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Outland

Entry updated 12 July 2021. Tagged: Film.

Film (1981). Ladd Co. Directed by Peter Hyams. Written by Hyams. Cast includes Peter Boyle, Sean Connery and Frances Sternhagen. 109 minutes. Colour.

The setting is a mining base on Io, the third moon of Jupiter. The new marshal (Connery) discovers that the mine manager (Boyle), in a bid to increase production, is introducing powerful amphetamine Drugs which ultimately render the workers psychotic and suicidal. The manager hires assassins to kill the nosy marshal. The critical Cliché that Outland is High Noon (1952) in space is absolutely true. This otherwise routine anti-capitalist adventure is lifted out of the ordinary by its richly textured setting (the art director was Malcolm Middleton) – dirty, crowded, and wholly convincing as an unromanticized future industrial settlement. There are also good performances from Sternhagen as a cantankerous lady doctor and Connery as the tired, middle-aged failure making good.

The novelization is Outland (1981) by Alan Dean Foster. Additionally, Jim Steranko produced the comics adaptation Outland (June 1981-January 1982 Heavy Metal), not collected in Graphic Novel form. There is also a large-format photonovel version using Hyams's screenplay: Outland: The Movie Novel (graph 1981) edited by Richard J Anobile. [PN/DRL]

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