We are living in strange times at the moment with lockdowns occurring around the world. Even stranger is our fascination with watching films and TV shows on similar themes of escaping viruses that rapidly spread amongst the population. For example Stephen King’s The Stand is currently popular at the moment, both the mini-series and book. Another is 28 Days Later (2002) from director Danny Boyle. However if you are looking for a seventies take then look no further than The Andromeda Strain (1971).
Arrow Video released this back in 2019 having carried out a brand new 4K restoration. Is the film worth a look? And what of the restoration? Let’s find out so without further ado here’s The Andromeda Strain blu-ray review.
- The Andromeda Strain (1971)
- Genre: Sci-fi Thriller
- Directed by Robert Wise
- UK Rating PG
- Discs: 1
- Released By Arrow Video
- Blu-ray Released: 3 June 2019
When a US satellite is brought back to Earth it lands in the small town of Piedmont, New Mexico. The military sends in a recovery team which finds the town’s residents apparently all dead. However amongst the dead are two survivors, a man and a baby. What has the satellite brought back, could it be an alien organism and furthermore can its spread be stopped?
Style / Direction
This one was directed by Robert Wise whilst Richard H. Kline is the man responsible for the cinematography. There something about the way these 70’s science fiction movies were shot that still impresses today. I loved the look and feel the film produces. The use of red in the lab facility really works well for instance. It’s kind of hard to nail down exactly what it is but it works. It does so by actually showing very little. I guess sometimes less is indeed more!
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Gil Mellé.
Acting / Characters
There are solid acting performances all-round which is really important as much of the tension is conveyed solely by the actors.
- Arthur Hill as Dr. Jeremy Stone
- James Olson as Dr. Mark Hall
- David Wayne as Dr. Charles Dutton
- Kate Reid as Dr. Ruth Leavitt
- Paula Kelly as Karen Anson (nurse, laboratory technician)
- George Mitchell as Mr. Peter Jackson (Piedmont)
- Mark Jenkins as Lt. Shawn (Piedmont Team)
- Peter Helm as Sgt. Crane (Piedmont Team)
- Joe Di Reda as Sgt. Burk (Wildfire Computer Technician)
- Ramon Bieri as Major Arthur Manchek (Scoop Mission Control)
- Carl Reindel as Lt. Comroe (Scoop Mission Control)
- Frances Reid as Clara Dutton
- Peter Hobbs as General Sparks
Conclusion: The Andromeda Strain (1971) Film Review
I highly recommend The Andromeda Strain especially if you are a fan of science fiction or just a good thriller. It delivers an uneasy tense feeling of what could happen despite the many so called safe guards. Even a small piece of paper puts the mission at risk. It looks great even more so with the flawless blu-ray image. In fact I recommend revisiting any classic film that has had such a restoration. You may well find yourself enjoying it even more as I have with The Andromeda Strain.
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Conclusion: The Andromeda Strain Blu-ray Review
As I just eluded to above the film really does look fantastic. Arrow have carried out a brand new 4K scan of the original camera negative. What that basically means is perfect image quality without any annoying marks from dirt or damage. I really cannot fault this blu-ray release. Picture quality is far more important than any extras that might be included but Arrow manages to deliver on both fronts.
In the end the newly restored image quality really enhances the enjoyment of watching this classic seventies science fiction thriller.
Arrow have included a fabulous set of extras including a interesting feature from film critic Kim Newman which I recommend watching.
- Audio Commentary
- A New Strain of Science Fiction – Film Critic Kim Newman (28 mins)
- The Andromeda Strain: Making The Film (30 mins)
- A Portrait of Michael Crichton (13 mins)
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots
- Radio Spots
- Image Gallery
- Reversible Sleeve
Popcorn Cinema Rating:
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
MOVIE RATING: WELL WORTH A LOOK
BLU-RAY RATING: EXCELLENT
POPCORN CINEMA: RECOMMENDED
Purchase The Andromeda Strain (1971) On Blu-ray
The Andromeda Strain (1971) is available now on blu-ray. Although copies do seem to be in short supply. May be Arrow Video will issue another run of blu-rays soon.
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The Andromeda Strain (1971) Film Trailer
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
And now a closer look at Arrow’s blu-ray release.
That concludes my The Andromeda Strain blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more Nicolas Cage movies soon. What’s next? Check back soon…
Summary: The Andromeda Strain (1971) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Movie description: A satellite brings back an alien organism that threatens the world
Duration: 130 mins
Director(s): Robert Wise
Actor(s): Arthur Hill, James Olson, David Wayne, Kate Reid
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A stylish, worrying and relevant sci-fi thriller that thanks to Arrow Films new restoration now looks fantastic.