Logan s Run

  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Producers: Saul David, Hugh Benson, Unit Production Manager Byron Roberts
  • Writers: William F Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, David Zelag Goodman
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Michael York, Richard Jordan, Jenny Agutter, Peter Ustinov, Farrah Fawcett

The film begins with an on-screen preamble:

Within a domed city, Logan 5 (Michael York) watches as an infant’s hand is implanted with a crystal. The crystal is the baby’s Lifeclock; it changes colour as a person ages. As someone approaches their “Last Day” the Lifeclock begins to blink red, and finally turns black. Logan is a Sandman, responsible for hunting down and killing Runners, people who refuse to report to Carrousel when their Lifeclock begins to blink. Logan is accompanied by his fellow Sandman and friend Francis 7 (Richard Jordan).

The two witness a Carrousel ceremony. In Carrousel, there is the hope of Renewal, a belief that if they have obeyed the rules faithfully, they may be reincarnated. If anyone disobeys, they are “finished forever.” The participants assemble in an arena, then appear to be vapourized while the audience cheers, shouts and chants “Renew!” Although neither Logan nor Francis have known anyone to Renew, Francis believes that Sandmen Renew. After killing a Runner with Francis, Logan gathers the Runner’s personal effects which include a small, silver ankh.

At home searching for some recreational sex, Logan summons someone from “The Circuit” — this is how he meets Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter), who wears a collar with an ankh pendant. After discussing with Logan why it’s wrong to run, Jessica leaves, deciding not to have sex with him.

Logan and Jessica journey to the city to tell the inhabitants what they’ve learned, and invite the old man to join them. Outside the city domes, the old man waits as Logan and Jessica enter the city. They reach the crowds as they gather for Carrousel and try to explain that they don’t have to die. Logan and Jessica are arrested by several Sandmen and brought before the Sandman central computer for interrogation. Logan resists, but the computer system accesses his mind. When the computer asks if Logan found Sanctuary, his subconscious mind replies that Sanctuary does not exist. This information runs contrary to what the computer considers fact, leading it to decry it as “does not program.” The computer redoubles its efforts to hack into Logan’s mind, diverting increasing power to the interrogation, but continues receiving contrary information from Logan. This causes a cascade failure of cognitive dissonance as a series of chain reactions cause explosions, blasting parts of the city seals open. The populace flees, and the young citizens meet the first old man that they have ever seen.

Spartacus

  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Producers: Kirk Douglas
  • Writers: Howard Fast, Dalton Trumbo
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, Romance
  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Tony Curtis

The film begins with slaves working in the Roman province of Libya. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), a burly Thracian, comes to the aid of an old man who has fallen down. A Roman soldier whips Spartacus and tells him to get back to work, only to be attacked and bitten on the ankle. For this, Spartacus is tied up and sentenced to death by starvation. Lentulus Batiatus (Peter Ustinov), a lanista (an impresario of gladiatorial games), arrives looking for recruits for his gladiatorial establishment. He inspects several slaves before finally settling on Spartacus, recognizing his unbroken spirit, along with his good health and physical condition. Batiatus purchases Spartacus and several others, then sails for Capua where his gladiatorial training camp is located. The trainer, Marcellus (Charles McGraw), immediately tries to provoke Spartacus into giving the trainer a reason to kill the Thracian as an example. Spartacus also befriends another gladiator, Crixus (John Ireland).

After several scenes showing gladiator training and life at the school, Crassus (Laurence Olivier) arrives with some companions, wishing to be entertained by watching two pairs of gladiators fight to the death. Spartacus is selected along with Crixus, an Ethiopian named Draba (Woody Strode), and another gladiator named Galino. During the first fight, Crixus and Galino are the first to fight, in which Crixus slays Galino. Next, Spartacus duels Draba and is defeated. Draba, however refuses to kill him, instead throwing his trident into the elevated spectators’ box and leaping to attack the Romans. Crassus quickly dispatches the slave and prepares to depart. As he leaves, he purchases the pretty slave woman from Britiannia, Varinia (Jean Simmons), whom Batiatus has assigned to Spartacus. Spartacus and Varinia have fallen in love, and in frustration at his loss and the overseer’s callous treatment, Spartacus begins a successful uprising. The gladiators eventually take Capua and all the surrounding districts. Many local slaves flock to the insurgents. Spartacus outlines his plan to escape by sea, aboard the ships of the Cilician pirates, who he plans to pay from the slaves’ plunder.

Batiatus and Varinia leave for Gaul via the Appian Way and find Spartacus hanging on the last cross by the road, not quite dead. Varinia shows Spartacus their newborn son, vowing that he will grow up a free man, promises to tell her son, “Who his father was, and what he dreamed of,” and bids Spartacus a final farewell. With one last breath, Spartacus’s head slumps back, and Varinia gets back onto the wagon and rides on.