In the distant future, the population of Earth is at war with the reptilian Draconians.
Two pilots, one from each side, crash-land on a desolate planet after a battle in space. To ensure their survival, they have to overcome the hostility they feel towards each other.
Earthman Dennis Quaid and lizard-like alien Louis Gossett Jr (virtually unrecognisable under very impressive scaly makeup) learn that cooperation equals survival in this sci-fi fantasy.
Director Wolfgang Petersen makes this racial tolerance plea in outer space disguise a satisfying blend of action spills and emotional thrills.
It touches both the brain and heart, remaining true to its pulp science-fiction roots while never being anything less than engrossing entertainment.
The movie did not enjoy auspicious beginnings. After Terry Gilliam turned it down, it went into production at 20th Century Fox with Richard Loncraine at the helm, was shut down a week into shooting because of creative differences, and then relaunched from scratch with Wolfgang Petersen directing.
It ran massively over-budget, received lukewarm reviews and died at the US box office.
Louis Gossett Jr