The Andromeda Strain

Synopsis: When virtually all of the residents of Piedmont, New Mexico, are found dead after the return to Earth of a space satellite, the head of the US Air Force's Project Scoop declares an emergency. Many years prior to this incident, a group of eminent scientists led by Dr. Jeremy Stone (Arthur Hill) advocated for the construction of a secure laboratory facility that would serve as a base in the event an alien biological life form was returned to Earth from a space mission. Stone and his team - Drs. Dutton, Leavitt and Hall (David Wayne, Kate Reid, and (James Olson, respectively)- go to the facility, known as Wildfire, and try to first isolate the life form while determining why two people from Piedmont (an old wino and a six-month-old baby) survived. The scientists methodically study the alien life form unaware that it has already mutated and presents a far greater danger in the lab, which is equipped with a nuclear self-destruct device should it manage to escape.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director(s): Robert Wise
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
131 min

Piedmont, New Mexico.

Population 68.

Come on.

I didn't notice them before.

That's crazy. I didn't know

buzzards fly at night.

That's what they look like.


Boy, that's some dead burg.

Buzzards only come

when something's dead.

Well, I guess we better

go in and have a look.

This is Caper One to Vandal Deca.

Caper One to Vandal Deca.

Are you reading? Over.

Yes, I'm reading. Over.

We're about to enter

the town of Piedmont

and recover the satellite.

Very good, Caper One.

Leave your radio open.


We're now inside the town.

It's kind of spooky.

I see a church steeple

ahead on the left.

It's quiet here.

It's the damndest thing.

There's no sign of life.

The signals from the satellite

are getting very strong.

Sir! You see that, Lieutenant?

See what, Crane?

Over by the fence.

It looks like a body.

Easy, Crane.

You're imagining things.


Sir, it's another one.

You're right. It looks dead.

Yes, sir, shall I...

No! Stay in the van.

Vandal Deca to Caper One.

What's happening?

We see

bodies, lots of them.

Are you certain, Caper One?

Damn it, Comroe,

of course we're certain.

Your orders are proceed

to satellite and retrieve.

Roger, Vandal Deca.

Stay at your stations!

Hit that security button!

Get me Major Manchek.

Somehow they don't

hardly look dead, Lieutenant.

They're all over the place.

Must be dozens of them.

Damn it, get this call through!

It's sort of like they just

dropped in their tracks, sir.


Good Chri..!

Do you see that thing in white?

Yeah, it's coming toward us.

Major, this may sound crazy,

but there's something strange

going on with Caper One.

Sir, I think we should get out of h...

Hello, Ops, this is Major Manchek,

Scoop Control A-12.

We need a flyby over

Piedmont, New Mexico.

Infrared. A FLI R scan, all sectors.

Film to come direct to Scoop.

Assign Gunner Wilson,

if he's not crocked someplace.


I'm declaring a state of emergency.

All personnel restricted to base.

Everything seen and heard

in that room is top secret.

Yes, sir.

This is a recording.

State your name and

your message and hang up.

Major Arthur Manchek,

Scoop Mission Control A-12.

I recommend calling a Wildfire Alert.

We have evidence here on film

of unnatural death caused by

Scoop 7 returning to earth.

Time check 0-1-4-7 inclusive.

We'd like to see Dr. Jeremy Stone, please.

Well, I'm Mrs. Stone.

We are having a party. May I...

Does that man have a gun?

Ma'am, we must see Dr. Stone.

What is this?

Please call Dr. Stone to the door.

Otherwise we'll go get him.

Just a minute.

I'll just wait here, ma'am.

I'll come to Berkeley anytime, Stone.

That $4 million must be

your largest federal grant.

May I see you, Jeremy?

The S.D.S. Has arrived, no doubt.

Jeremy, there are some

Army types in the hall

and two more outside with guns.

They want to see you.

I'll take care of it.

Jeremy! If you knew about this,

you might've told...

I didn't. I'll explain later.

I'm Dr. Stone.

Yes. I'm Captain Morton.

There's a fire, sir.

I've got to leave.

For God's sakes, Jeremy!

When will you be back?

I'm not sure.

The guns, is it...

Mrs. Stone, it's our job

to protect your husband.

From now on, nothing must

be allowed to happen to him.

I'll be safe as in your arms.

Jeremy? Jeremy!

You tell the senator it's his daughter!


Dad, something very

peculiar has just happened,

even for Jeremy.

A few minutes ago...

Dad, are you there?

What's going on?

This communication

is being monitored. The connection

has been broken for reasons

of national security.

You will be briefed

at the appropriate time.

Thank you for your cooperation, Mrs. Stone.

I feel like Onassis.

It was the fastest thing

we could arrange, sir.



General Sparks here.

I just wanted to inform you

that all members of your

team have been cleared

and are now being called in.

Except for Professor Kirke.

He's in the hospital. Appendectomy.

You'll get complete

details on everything

when your team is assembled.

You don't make sense.

You talk like you've been brainwashed.

You don't understand.

Germ warfare people, Dad?

A lab accident?

Thank you.

It's different this time.

Don't pack, Claire,

I won't need anything.

A hippie. He's going to a love-in.

I give up.

One minute you're fed up.

You talk about retiring to Alaska yet!

Now you've turned into

a cloak-and-dagger man.

My glasses.

Here they are, Dad.

Can't you at least tell me who phoned

at this ungodly hour?

Grandpa, there's a car,

and they got guns.

Do they now?

Well, that's serious.

I'll watch out.

Honey, you've been dreaming.

I wish I were!

No. Uh-uh.

Get someone else.

Dr. Leavitt, I told you, there's a fire!

My experiment's at the critical stage.

I've been working around the clock.

I can't just leave now.

I want that new plate read

as soon as it's developed.

Yes, ma'am.

My orders come from Dr. Robertson,

the president's science

advisor in Washington.

There's a phone. Pick it up.

Call Robbie.

Tell him I burnt my draft card.

Are you sick, ma'am?

We have a physician on call.

All Dr. Leavitt needs is rest.

Knock it off, Bess.

If the physician certifies that

you are unable to continue...


I'm fine.


I'm going with you.

Skin knife.

Hold it, Mark.

Sorry to disturb you.

There's just been a call

from a Dr. Robertson

at the White House.

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Nelson Gidding

Nelson Roosevelt Gidding (September 15, 1919 – May 1, 2004) was an American screenwriter specializing in adaptations. A longtime collaboration with director Robert Wise began with Gidding's screenplay for I Want to Live! (1958), which earned him an Oscar nomination. His long-running course on screenwriting adaptions at the University of Southern California inspired screenwriters of the present generation, including David S. Goyer. Gidding was born in New York and attended school at Phillips Exeter Academy; as a young man he was friends with Norman Mailer. After graduating from Harvard University, he entered the Army Air Forces in World War II as the navigator on a B-26. His plane was shot down over Italy, but he survived; he spent 18 months as a POW but effected an escape. Returning from the war, in 1946 he published his only novel, End Over End, begun while captive in a German prison camp. In 1949, Gidding married Hildegarde Colligan; together they had a son, Joshua Gidding, who today is a New York City writer and college professor. In Hollywood, Gidding entered work in television, writing for such series as Suspense and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and eventually moved into feature films like The Helen Morgan Story (1957), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), The Haunting (1963), Lost Command (1966), The Andromeda Strain (1971), and The Hindenburg (1975). After the death of his first wife on June 13, 1995, in 1998 Gidding married Chun-Ling Wang, a Chinese immigrant. Gidding taught at USC until his death from congestive heart failure at a Santa Monica hospital in 2004. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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