Logan's Run (1976)

Logan's Run (1976), directed by Michael Anderson.

In a perfectly bland, sealed utopia, healthy good-looking young people (all white?) live to be 30, then must be terminated in a ceremony of religious exultation. They are told they will be reincarnated in newborn babies, and some believe it. The others become Runners seeking to escape to a mythical Sanctuary. They are hunted and killed by the Sandmen.

Logan is a Sandman ordered to become a Runner. He is a Runner for real because his life-clock has been reset to the end...

It's a well-worn theme in written SF and this film borrows from other movies: Planet of the Apes (1968), THX 1138 (1971), etc.

I saw this in the theater and thought it was weak. It still seems so to me, although now I wonder if they weren't going for a retro-SF look that I didn't realize at the time. The DVD commentary track makes the project a bit more interesting: for example, I missed the notion that clothes were color-coded by age, just like the gems in the palms. Red is the oldest cohort, getting close to termination.

Every scene looks cheesy in that specifically 1970s SF way. The plot is explained in the dialogue, always a mistake. The narrative just halts when Peter Ustinov appears as the Old Man with his many cats. Confusing a future computer system so that it self destructs seems improbably easy.

I always enjoy seeing Jenny Agutter, although honestly it could have been anyone else with the same result.

Brief nudity. Jerry Goldsmith score, at times also very golden-age retro SF with electronic effects.

Available on Blu-ray.