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Release Date - May 22, 1981 in Theaters. 1983 on CED. August 28, 1991 on Laserdisc. January 7, 1997 on VHS. November 18, 1997 on poor quality DVD. July 10, 2012 on Blu-ray.
Running Time - 1hr. 49min.
MPAA Rating - R
Distributor - The Ladd Company, Warner Bros.
The Internet Movie Database
- Audio: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), German (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0), Castilian Spanish (2.0), Latin Spanish (1.0), and Commentary by Peter Hyams
- Subtitles: English (For The Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing), French, German (For The Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing), Italian (For The Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing), Castilian Spanish, Dutch, Latin Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish
- 2.40:1 16x9
- Theatrical Trailer
Director - Peter Hyams
Writer - Peter Hyams
Producer - Richard A. Roth
Executive Producer - Stanley O'Toole
Associate Producer - Charles Orme
Cinematographer - Stephen Goldblatt
Editor - Stuart Baird
- Sean Connery - William T. O'Niel
- Peter Boyle - Sheppard
- Frances Sternhagen - Lazarus
- James B. Sikking - Montone
- Kika Markham - Carol O'Niel
- Clarke Peters - Ballard
- Steven Berkoff - Sagan
Music - Score:
Composer - Jerry Goldsmith
Performer - The National Philharmonic Orchestra
Music - Leisure Club:
Composer - Richard Rudolph and Michael Boddicker
Performer - Ganymede
Music - Songs:
- Logic System - "Automatic Collect, Automatic Correct"
This movie wasn't made by Heavy Metal, but it was adapted into a comic, "Outland" by Jim Steranko. It was published in each issue from June to October 1981 and January 1982 of Heavy Metal.
Atmosphere and setting is what really makes Outland a good movie. It takes place on a mining rig on Jupiter's moon, Io. The setting is dark, dreary, and industrial. And the special effects and models fit seamlessly into the setting, so there's no lack of illusion that it's actually in space. However, even though the setting is in space, it has a familiar feeling to it. Most of the technology is things we use today. They don't have anything too fantastic, like laser guns or robots. Instead, they're still using shotguns and people are still doing the dirty work. That gives it a nice familiar feeling to it, and we can really imagine ourselves there. It also gives us the message that even though this is sometime in the advanced future, we really haven't changed that much. This can also be said for the people that inhabit this mine.
Although because many of the technology is 1981's vision of the future, one thing does feel dated. The computers look like an old Commodore with just a black screen and green text. However, this can be because it's just an industrial computer, so they don't need anything flashy, so it's acceptable.
The minimal use of a soundtrack also creates the right mood. The only song heard is in the bar, otherwise it has just a subtle use of the great score. And it works for this movie, where less is more.
The writing is also very well done. There's a good mix of action, dialogue, and suspense to give the movie a good pace. The movie isn't as fast paced as a lot of other movies, but instead spends a lot of time on the situation and characters, and that works well for this movie and gives us time to build up that suspense.
To top it off, the acting really holds everything together with its talented cast. The one exception being O'Niel's son. Luckily he's only on screen for a very brief time.
The only other thing that bothers me is the science of humans being exposed to space and the moon's atmosphere. In the movie we see a body exploding when exposed. However, this is incorrect. A person might not live very long when being exposed, but it still wouldn't be nearly as dramatic as exploding.
But those are minor things for the overall enjoyment of the film. I wouldn't call the movie a classic or even a must-see movie, but it is a good one and worth checking it out.
Description On The Back Cover - Io, Jupiter's innermost moon, hosts mining colony Con-Am 27, a high-tech hellhole. There a veteran marshal (Sean Connery) probes some mysterious deaths of miners. In pursuit of the truth, he's alone. In Outland, writer/director Peter Hyams (Timecop, 2010) depicts a chilling extension of today's corporation-driven world. Dehumanization is vividly evoked in Phillip Harrison's striking production design and two-time Academy Award winner John Stears' special effects. The spellbinding result is "a movie of unexpected pleasures" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).
(images from the DVD)