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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 18,934 users  
Reviews: 190 user | 97 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston had read the original novel on an airplane coming back to California, and was very interested in a modern adaptation of the book; he was totally unaware of the fact it had already been made into a film long before - The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie, when the camera pans way out to show Robert Neville walking down the street, you can see a car driving down the highway from left to right in the far left part of the screen near the tall building in the background also on the left in the horizon. 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

Featured in The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Watchmen/Shuttle/12 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock 'n' Soul Music
(uncredited)
Written by Barry Melton, Bruce Barthol, Gary Hirsh, Country Joe McDonald and David Cohen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Is your blood that colour?
15 June 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

People knock this film. Yes it has many flaws but some slack should be cut. It was 1971, Hollywood was in a desperate time of recession and change. 'Easy Rider' had blown a hole in the side of the school of thought that the studios had subscribed to. Suddenly, story material that would never have been tackled by the major studios prior to this time was emerging.

'The Omega Man' was of course an adaptation of Matheson's novel and is a second film version of it. But the technical challenges were vast. Find a time of day when L.A.'s deserted? Do me a favor! It's a miracle they got anything decent on film. Yes there are distant cars in the back of that zoom out at the top of the film but these guys didn't have computers did they?

Anyway, Heston looks amusingly dated in the role of Neville wearing his safari jacket and skintight tracksuit while he prowls the 'deserted' streets. The thing about Chuck is he just LOOKS like a film star. Just driving a car he grabs your attention. The supporting cast here are less engaging. An afro and 'Hey man' too many perhaps. The writers seemed desperate to tap into 70s pop culture. A sure-fire way to date your film.

The camera crew on this film must have gone straight onto 'Quincy' after they'd finished this. It's bizarre. There are dolly moves for no reason whatsoever (when Heston first enters his apartment and later before he discovers the sardine tin), zooms that hit the end stop so hard they almost bounce back and roving pans where you actually feel for the operator while he tries to find where the hell Chuck's car's gone. But this is one of the things that makes 70s cinema so great. The raw elements of film-making are on display.

Ron Grainer's score is genius in places and god awful in others. It goes from the brilliant main title theme to the woeful chase music when Heston pursues the leading lady. There's also the typically almost pink-tinted blood. Why couldn't they get blood right back then?

'The Omega Man' is an engaging, thought-provoking but very dated piece of cinema. The last image of Heston is immortal even if the film's hair-dos are not. Watch it, enjoy it and cut it some slack.


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