The Andromeda Strain (film)

1971 film by Robert Wise

The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 film based on a 1969 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton about a team of scientists to investigating the cause of a spaceborne disease that kills nearly everyone in a small desert town. They find an extraterrestrial form of life that causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood, and make some disturbing discoveries about the project as well. The film follows the book closely, down to most names, events, and even dialogue, although it is necessarily an abridged version.

Directed by Robert Wise. Written by Nelson Gidding.

Maj. Manchek edit

  • Hello, Ops. This is Major Manchek, Scoop Control A-12. We need a fly-by over Piedmont, New Mexico. Infrared, a FLIR scan, all sectors, film to come direct to Scoop. Assign… Gunner Wilson. If he's not crocked some place.

Dr. Mark Hall edit

  • [Reading a suicide note from an old woman hanging over her stairs 0:24:33] "The Day of Judgement is at hand. Have mercy on my soul… and to Hell with all the others, amen!"

Dr. Rudolph Karp edit

  • Fools! They refuse to believe life exists in meteorites. I showed them at the astrophysics conference what I just showed you. But no! Even with a microscope, they are blind! What do I have to do, hit them over the head?

Dialogue edit

Government Agent: [0:13:30] It was the fastest thing we could arrange, sir. [Stone looks at inside of completely unoccupied plane, says nothing, sits down. Telephone rings, agent hands phone to Stone.] It's for you, sir.
Stone: I feel like Onassis.

[Helicopter pilot Dempsey takes Drs. Stone and Mark Hall toward the dead town. 0:21:00]
Stone: [to Deptsey] Drop us here, then rise to 1,000 feet. If we don't return...
Dempsey: I know, proceed to Wildfire and... [draws hand across throat, makes noise]
Stone: [to Hall] If something happens to us, the pilot and aircraft will have to be sterilized.
Dempsey: Uh, that's not what they told me. Just incinerated.

[Stone shows Hall a dead man with peaceful, composed posture. 0:22:55]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Are you sure that isn't coronary?
Dr. Mark Hall: No, coronary is painful. They should grimace.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: If it was fast, they wouldn't have time!
Dr. Mark Hall: Fast? These people were cut down in mid-stride!

[The two doctors find a old woman hanging over her stairs 0:24:33.]]
Dr. Mark Hall: [reading a suicide note] "The Day of Judgement is at hand. Have mercy on my soul... and to Hell with all the others, amen!" This took time. Regardless of what made her do it... this took time.

[The two doctors find a dead man kneeling over a bathtub, head in the water. 0:25:00]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: I wouldn't believe you could commit suicide that way.
Dr. Mark Hall: Most of them died instantly, but a few had time to go quietly nuts.

Leavitt: You're lost. Nobody's used this road for years.
Burton: It's supposed to look that way. We spent over $50,000 to make the road like this.
Leavitt: [incredulously] Putting in the potholes?
Burton: Getting rid of the treadmarks. A hell of a lot of heavy equipment has passed this way.

[Dr. Ruth Leavitt shields her eyes as she and Dr. Charles Dutton walk past a barricade with flashing red lights.]
Dr. Charles Dutton: Something wrong?
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: I never liked red lights. Reminds me of my years in a bordello.

[Stone hands out suppositories to the team members. 0:58:30]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Um... stop by your rooms and insert these before taking the elevator.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: I have risked drowning in that foul bath! I have been par-boiled, irradiated, and xenon-flashed! And now you suggest I—
Dr. Jeremy Stone: I have to! We haven't done a thing about the G.I. tract yet. On Level 5, we must be as nearly germ-free as possible!
[Leavitt eyes her suppository distastefully.]
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: Anyone care to join me for a smoke?

Burton: I'm going to try a 2 micron filter.
Toby Male Technician: This one's big, I'll have to get me a fly swatter.
[Dr. Dutton orders a bio-suited Toby out of a contaminated chamber.]
Toby: No sweat, sir. Those cages are airtight.
Dr. Charles Dutton: I wish you would sweat a little more, Toby. Sweat is a safeguard against some kinds of bacteria and carelessness.

Dr. Jeremy Stone: Stick to established procedures!
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: Establishment gonna fall down go boom.

