelift shop called New You. And director Michael Anderson steers the film quite nicely from beginning to end.

Some have criticized “Logan’s Run” as being too long, saying that the film bogs down in the middle when Logan & Jessica get outside the city and meet the Old Man. I say hogwash—I’ve always enjoyed this part of the film, featuring Ustinov’s charming turn as the Old Man. Besides, it’s an important part of the story, as Logan & Jessica fall in love with one another, and learn through meeting the Old Man that there IS, in fact, life after 30. Without this segment of the film, “Logan’s Run” would be pointless. It’s there for a reason, and I like it just as much as the rest of the film.

Upon it’s release in 1976, “Logan’s Run” was arguably the “hippest” sci-fi film ever made up to that point. Then, of course, the original “Star Wars” was released the following year, which pretty much knocked “Logan’s Run” off the sci-fi pedestal. But no matter—the film remains an enduring classic of it’s genre, with a big following to this day. Over 25 years later, “Logan’s Run” is still a ton of futuristic fun. 🙂