Saturday, 4 May 2013

Classic Movie Corner; Outland (Warner Bros., 1981)

Name: Outland
Year: 1981
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Executive Producer: Stanley O'Toole
Starring: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle, James B. Sikking

On Jupiter's moon, he's the only law.

On the Con-Am operated mining colony on Io, Jupiter's moon, strange things are happening. The miners are slowly going psychotic, after breaking mining records, and increasing production ten fold. Upon investigating, new Federal Marshall William T. O'Niell (Connery) soon finds out why: a synthetic drug making people do 14 hours worth of work inside of 6 hours, and after 11 months of exposure , makes the taker go crazy. Now, the general manager of the colony, Sheppard has grown desperate at O'Niell's meddling, and has asked his superior for help in the form of two hitmen. With clock ticking until the shuttle arrives, O'Niell must find a why of overcoming the incoming threat, and even threats from within is own ranks.

Definitely one of Connery's best movies, Outland is a sci-fi retooling of the Gary Cooper classic High Noon, directed with panache by Hyams, who clearly has an eye for this sort of thing, and even does justice to the source material. Connery excels at the tough, no nonsense marshall who doesn't back down, and even brings some of his Bond-esque toughness to the role. Sternhagen plays the icy cool doctor  Lazarus, who becomes his only friend, and later partner throughout the whole film, and is a surprising contrast to O'Niell. Peter Boyle plays the corporate bad guy Sheppard who's as corrupt as the day is long, supplying the drugs to the workers, while turning  blind eye to the carnage.

Jerry Goldsmith supplies the music, and helps keep the film going at a cracking pace, and is a very stark contrast to his scores for the Star Trek movies. You could probably mistake it for a score from ALIEN, but it does it's job well. Definitely worth watching for it's space-western like themes, the action and the fact it's just awesome.


  1. I remember when I first saw it, an it blew me away. One of my favourite films.