OUTLAND (1981) MOVIE NEWS & REVIEW
outland (1981) movie
Genre | Science Fiction
Classification | M
Running time | 109 minutes
Released | 22 May 1981
Sean Connery ... Marshal William T. O'Niel
Peter Boyle ... Mark B. Sheppard
Frances Sternhagen ... Dr. Lazarus
James Sikking ... Sergeant Montone (as James B. Sikking)
Kika Markham ... Carol G. O'Niel
Clarke Peters ... Officer Ballard
Steven Berkoff ... Sagan
John Ratzenberger ... Tarlow
Peter Hyams ... (written by)
Stephen Goldblatt ... director of photography
box office result
Australia $ not available
North America $17,374,595
This movie draws on the Gary Cooper classic HIGH NOON (1952). Killers are on their way to kill the marshal, who finds himself abandoned by his deputies, and with none of the residents willing to stand with him. Numerous villains await the arrival of the killers. As the arrival time approaches, Sean Connery enters a public facility (in HIGH NOON, a saloon, and then a church) and speaks to the "townspeople" repeating the classic Cooper line, "I could use a little help" and receiving none. As in HIGH NOON, the response is that it is his job to protect them, and not the reverse. His only ally is a woman with a sullied reputation - in this case, a doctor who describes herself as being "one step short of a malpractice suit." Despite this, she has become a solid citizen. This parallels the character of the old flame in HIGH NOON (1952), who had become a hotel owner. The marshal must decide between joining his wife, or doing the right thing - staying behind and facing almost certain death. Also, as with HIGH NOON, the name of the site is never specifically mentioned, although it is displayed here and there on signs throughout the movie. There are parallels in the set design as well, as with the swinging saloon doors outside the marshal's office, although they are made from metal and not wood.
The script was originally intended to be set in a western period, but writer-director Peter Hyams decided to move it to outer space due to the influence of ALIEN (1979). The original title was Io, but Hyams was persuaded to change the title by an executive from the Ladd Company following a demonstration on random people, which showed that many would read the title as "number 10" instead.
The mining company is referred by the name "Con-Amalgamate". This is the same name given to the company that manufactured the defective life support system mentioned in CAPRICORN ONE (1977) (also written and directed by Peter Hyams).