The Andromeda Strain

1971, Universal Pictures

Robert Wise's adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel divided audiences when it was released, likely because it was a bit too different for them, and may even have been a little ahead of its time. It makes creative use of split-screen sequences, and features some of the earliest computer-generated images; the science aspects are also impressively plausible, with a rather disturbing scene involving animal testing. But most significantly, it's a tightly-constructed thriller that gradually builds to a genuinely gripping, heart-pounding climax. Like most of the better films of its day, it still holds up well.

       

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