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The Omega Man (1971)

GP  -  Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  1 August 1971 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 19,620 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 103 critic

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), 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

Robert Neville, a doctor, due to an experimental vaccine, 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:

La última esperanza  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Matheson said that The Omega Man (1971) was so removed from his book that it didn't even bother him. See more »

Goofs

In the "...no phone ringing..." scene, Neville says "...it's almost dark..." and the sun is shown low in the sky, but as he drives home the sun casts a shadow from nearly overhead; just artificially dimmed. 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 Starz presents Zombie Mania (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from A Summer Place
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sci Fi Action At Its Explosive Best!
24 May 2005 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

This action packed and thought-provoking sci-fi drama has been one of my personal favorites for over 30 years. Charlton Heston found his definitive role here, as the last man on earth, a scientist fighting a single handed battle against hundreds of mutant creatures of the night.

On the basic level, this movie has some of the most explosive action I have ever seen. Heston is at his best as a bloodless technocrat, a stone killer, "exterminating" mutants with machine guns, pistols, grenades, and his bare hands, all the time giving off an icy air of detachment. Put Chuck up against Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson and he definitely holds his own purely as a Seventies action hero.

On the other hand, this is also Chuck's best performance as an actor. The fact that he literally has the screen to himself for the first half hour allows him to do things he never did in his "epic star" mode. Watch him buy that used car, making small talk with a rotted corpse. Chuck puts across so much loneliness and yet entirely avoids self-pity, as in "thanks a lot, you cheating bastard." It's a scream to watch the bigger than life Moses dealing with life's everyday hassles, not in reality but in wistful fantasy.

Then watch the WOODSTOCK scene in the movie theater. Here's right wing idealist Charlton Heston watching left-wing hippies dance and frolic. Here's the last man on earth watching huge mobs of people crowd up the world that is now empty. The ironies are razor sharp, and Heston just lies back and lets the dialog work for him. "Just to see, just to really realize, that if you have to be afraid to smile at someone, if you have to be afraid to walk down the street, what kind of world is that? Right?" Note well the master's restraint. He doesn't sneer, he puts much more sadness into the lip-reading bit, with a little self-loathing on the side. The dialog and situation are tailor-made for Heston's cold decisive vocal style. It's not hammy stuff, it's Heston giving you the same kind of chill Deniro achieved in TAXI DRIVER. It's the paranoid loner as tragic hero. This cold withdrawn stuff is right down his power alley, and Chuck sends this scene into the upper decks.

Once the movie gets started, Heston gets superb assistance from Anthony Zerbe as the religious fanatic Brother Matthias. Zerbe is superb and the commentary on religious fanaticism is even more relevant today than it was thirty years ago. Then there's the sizzling racial subplot, the kill-whitey fanaticism of Brother Zachary striking far too close to home in 1973 but remaining as provocative as ever today. It's disturbing indeed to note the subliminal message of the inter-racial love affair -- the nice white man is happy to take care of the black woman and her children, but only after the assertive black man is dead. A movie that provokes, entertains, and combines scorching social issues with rip-roaring adventure, THE OMEGA MAN is Heston's best.

"Nope -- they sure don't make pictures like that any more."


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