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Ben Mankiewicz - TCM Daytime Host
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Remind Me
Logan's Run

Ben's Top Pick for September

LOGAN'S RUN (1976) - September 13

It is a bold decision--foolish might be a better word--to use this space to recommend a movie that isn't...um...good. Yet here I am suggesting you watch Logan's Run (1976).

Logan's Run is a rare film for TCM fans. Most of us sigh in frustration when we see Hollywood remake one of "our" movies. The Women is a 1939 film starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell, not a 2008 version with Annette Bening, Meg Ryan and Eva Mendes, right? No matter that those are great stars, it's just that some movies are best left as is.

When I read last year that Rob Marshall, a great director and an avid TCM viewer, was searching for an actress to play Nora Charles opposite Johnny Depp as Nick in a reboot of The Thin Man, I took to Twitter to ask TCM fans who you thought should be cast as Nora. Your reaction was nearly unanimous--"No one!"

But Logan's Run is no Thin Man. I suspect you'll watch it, love it/hate it simultaneously, then start thinking about who should star in a remake. You'll love it because it's one of the truly great science fiction concepts of its era. The year is 2274 and the world is sealed in a domed city with diminishing resources. To protect society from overpopulation, no one is allowed to live past 30. On their birthday, a crystal embedded in their hand changes color and off they go to the euphemistically named "Carousel," which in reality is nothing more than a death chamber designed as an amusement park. But running is nearly impossible, because state-sponsored assassins--or sandmen--are tracking the runners down.

Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov star, but the actors aren't the problem. It's the script, the pacing and the look of the film--all dated and flawed. But the concept is so sophisticated, so diabolical and intriguing, I think it demands a remake.

For years, a new Logan's Run has kicked around Hollywood. But it hasn't happened. The time has come. But it must happen quickly...I'm nearly, uh, 30.

by Ben Mankiewicz

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