The 'Human' Factor (1975)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  29 April 1977 (West Germany)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 290 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 18 critic

After his family is brutally murdered for an unknown reason, a computer engineer sets out to find those responsible.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Kinsdale
Mike McAllister
Dr. Lupo
Rita Tushingham ...
Taylor (as Tom Hunter)
Frank Avianca ...
Haydée Politoff ...
Arthur Franz ...
Gen. Fuller
Fiamma Verges ...
Ann Kinsdale
Mark Kinsdale (as Danny Houston)
Richard Harrison ...
Jeffrey Kinsdale (as Ricky Harrison)
Hillary Lief ...
Linda Kinsdale
Michael Mandeville ...


After his family is brutally murdered for an unknown reason, a computer engineer sets out to find those responsible.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every 24 hours an American family will be killed!...and only the human factor can stop it.


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 April 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Human Factor  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of veteran director Edward Dmytryk. See more »


In the final scene when Kinsdale shoots the fleeing terrorist in the back, after his Colt 1911 runs out of ammunition, the slide does lock back, and he continues to pull the trigger with the gun making a clicking sound, as if it is a double action. The 1911 is a single action and will not make that sound. See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Disturbing and relevant in 1975, disturbing and relevant in 2015…
26 January 2015 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"The Human Factor" was made in 1975, which means it's turning 40 years old this year. And yet, the themes and several aspects that feature here are still painfully relevant nowadays as well. I'm writing this user-comment in January 2015, not even two weeks after the cowardly terrorist attack in Paris, France, and still during the aftermath of numerous terror alerts all across Europe. The film centers on American families being the unwary and innocent targets of ruthless Italian left-wing terrorists. Whether for political or religious reasons, embassies and authorities in various countries are still protecting their compatriots that work abroad out of fear for kidnapping or murder. It's truly sad to see that the world hasn't changed one bit and that humanity is still as selfish and extreme as it ever was. But hey, I'm just supposed to write a review… The final project of director Edward Dmytryk, who was particularly famous in the forties & fifties thanks to movies like "Crossfire" and "The Caine Mutiny", is a tense and engaging action/thriller with a handful of harshly violent sequences and a remarkable lead role for veteran actor George Kennedy. He stars as NATO computer specialist John Kingsdale, working in Naples and playing computer games with his friendly colleague most of the time. But when he returns home to his beloved wife and three children one night, they have been viciously massacred by unknown assailants for an unknown reason. After the funeral the deeply saddened John hesitates one moment to shoot himself through the head, but he shoots the TV-screen instead and vows to personally track down his family's killers. With the help of his colleague and their computer equipment, John discovers that he deals with a group of terrorists that invade the homes of American families through responding to newspaper ads. He prevents another massacre, but meanwhile John himself is also chased by the local authorities. "The Human Factor" is an overall very solid vigilante/revenge thriller. The script is occasionally tedious and confusing due to all the computer slang, especially during the first half of the film, but this is widely compensated during the explosive final act, with a furious battle in a Naples' backstreet alley and a gritty finale inside a crowded supermarket. Several people pointed out that George Kennedy was an odd choice to play the mad avenger, but he's a terrific all-around actor and brings more realism to the part. If, for example, Charles Bronson would have played John Kingsdale, "The Human Factor" would have been more stereotypical and a lot less persuasive. Recommended!

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Alternative title nonterraqueous
Great revenge movie! Ricky-50
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