Last day. Capricorn 15's. Year of the city - 2274. Carousel begins - Logan's Run Revisited
In 1976 Michael Anderson would take liberties with the novel Logan's Run written by George Johnson and William Nolan (Logan's Run and Logan's World) to produce what may arguably be one of the most memorable sci-fi films ever produced. The "Last Day" age would be changed from 21 to 30 and most of the novels racier scenes would be toned down to avoid a "R" rating. Despite these changes the film has often been referred to as the "sexiest science fiction film ever made".
The film would win the Oscar for special effects due to some innovative lighting and optical work involving the latest laser technology. The miniature sets would also become legendary and end up in several sci-fi productions including Star Trek: The Next Generation where the films' domed city doubled as Star Fleet Academy in several episodes. A true testament to just how Logan's Run has stayed with us over the decades.
In the distant future the survivors of the apocalypse live in a giant domed city where their every need is taken care of by overlord computer. People live in world of pleasure, but there is one catch. At the age of 30 all citizens are required to report for a ritualistic murder ceremony known as "Carousel". The populace has been fooled into believing that this ceremony leads to reincarnation and a new life though its real purpose is population control. To insure that citizens don't "chicken out" on their way to Carousel there is a police force in place known as "Sandman" who terminate those who attempt to run.
(More After The Break)
Logan 5 is one of the elite Sandmen. During one of his routine terminations he retrieves an anch, a symbol for a mythical place called Sanctuary where runners can find refuge, off the body of a would be runner. Upon placing the item into the computers scanner he is instructed to undergo a process to alter his "Life Clock", a symbol of a persons age embedded in the palm, to the blinking red of a person on last day so that he may pose as a runner to infiltrate Sanctuary. During the process he learns that 1036 runners had managed to escape the city and that Carousel is a ruse.
Logan enlists the help of Jessica 6, a young woman he met in attempt to find a sexual partner from the cities computer system, because she wears an anch around her neck. Jessica doesn't believe that Logan wants to run. He is a Sandman and they never run. She would try to set Logan up to be murdered, but the attempt is foiled when Logan is called to terminate a runner in the section of the city referred to as "Cathedral" which is a home for renegade youths. Instead of killing the woman he sets her free and tells her how to avoid the Sandmen. This act convinces Jessica that Logan is on the level.
Francis 7 is Logan's best friend and a fellow Sandman. Logan's constant questioning of "Last Day" has made him suspicious of his comrade who he follows to Cathedral where he witnesses the act of betrayal. Francis is now hunting Logan and Jessica who he feels has warped his friends mind.
Logan and Jessica follow several clues left behind by prior runners and make their way through the underground section of the city with Francis hot on their tail. The pair finally reach a mysterious ice filled cavern ruled by a giant robot named Box who they soon learn has frozen all the runners that have entered his domain to be used as part of the cities food supply. Logan manages to force Box to shoot the ceiling of the cavern causing a giant cave-in which buries the metallic giant.
Logan and Jessica now venture where no human being has been in centuries....outside. The Sun is thing of wonder to them along with the sensation of night and day plus and planets fauna.
A long walk down what centuries ago must have been an interstate highway leads the pair to the remains of Washington DC which is now covered in vegetation. They manage to wonder into the Capitol Building where they find an "Old Man" who's family had lived in the city for generations. The concept of growing old is completely foreign to Logan and Jessica and the wrinkles on his face cause them constant amusement.
Francis 7 manages to trail the pair all the way to the city where he confronts them. When Logan shows Francis that his Life Clock has gone clear he snaps. He lunges at Logan and the pair fight until Francis is killed accidentally by Logan. Francis's last words are "Look Logan, I've renewed."
Logan and Jessica decide that they must stop the murder that is going on back in the city. They feel that everyone should have the right to grow old. There plan is to take Old Man back and show the populous that there is another choice.
When the group return to the city they are arrested and Logan is debriefed by the cities computer. It would seem that the machines data bank couldn't handle the truth that there was no Sanctuary and that they had discovered someone who had been allowed to grow old and the machine short circuits and self destructs. The impending destruction of the city forces the population to flee outside where they find Old Man and a new future.
Logan's Run has survived the generations to become one of the genres classic films. As a sci-fi writer I am constantly asked about the film. It would seem that the ideals touched upon in the film still strike the same chords that they did back in the 1970s. Of course being a sexy film doesn't hurt either.
Logan' Run: Trivia
1. First choices for main characters: Logan 5 - Jon Voight, Jessica 6 - Lindsay Wagner, Francis 7 - William Devane, & Ballard - James Cagney
2. Both Michael York & Richard Jordan were over 30 when the film was made.
3. The film was originally to be produced by George Pal.
4. Ballard's banter to Logan and Jessica consists of quotes from T.S. Eliot's novel "Possum's Book of Practical Cats".
5. On the Ballard costume worn by Peter Ustinov the buttons are made from real U.S. pennies.
6. One of the extras in the crowd for the finale flashes a Star Trek Vulcan salute.
7. The costuming was originally to be much more sexy.
Logan's Run: Life Clock Color Chart
Clear: 0-8 Years - White Clothes
Yellow: 8-16 Years - Yellow Clothes.
Green: 16-23 Years - Green Clothes
Red: 23-29 Years - Red Clothes
Red / Black Flashing: - One week prior to Lastday
Black: 30th Birthday - Report to Carousel or Run
Sandman: 0-30 Years - Uniform: Black w/ Gray Stripe
Logan's Run: Deleted Scenes
1. Opening Scene: Francis 7 hunting a runner before the original Carousel scene. He corners the runner in front of the giant metal hand. After being shot the runner falls into the fountain to the applause of the crowd. (This scene appears in the original trailer for the film.)
2. Box carves an ice sculpture of Logan and Jessica: The scene was originally designed to be a naked pose of both Logan and Jessica embraced. The scene was dropped due to the fact it would have brought an "R" rating.
3. Francis 7 and Logan 5 chat with a woman on Lastday: The scene was designed to show the casualness of death to society.
4. A longer more sexual Love Shop sequence: Once again dropped to avoid an "R" rating.