The novel was adapted in 1976 as a film, directed by Michael Anderson and starring Michael York as Logan 5 (not 3), Jenny Agutter as Jessica 6, and Richard Jordan as Francis 7. The film was produced by Saul David, a former MGM executive and well-known science fiction supporter (having produced and developed Fantastic Voyage in 1966 at Fox, and developed Westworld at MGM). The film only uses the basic premise from the novel (everyone must die at a specific age, Logan runs with Jessica as his companion while being chased by Francis).
The film’s world is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian one, in which people now live inside a huge domed city and are oblivious of the world outside, believing it to be a barren, poisonous environment. The motivations of the characters are also quite different—in the film, the age of planned death is 30—instead of reporting to a Sleepshop, citizens must take part in a ritual called “Carrousel” [sic] in which they are incinerated with the chance of being “renewed”. Logan is a 26-year-old Sandman, sent by the computer to find and destroy Sanctuary. The computer alters his palm flower (here called a “life clock”) to show him as approaching Lastday, and he becomes a runner and escapes from the city.
Sanctuary turns out not to exist (it is revealed that Runners have actually been murdered by a malfunctioning food processing robot just outside the city). The only other person that Logan and Jessica encounter outside the city is an old man (Peter Ustinov) who lives with a large number of cats in the United States Senate chamber of the largely intact ruins of Washington, D.C. Logan kills Francis, who is simply a Sandman in the movie and not a rebel leader, and leads the old man back to remain just outside the domed city, returning to try to lead a revolt against the culling. No one believes or listens to him or Jessica, and instead he is captured by Sandmen. In his interrogation by the computer, his information of there being no Sanctuary causes the computer to malfunction and self-destruct. Logan and Jessica then flee.
As the young population leave the confines of the burning and exploding domed city, they meet the old man outside—the first time they have seen anybody of that age.
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