The Andromeda Strain (film)

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The Andromeda Strain is both the title of a 1969 science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton and a 1971 film based on the book, directed by Robert Wise. The film follows the book closely, down to most names, events, and even dialog, although it is necessarily an abridged version.

A mysterious government project scrambles a team of scientists to investigate the cause of a spaceborne disease that kills nearly everyone in a small desert town. They find an extraterrestrial form of life that causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood, and make some disturbing discoveries about the project as well.


Maj. Manchek: Hello, Ops. This is Major Manchek, Scoop Control A-12. We need a fly-by over Piedmont, New Mexico. Infrared, a fluoroscan, all sectors, film to come direct to Scoop. Assign… Gunner Wilson. If he's not crocked some place.

[Two military men summon Dr. Jeremy Stone from a party.]
Capt. Morton: There's a fire, sir.

[Helicopter pilot Dempsey takes Drs. Stone and Mark Hall toward the dead town.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: If anything happens to us, you have your orders.
Dempsey: Yes sir. Proceed directly to Wildfire, and then, uh…
[He makes a slashing motion across his neck.]
Dempsey: … zzzt!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: [to Hall] If we're eliminated, the aircraft and pilot'll have to be sterilized.
Dempsey: Uh, wait a minute! That's not what they told me. Just "incinerated".

[Stone shows Hall a dead man with peaceful, composed posture.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Are you sure that isn't coronary?
Dr. Mark Hall: No, coronary is painful. They should grimace.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: If it was fast, they wouldn't have time!
Dr. Mark Hall: Fast? These people were cut down in mid-stride!

[Hall reads a suicide note from an old woman hanging over her stairs.]
Dr. Mark Hall: "The Day of Judgement is at hand. Have mercy on my soul… and to Hell with all the others, amen!"

[The two doctors find a dead man kneeling over a bathtub, head in the water.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: I wouldn't believe you could commit suicide that way.
Dr. Mark Hall: Most of them died instantly, but a few had time to go quietly nuts.

[Dr. Ruth Leavitt shields her eyes as she and Dr. Charles Dutton walk past a barricade with flashing red lights.]
Dr. Charles Dutton: Something wrong?
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: I never liked red lights. Reminds me of my years in a bordello.

[Ruth recalls a conversation with a colleague.]
Dr. Rudolph Karp: Fools! They refuse to believe life exists in meteorites. I showed them at the astrophysics conference what I just showed you. But no! Even with a microscope, they are blind! What do I have to do, hit them over the head?

[Stone hands out suppositories to the team members.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Um… stop by your rooms and insert these before taking the elevator.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: I have risked drowning in that foul bath! I have been par-boiled, irradiated, and xenon-flashed! And now you suggest I—
Dr. Jeremy Stone: I have to! We haven't done a thing about the G.I. tract yet. On Level 5, we must be as nearly germ-free as possible!
[Leavitt eyes her suppository distastefully.]
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: Anyone care to join me for a smoke?

[Dr. Dutton orders a bio-suited Toby out of a contaminated chamber.]
Toby: No sweat, sir. Those cages are airtight.
Dr. Charles Dutton: I wish you would sweat a little more, Toby. Sweat is a safeguard against some kinds of bacteria and carelessness.

Dr. Jeremy Stone: Stick to established procedures!
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: Establishment gonna fall down go boom.

Dr. Stone (unsure): Whatever it is, it's larger than a virus.

Dr. Stone (unsure): The pair survived because the baby's blood was too alkaline, and the old man's too...acid. That's it!! I'll bet the ability of Andromeda to survive inside the human body has something to do with blood chemistry!

[Gen. Sparks and Maj. Manchek examine bare human bones and a crumbled oxygen mask from a jet crash.]
Consultant: I'd say it was done by a chemical reaction of some sort, or maybe a microorganism.
Gen. Sparks: Meaning?
Maj. Manchek: Meaning there was something in that plane that consumes plastic.

[Jackson slaps his hand on bio-suited nurse Karen Anson's butt while being examined.]
Karen Anson: Feeling better, aren't you, Mr. Jackson?
Jackson: Yehhhp! You always have to wear that iron suit?
Karen Anson: [imitating Jackson] Yehhhp!
. . .
Dr. Mark Hall: Tell us what happened, Mr. Jackson.
Jackson: I don't wanna think about it.
Dr. Mark Hall: You know what people will say: "Piedmont was bad. That's why it was punished." First the town went crazy, and then was destroyed.
Jackson: You're crazy. Folks at Piedmont was good! Decent, normal folks!
Dr. Mark Hall: The man we found all dressed up in his doughboy's uniform - [who wrote a note before committing suicide in a spectacular fashion] call that normal?
Jackson: Pete Arnold, who worked at the store. It was the disease!
Dr. Mark Hall: How do you know?
Jackson: 'Cause the only thing wrong with him before that night, was sugar.
Dr. Mark Hall: Diabetes? Did he take insulin?
Jackson: Couple of times a day! Hated the needle. I tried to talk him into usin' squeeze.

[After insisting on nuclear sterilization of Piedmont, the Wildfire team reverses themselves.]
Presidential Aide: The boss'll be pleased to know that he made the right decision on 7-12 in the first place.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: [sarcastically] Congratulate him on his scientific insight!

[The scientists examine an electronic map to determine the projected spread of the organism.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Well, according to this, there'll be a super-colony of Andromeda over the entire southwest in—
Dr. Charles Dutton: Jeremy! These are biological warfare maps!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Why, yes, so they are. Well, but… simulations, Charlie. Defensive! It's just a scenario.
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: That's not the point, for God's sake! Wildfire was built for germ warfare! Wildfire and Scoop! And you knew, Stone! You knew it!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: That's not true, Ruth! I learned about Scoop the same time you did!
Dr. Charles Dutton: They already had Andromeda programmed! The purpose of Scoop was to find new biological weapons in outer space, and then use Wildfire to develop them!
Dr. Ruth Leavitt: It stinks, Stone!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: You're blowing your tops! We have no proof.
Dr. Charles Dutton: The map!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Don't be an ass! That map only shows what Andromeda could do in the hands of an enemy!
Dr. Charles Dutton: Enemy? We did it to ourselves!

Jackson: Hell of a way to run a hospital.

Dr. Jeremy Stone: When the bomb goes off there'll be a thousand mutations! Andromeda will spread everywhere! They'll never be rid of it!
. . .
[Stone observes the unfinished disarming substation nearby.]
Dr. Jeremy Stone: The defense system is perfect, Mark! It'll even bury our mistakes!

[Hall runs past Jackson in the observation room toward the Central Core hatch.]
Jackson: Hey, Doc! You ain't leavin' us here, are ya?!

Wildfire P.A. System: Self-destruct has been cancelled.

[Final lines of the film.]
Sen. Phillips: This cloud-seeding business, Stone — [are] you absolutely sure it worked? You better be!
Dr. Jeremy Stone: All reports continue to indicate that the experiment was successful, Senator.
Sen. Phillips: Then we can feel confident your so-called biological crisis is over.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: As far as Andromeda is concerned, yes. We have the organism at Wildfire, and we continue to study it. We know now beyond a doubt that other forms of life exist in the universe.
Sen. Phillips: Thanks to Scoop.
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Yes. [pauses] However, with this new knowledge, there's no guarantee that another "so-called biological crisis" won't occur again.
Sen. Phillips: Hmm. What do we do about that?
Dr. Jeremy Stone: Precisely, Senator. What do we do?


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