Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Trekker In "Logan's Run"

 In 1976, the biggest movie to come out that year (at least according to me) was "Logan's Run." I saw it several times in the theater, bought the novel, and the soundtrack LP. I even saved up about $50 to buy a set of over-sized lobby cards from the movie at the Ft. Lauderdale specialty shop "Starship Enterprises."

One thing I noticed immediately was that a Star Trek fan extra snuck in the Vulcan salute at the end! Have you ever seen it? Watch at the end when the young people are reaching for the old man... right in the foreground, one of the raised hands briefly makes the Vulcan hand sign, and it made it in the movie! And it wasn't just off to the side in a subtle motion... but it actually blocked the view of Peter Ustinov's face for a moment! See my screen capture of the moment below... (click on the image to view full-size.)

"Live long and prosper, old dude!"

I originally wrote about this in a post about "Logan's Run" over on my sci-fi/nostalgia blog "Fantastic Flashbacks." You can read the original post here.  I ended the post with the line "My sneaky Trekker friend, whoever you are, I applaud you!"

Well, thanks to the internet, that person has stepped up and claimed this bit of filmic Trekker identification! Here is an email that I got from him:

Thought you might be interested to learn that I was the Vulcan Hand Salute kid in Logan's Run.  My mother was a talent agent in Dallas after we moved here from L.A. in 1970.  I had done many national commercials through an agent there and my mom decided to open an agency in the new film frontier of Dallas.  As a result, she always sent me on extra calls for films made in Dallas at the time like Logan's Run, Phantom of the Paradise, Semi-Tough and others.  I remember working weeks on end on LR culminating to the big finale of filming the destruction of "Dome City" filmed at the Ft. Worth Water Gardens.  We were directed to wait on the far side of a wall for the explosions and then came over to gather around the first old person we'd ever seen, played by the late Peter Ustinov.  I also remember a girl from our agency was selected to be the one to touch the old man's face.  Rumor has it this required a "special audition", but who really knows. Anyway, I was simply wanting to find a way to locate myself in the crowd and didn't do it long, I thought.  I feared it would get noticed and end up on the cutting room floor, but as you mentioned, made the final print.  I had forgotten about this until a friend of mine from back then called me and said the salute had made the Internet.  So, there it is and thanks for the applaud.
Adam Wyse

Thanks, Adam, for writing and sharing with me -and the readers- your story! Now we know... and you certainly did make your mark that stood out from the rest of the crowd!

Bonus: Since today's post concerns the Vulcan salute, here is a nice image I found online that is a mock-up of the old Gold Key Trek comics with nice modern artwork!


Anonymous said...

Logan's Run is definitely a classic. I noticed that scene in the film's finale. That was and still is totally awesome! Thanks for sharing this story.

Anonymous said...

Great story, Logan's run is a favorite of mine. I'm hoping the LR editing guys were aware that hand gesture was from Star Trek and kept it in on purpose as a easter egg! Love the email from the man himself!!!!

Unknown said...

TY for that Easter Egg on Logan's run. Now I have to look at it for myself!

Unknown said...

It's no joke, I met the man behind the sign yesterday while running his daughters 18th birthday at the Arlington skatuim skating rink in Texas, he is also a former spiderman actor from marvel... He told me the story behind it all!!!! I swear I had a literal nerdgasm

Frederick said...

thanks for sharing that, sounds like a fun conversation! His hand is famous, lol!

Cristian said...

Today I saw the movie for the first time in my life.
I saw also the sign: in fact, I am here now because I was looking to check if somebody notice the salute. :)
Good job! :)

Anonymous said...

I actually knew the "Spock Hand Guy" once upon a time. His name was David Um-Iforgethislastname and I worked with his wife Jennifer at one of the first video stores in Ft. Worth, Tx. (yeah - that long ago) Since then I have lost all contact with them but I do remember that they were both pretty swell folks and they had a number of really charming cats.

Glad to see this got documented somewhere.