6.0/10
1,405
49 user 28 critic

The Power (1968)

Unrated | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 21 February 1968 (USA)
One by one members of a special project team are being killed by telekinesis - the ability to move things with the power of the mind alone. The race is to determine which of the remaining team members is the murderer and how to stop them.

Director:

Byron Haskin

Writers:

John Gay (screenplay), Frank M. Robinson (novel)
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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Hamilton ... Professor Jim Tanner
Suzanne Pleshette ... Professor Margery Lansing
Richard Carlson ... Professor Norman E. Van Zandt
Yvonne De Carlo ... Mrs. Sally Hallson
Earl Holliman ... Professor Talbot Scott
Gary Merrill ... Mark Corlane
Ken Murray ... Grover
Barbara Nichols ... Flora
Arthur O'Connell ... Professor Henry Hallson
Nehemiah Persoff ... Professor Carl Melnicker
Aldo Ray ... Bruce
Michael Rennie ... Arthur Nordlund
Miiko Taka ... Mrs. Van Zandt
Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Hallson
Vaughn Taylor ... Mr. Hallson
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Storyline

Biologist Jim Tanner is part of a select government research team that includes beautiful geneticist Margery Lansing. Anthropologist Henry Hallson discovers what he believes is evidence of a person among them with psychic abilities including telekinesis. When he warns the team he is murdered the same night. When Tanner becomes a suspect in the murder he starts investigating the claims with help from Lansing. Written by Roland

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Drives men to madness and murder! When it reaches out for YOU you'll never stop screaming! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miklos Rozsa's score is one of the few movie scores to make extensive use of the cimbalom. The instrument can be seen being played at the beginning of the film. See more »

Goofs

The initial establishing shot of the movie shows a low shot of a building complex, including a guarded entrance. A matte shot of several buildings is shown straight ahead in the distance. After a shot of the guard checking Michael Rennie's ID, the car moves forward, showing nothing in the distance. Though the same area in the distance is shown, the buildings have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Professor Jim Tanner: They say that power corrupts - and that absolute power - I wonder...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Horror Hall of Fame (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Grover's Rock
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Gelman
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User Reviews

Genuinely creepy whodunnit with supervillain/SF premise
26 July 2001 | by leaping 1See all my reviews

Although the setting is scientific, and I've seen this described as science-fiction, "The Power" is arguably a very early rationalisation/update of the superhero genre. In this case the person with the superpowers is a supervillain, the power is telekinesis, and no lycra longjohns are entered into, as the makers try to keep it as downhome and believably creepy as possible, except when 'the power' is being exhibited.

Basically the official scientific committee for Somethingorother is kind of audited by government agent Michael Rennie to see what they're up to. One of them, played as a crackpot movie scientist by old pro Arthur O'Connell, is convinced that research suggests that someone has Ee-vill telekinetic powers. Despite Artie being a crackpot, what do you know, it turns out that he's right on the money, and furthermore, they determine it's someone right there in the room. Soon folks who were in that room start dying in numbers, and in imaginative and unpleasant ways. (There's a scene in a centrifuge that appears to have been knocked off for one of the Roger Moore James Bond movies later on - "Moonraker" from painful memory.)

The key to it all seems to be a shadowy figure who was once known as Adam Hart. George Hamilton sets out to find who Adam Hart was, and who or what he became. We end up with a major case of the creeps, because it's one of those paranoid whodunnit deals where the audience isn't allowed to trust anyone (kind of reminiscent of the Kurt Russell version of "The Thing" in that way) not even Hamilton, or his girlfriend Suzanne Pleshette.

Director Byron Haskin and the actors don't give us any cosy characters to like. Everyone's cold, aloof, frenzied, crazy, or pathologically self-interested. This aspect is a bit reminiscent of Freddie Francis's better English horror films of the 60s, although "The Power" has a more measured, restrained creepiness than his films.

In that sense, George Hamilton's limitations as a kissy-face type leading guy are used to the film's advantage. I've always found George Pal's stuff a little creepy even when it was ostensibly fun happy stuff for kids, and his Puppetooning here fits right in.

Only disappointment is a fairly conventional resolution by comparison to what's come before. Other than that, "The Power" is memorable, and a bit of a one-off.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 February 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Power See more »

Filming Locations:

Lancaster, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

George Pal Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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