A hit-and-miss futuristic film about a world in which nobody is allowed to live past 30 years. The story takes place in a man-made, self-contained city, where there is no crime, hunger, or strife. The catch is that at the age of 30, everyone must go through a ritual called "renewal," in which the participants float toward the top of an arena to be zapped by disintegration rays. Supposedly, if a participant makes it to the top, he will live another 30 years, but the ritual is fixed so that nobody ever lives. Some discover the ruse and become "runners," those who try to escape the city rather than face elimination. York's job is to hunt down runners and kill them; but, after meeting Agutter, a potential runner, he takes up the group's cause. Agutter and York escape--with York's friend, Jordan, in hot pursuit. Once the two are clear of the city, they see the outside world for the first time. Traveling through the ruins of Washington, DC, they meet Ustinov, the first person older than 30 that they have ever met. They bring him back to their futuristic city to show him the rest of the populace, and eventually they destroy the computer that runs the city. Fawcett makes her film debut as an assistant to a devious cosmetic surgeon. The film picked up a special Oscar for its visual effects and was also nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction.