Kitschy sci-fi classic has some sexual content.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Logan's Run is a 1976 sci-fi movie depicting a futuristic society in which citizens are terminated upon turning 30. Scenes highlight the fact that "free love" is part of the social order -- no dating, marriage, families, parents. Shortly after meeting a woman, Logan says to her, "Let's have sex." Logan's friend shows up at his place clearly drunk with a woman on each arm, inviting Logan to join in the revelry. Logan and Jessica pass through the "Love Zone," in which characters are shown engaging in orgies (brief female nudity, breasts). There's some sci-fi violence: Laser gun battles, explosions, in addition to the "carousel" ritual that shows citizens who have turned 30 floating into the air before exploding as the attendees below cheer each new explosion. While there's some entertainment value due to the dated special effects and undeniably 1970s conception of "the future," Logan's Run holds up as an excellent example of a pre-Star Wars science fiction movie that relied more on the story and premise than on a budget larger than the GNPs of most developing countries.
every thing is terrible.
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What's the Story?
In LOGAN'S RUN, the year is 2274, and after environmental devastation, people now live in geodesic domes in a utopian society in which technology meets every need. People live lives of hedonistic leisure, but there's one catch: Upon turning 30, in order to prevent overpopulation, citizens take part in the "Carousel," a ritual in which they're "renewed" on their "Last Day," floating to their exploding deaths in an arena filled with their cheering younger compatriots. Logan 5 (Michael York) is a "Sandman," part of an elite squad who are sent to kill "Runners," those who try to escape their fates after turning 30. Logan meets Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter), who is resistant to Logan's sexual advances and wears an "ankh" symbol, a symbol also worn by a Runner Logan had recently stopped and killed. Logan takes the ankh pendant to the Sandmen computer, where he learns that it's a symbol for members of a resistance movement who help Runners find "Sanctuary," a world outside the dome where people are allowed to live to old age. The computer assigns Logan the task of finding this Sanctuary and destroying it. Logan also learns a disturbing truth about the Carousel ritual. After the computer changes Logan's life clock to 30, he must now become a Runner. Now Logan, with the help of Jessica, must escape the only world he has known while being pursued by his best friend Francis 7 (Richard Jordan), to find out if there really is a Sanctuary and if life is possible outside of the dome and beyond age 30.
Is It Any Good?
This is a thoroughly enjoyable slice of pre-Star Wars '70s sci-fi. With its geodisic dome living, polyester uniforms, synthy soundtrack, and casual hedonism, there's no denying that this is a 1970s conception of the future, but so much of it holds up, particularly its messages on the over-reliance on technology, ageism, and escapism through decadence. The sheer entertainment value of it makes it easy to forgive the dated special effects and unintentionally funny dialogue. Despite its arguable merits and qualities, Logan's Run ends up being a more memorable and absorbing sci-fi movie than many sci-fi movies made in recent decades with much larger budgets (even if the $9 million spent on Logan's Run was considered exorbitant at the time).
Even in spite of the plot twists and ironies that come off as tropes already used by, say, Solyent Green and Planet of the Apes, Logan's Run manages to emerge with its own unique style. The beginning of the "Carousel" ritual looks as weird as anything from a Jodorowsky movie. The plastic surgeon's office, the "love zone," Michael York's dramatic flair, and Farrah Fawcett-Major's hair are also memorable. Logan's Run performs the difficult trick of presenting a serious message without being overly serious at every turn. It's a refreshing alternative from all the sci-fi movies where the characters seem to do nothing all day but brood about futuristic existence while waiting on their Starbucksbot 3000 to deliver their coffee.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about futuristic science fiction movies. How does Logan's Run depict the future? How does it use science fiction to reflect contemporary concerns?
While the special effects are dated by today's standards, does this interfere with your enjoyment of the movie? Can a strong story and viewer imagination be better than a blockbuster sci-fi movie with a multimillion-dollar special effects budget but a lackluster story?
Did the sexual content seem gratuitous, or was it necessary to show what it was like for these characters to live in this society?
- In theaters: June 23, 1976
- On DVD or streaming: December 18, 2007
- Cast: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan
- Director: Michael Anderson
- Studio: MGM
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 119 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Award: Academy Award
- Last updated: January 2, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
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