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The Omega Man (1971)

GP | | Action, Sci-Fi | 1 August 1971 (USA)
Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Joyce H. Corrington) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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


Pray for the last man alive. Because he's not alone. See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Legend  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie was the inspiration for two CBC Radio comedy series, "Steve the First" and "Steve the Second", starring Matt Watts and Mark McKinney. Each series was about a slacker (the second the son of the first), called upon to save the world after a disaster. See more »


In one of the early flashback news sequences, the reporter warning people to stay in their homes concludes with 'CONELRAD channel' - CONELRAD was an acronym for Control of Electromagnetic Radiation developed by the FCC during the Cold War, and was abandoned in August of 1963, replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System in the same month. Any 1970s alert would have used the EBS, not CONELRAD. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Her Way to Star (1972) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Flawed Wonderland
1 January 2005 | by (Fort Collins, Colorado) – See all my reviews

A film that can't help but aim too high, "The Omega Man" suffers from the very thing that makes it great. Set in a post-apocalyptic future (for the audience of 1971) the film attempts to show a world populated by a single solitary man. Well, a man and a cult of malcontented zombie/mutant/vampire beings. Robert Neville (Heston) is the lone survivor of a germ war that turned the population of the world into freaks. Based on the amazingly brilliant book "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, the film shares most of the qualities of the book, yet excludes the portions that make "Legend" fantastic.

The idea of being the last man is intriguing. I used to fantasize about being Neville as a child (probably not the healthiest thing for a kid). Neville has paradise, but with the highest price possible. He can have anything he wants, but no one to share it with. And come night time, he must hide in his fortress away from the angry mob of mutants.

The apocalyptic world that makes the first half so captivating is destroyed by the second half's plot device. I won't go into details for those who haven't seen it. However, I will say the film starts to slide downhill from the mid-way point. But the lesser parts can be enjoyed as early 70's camp.

Even with its faults, "The Omega Man" is a great Sci-fi movie. It also gives Heston a chance to play his quintessential role of a man at the end of civilization. The film's weaknesses don't ruin the experience entirely. It is a film that myself and my friends talk about to this day despite the fact that most of my friends only saw it once or twice (when forced by me).

Related note: I Am Legend was also made into the film "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price. "Omega Man" is discussed in the first scene of indie-film classic "Slacker."

104 of 123 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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