[Gen. Sparks and Maj. Manchek examine bare human bones and a crumbled oxygen mask from a jet crash. 1:36:50]
Consultant: I'd say it was done by a chemical reaction of some sort, or maybe a microorganism.
Gen. Sparks: Meaning?
Maj. Manchek: Meaning there was something in that plane that consumes plastic.

[Jackson slaps his hand on bio-suited nurse Karen Anson's butt while being examined. 1:38:40]
Karen Anson: Feeling better, aren't you, Mr. Jackson?
Jackson: Yehhhp! You always have to wear that iron suit?
Karen Anson: [imitating Jackson] Yehhhp!

Dr. Mark Hall: Tell us what happened, Mr. Jackson.
Jackson: I don't wanna think about it.
Dr. Mark Hall: You know what people will say: "Piedmont was bad. That's why it was punished." First the town went crazy, and then was destroyed.
Jackson: You're crazy. Folks at Piedmont was good! Decent, normal folks!
Dr. Mark Hall: The man we found all dressed up in his doughboy's uniform - [the suicide in the bathtub] call that normal?
Jackson: Pete Arnold, who worked at the store. It was the disease!
Dr. Mark Hall: How do you know?
Jackson: 'Cause the only thing wrong with him before that night, was sugar.
Dr. Mark Hall: Diabetes? Did he take insulin?
Jackson: Couple of times a day! Hated the needle. I tried to talk him into usin' squeeze.

[After insisting on nuclear sterilization of Piedmont, the Wildfire team reverses themselves. 1:50:05]
Presidential Aide: The boss'll be pleased to know that he made the right decision on 7-12 in the first place.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: [sarcastically] Congratulate him on his scientific insight!

[The scientists examine an electronic map to determine the projected spread of the organism. 1:52:15]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Well, according to this, there'll be a super-colony of Andromeda over the entire southwest in—
Dr. Charles Dutton: Jeremy! These are biological warfare maps!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Why, yes, so they are. Well, but… simulations, Charlie. Defensive! It's just a scenario.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: That's not the point, for God's sake! Wildfire was built for germ warfare! Wildfire and Scoop! And you knew, Stone! You knew it!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: That's not true, Ruth! I learned about Scoop the same time you did!
Dr. Charles Dutton: They already had Andromeda programmed! The purpose of Scoop was to find new biological weapons in outer space, and then use Wildfire to develop them!
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: It stinks, Stone!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: You're blowing your tops! We have no proof.
Dr. Charles Dutton: The map!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Don't be an ass! That map only shows what Andromeda could do in the hands of an enemy!
Dr. Charles Dutton: Enemy? We did it to ourselves!

Karen: [baby wailing in background] Dr. Hall, may I please feed the baby now, he's been crying steadily!
Hall: [to monitor] No! Keep him crying! And run another blood analysis! [to Burton] If I'm right, Jackson and the baby should have similar Ph levels. [to monitor] Karen, where's that analysis?
Karen: [Irritated] It's coming up on your console, now.
Peter Jackson: [turns to face CCTV camera] Hell of a way to run a hospital!

Stone: Mark, come on, we've got to get out of here! There's no substation in this sector! [both of them run into corridor, turn left and see corridor connector closing, turn and run the other direction in time to see that connector closing]
Public Address System: Five minutes to self destruct.
Stone: When the bomb goes off there'll be a thousand mutations, Andromeda will spread everywhere, we'll never be rid of it! [pointing at uncompleted bomb cutoff substation)] The defense system is perfect, Mark. It'll even bury our mistakes.

[Final lines of the film. 2:08:50]
Sen. Phillips: This cloud-seeding business, Stone — [are] you absolutely sure it worked? You better be!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: All reports continue to indicate that the experiment was successful, Senator.
Sen. Phillips: Then we can feel confident your so-called biological crisis is over.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: As far as Andromeda is concerned, yes. We have the organism at Wildfire, and we continue to study it. We know now beyond a doubt that other forms of life exist in the universe.
Sen. Phillips: Thanks to Scoop.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Yes. [pauses] However, with this new knowledge, there's no guarantee that another "so-called biological crisis" won't occur again.
Sen. Phillips: Hmm. What do we do about that?
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Precisely, Senator. What do we do?
[The last scene shows the Andromeda Strain dissolving in sea water; it then changes to Computer Number "601" (signifying information coming in too fast to be processed...)]

Cast edit

See also edit

External links edit

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