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The Omega Man (1971)

Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Joyce H. Corrington) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Lisa
...
Dutch
...
Richie
...
Zachary
Jill Giraldi ...
Little Girl
Anna Aries ...
Woman in Cemetery Crypt
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Tommy
...
Family Member (as De Veren Bookwalter)
...
Family Member
Monika Henreid ...
Family Member
...
Family Member
Forrest Wood ...
Family Member

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Storyline

Due to an experimental vaccine, Dr. Robert Neville is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves "The Family". The plague has caused them to become sensitive to light, as well as homicidally psychotic. They believe science and technology to be the cause of the war and their punishment, and Neville, as the last symbol of science, the old world, and a "user of the wheel", must die. Neville, using electricity, machinery, and science attempts to hold them at bay. Written by Roald E. Peterson III <slz13@cc.usu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The World Is Dead. One Survivor. Then The Others. Crawling In Darkness. The Strangest Sect Of All. *Hunting The Last Man On Earth.* See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Legend  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston had approached Orson Welles to direct this. See more »

Goofs

In the movie's opening sequence of post-apocalyptic downtown Los Angeles, when Neville drives past West 6th Street on South Flower Street, two people can be seen outside; the first near the corner by the Bank of America Tower at 555 South Flower Street, and the second in front of the Southland Hotel at 605 South Flower Street. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the last man on earth wrecks his car]
Robert Neville: There's never a cop around when you need one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits feature the credit "Based on a book by Richard Matheson", and does not give the title of the actual book, I Am Legend. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chuck: Chuck Versus the Muuurder (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Coming Into Los Angeles
(uncredited)
Written by Arlo Guthrie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Thought-provoking, violent sci-fi story.
1 May 2005 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, so the "Omega" Man is a round-a-bout way of saying The "Last" Man. Indeed, this violent science fiction actioner is a remake of a 1964 movie called The Last Man On Earth; in this version Charlton Heston assumes the role played by Vincent Price in the earlier film. It is a depressing - and in many ways thought-provoking - story set in a future where the human population has been wiped out.

Robert Neville (Heston) is the only remaining survivor of a worldwide plague, other than a race of vampiric mutants who come out at night. When the plague was first reaching epidemic proportions, numerous scientists were given serums to try - Neville was the one who got the correct serum, but he never managed to get back to HQ in time to report the good news. Most of the world's people went on to be killed by the plague, but those who survived have evolved into light-sensitive mutants. Every day, Neville drives around the empty streets of LA scavenging for food, fuel and useful objects; every night he returns to his ultra high-security house from which he fends off the creepy minions who come out to taunt him and, perhaps, one day kill him. The mutants are led by Matthias (Anthony Zerbe), formerly a TV newsreader, now an anti-technology crusader who encourages his followers to destroy the scientific and technological items they find, as he blames meddling scientists for ultimately decimating the world's population.

What's so chilling about The Omega Man is that Neville is gradually shown to be the real "mutant". He is the only man left from the world as it WAS; Zerbe and his mutant hordes are the evolutionary creatures of the world as it IS. Distressing as it is, The Omega Man is saying that in the event of a worldwide catastrophe human life would find a way to prevail, but the remnants of previous human life might need eradicating first. From the sensational opening - in which Heston screeches his car to a halt on an empty street and starts shooting at an unseen being in a skyscraper - to the climax (which is simultaneously happy AND sad), The Omega Man constantly raises questions and manipulates our fears. It has weaknesses - sometimes the metaphors and morals are too heavy-handed; parts of the film are slow-going, with an excess of talk which merely goes over plot details already mentioned; there are dated elements (music, decor, costumes, vehicles, slang speech) which deny the film its topicality over 30 years on. But, in spite of all that, The Omega Man remains a worthwhile sci-fi actioner and another cult flick in the Charlton Heston "shock sci-fi" canon (see also Planet of the Apes '68 and Soylent Green '73).


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