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TCM Underground - October 2018
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Remind Me

Dreamscape

Science fiction dabbles in political paranoia in this intriguing thriller. Dennis Quaid stars as a young psychic helping scientists research dream states. When government agent Christopher Plummer hijacks the project, Quaid has to enter president Eddie Albert's dreams to save him from an assassination plot. Twentieth Century-Fox started with an outline by science-fiction legend Roger Zelazny inspired by his story "He Who Shapes" and his novel The Dream Master. Since they assigned another writer, David Loughery, to do the screen treatment, Zelazny was never credited (he has denied rumors that he deliberately removed his name from the project). Critics and fans were charmed by the film's light tone, particularly as embodied in Quaid's deft performance as the psychic adventurer. The film also benefited greatly from Maurice Jarre's score. Although best known for his symphonic music for such David Lean epics as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965), Jarre insisted on using only electronic music for Dreamscape, arguing it better suited the film's tone. Another highlight includes the impressive designs by Clifford Searcy and Jeff Staggs, which made the dream scenes distinctive and appropriately unsettling.

By Frank Miller

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