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Andromeda Strain, The (1971)

Rated G... But may be too intense for younger children. | guide

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Old Sep 16, 2004, 07:03 AM   #16
n/a flights since
Re: Did they kill those innocent monkeys and rats??????

Perhaps it would be interesting if YOU were suffocated to near death for the entertainment of us all 'unregistered' above.
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 07:27 AM   #17
n/a flights since
Re: Did they kill those innocent monkeys and rats??????

My name is Lynne, and I wrote the above comment about 'Unregistered' being suffocated.
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 09:19 AM   #18
n/a flights since
Suffering of monkey/rat

I think its useful for me to point out that the very reason that that scene was powerful was its realism. It is also very real that this kind of procedure is done with variations in methods to thousands of animals including other species of monkeys every year. If the monkey was killed i do not think it is a massive issue in the scale of things.

a rhesus monkey has a small brain, its concepts of pain and suffering are very different to ours and this is the reason that 1000s of these and other types of monkeys are used in biomedical research every year. They are similar to humans physiologically but do not come anywhere close to us in terms of mental capacity and understanding.

It is unfortunate that there are no alternatives to animal models for certain experiments but we should not get too attatched to monkeys/rats/other animals, as the knowledge that is derived from their suffering or deaths is used for saving our lives, and progressing our knowledge about ourselves (precisely the kind of scientific rational knowledge that enables the scientists to determine the nature of the andromeda strain).

I suppose my main point is that every drug (even simple painkillers) you take and most surgical /medical proceedures have been developed using animal models. This is a reality people do not want to accept and do not think about, similarly with mass meat production which i would say causes more actual prolonged suffering to animals. But hey we like eating meat, we like painkillers and we like doctors saving us and our loved ones from suffering. This is the reality; we survive at a cost to other lower animals, but that is how it should be, and that i think is the point of that scene.
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 03:55 PM   #19
n/a flights since
Re: Did they kill those innocent monkeys and rats??????

The point of that scene was to demonstrate that they used animals as a test for toxicity. We didn't need to see the monkey 'dying' though. If they had cut away, we would have had to use our imaginations. I could have coped with that.

Yes I understand about animal experiments. And believe me of animal experiments save the life of anyone I love then.....

I still can't agree with putting an animal (rat or monkey) through that experience for our entertainment, no matter what size their brain.

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Old Sep 17, 2004, 06:21 AM   #20
n/a flights since
Re: Did they kill those innocent monkeys and rats??????

I understand your position, and I am in agreement in part:

To cause suffering to a monkey in the pursuit of MINDLESS and NON-PROGRESSIVE entertainment is unnecessary and wrong but in the case of this film it was justified.

So to determine my moral position in terms of using animals to our advantage(I count entertainment in this) I have to analyse the utility or purpose of the suffering and what actual or possible consequences lead from it.

Applying this principle to the andromeda strain:

Firstly, I believe that the film is very informative and educational to audiences. In terms of highlighting the scientific method I don't think I have seen any other film come close. Usually science and scientists are portrayed wildly inaccurately in films, yet here we have a true representation of the nature of a scientific process of investigation. So I think the film has value and can only lead to enhanced understanding and knowledge in an audience.

Secondly, I believe that a large part of the impact of the film lay in the monkey scene and that if the camera had cut away from the monkey it would not have had any impact:

This is analogous to our consumption of meat in some sense - we see animals in fields grazing and next thing we see is prepared meat nicely packaged in the clean refrigerated unit of a store. The camera (our minds) cuts away from the unpleasant bit.

To see something real and living die before our eyes (which it almost did through CO2 asphyxiation before resuscitation with pure oxygen) is VERY unusual which is why it is so alarming to the audience. That realism, at least in my mind, caused my attention to the film increase significantly and led me to research the film and to consider all these questions. I'm sure it has had the same effect on many people who have seen it. Now without that scene I think the whole film would suffer and i think that justifies its inclusion.

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Old Sep 17, 2004, 07:19 AM   #21
Mrs. Tony Harrison
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1,295 flights since Feb 2002
Location: Swinging Organ
Re: Did they kill those innocent monkeys and rats??????

I think it was a necessary scene. It's not nice, it's not cool, but it must be there. What becomes to the rights of these animals who work in movies, it's great that at least nowadays they don't harm animals in every flick. Recently I saw a bull fightnig movie (with Rudolph Valentino, from 1920's) and I can tell, it wasn't a joy to watch it. Still, I can not say what happened really to those animals which were in this movie.
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Old Sep 17, 2004, 07:30 AM   #22
n/a flights since
The definative what happened to the monkey

From the website is a complete explaination that i have pasted below


"Choking the Monkey

A number of lab animals are seen being very realistically killed in The Andromeda Strain. In the docu, Wise asserts that the ASPCA was involved in the scene of the monkey dying, and that the monkey wasn't harmed. I was about to write of my suspicions that the poor little monkey was killed onscreen for the film, when I remembered that a director I know, Jon Bloom, was a director's assistant on Andromeda. I called him and he told me the whole story.

Robert Wise is telling the truth. The ASPCA was present during filming of the scene and approved the procedure. It was shot at Universal on a set that was sealed airtight and filled with Carbon Dioxide. The monkey's glass cage was also airtight - it contained oxygen. The mechanical arm put the cage on the table, and opened the door. The monkey immediately could not breathe, and fell unconscious in only a few seconds, just as we see in the film. Assistant director James Fargo was just off camera, breathing through a scuba outfit and holding a second oxygen source. As soon as the monkey was still for a couple of seconds, he rushed in and fed it oxygen while carrying it out of the set. The monkey revived immediately. There was only one take.

Jon suspects that the ASPCA wouldn't allow this sort of thing to be done today. The monkey did have a traumatic few moments, and did suffer. That much is obvious from the movie. Jon feels that a scene as realistic as that was needed for the film, because audiences had heard nothing but talk about deadly germs and needed to see something that looked undeniably real. The monkey and the crying baby were necessary to depict the consequences of an invisible 'monster' that was impossible to show directly. 4

I myself am not sure where the line should be drawn with the killing of living things for movies, as we do it so much everywhere else in daily life. 5 "
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