Monday night I sat among three people who’ve never seen Logan’s Run. By the midpoint, they looked a bit like my Sweetie there. Fortunately, no one looked like Skuttle.
It blew my mind a bit. I watched that movie almost as soon as it came out and many, many times afterwards. I watched the TV series. I want to name a main character Jessica or Logan or both. It’s part of my quotable movie repertoire and I just can’t believe three of my friends hadn’t seen it.
What started the whole business was the question, “What’s a classic sci-fi movie?” We started naming a few and this one came up along with the astounding fact some hadn’t seen it.
The next question was obvious. “Is it good?”
I should have asked her to define good. Good lighting? Good dialogue? Good acting? Satisfying ending? What?
She didn’t ask for good. She asked for classic. Classics are classics for a reason, but it isn’t always because they’re good. Plan 9 From Outer Space is a classic, but no one would call it good. OK, maybe I should have said the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. If I had to limit classics to only the good ones, pickings would be mighty slim indeed.
I happen to like Logan’s Run, but I don’t know that it’s a good movie. It’s a weird premise fairly well delivered by everybody involved, but some might argue with me.
What makes a classic? Is it the lighting, dialogue, premise, or something more ephemeral? Is it sales numbers or longevity or how many people are willing to argue about it over dinner?
Classics have staying power. We hope it’s because they’re good, but for some of them it may just be they were the first ones to do it. Kudos to them.
Grace Bridges was the one asking the questions, and she’s looking for classic sci-fi she may not have seen. Anyone have some other suggestions for her? She’s still processing whether Logan’s Run fits her definition of classic or good so you don’t have to use that as your baseline.