6.6/10
26,657
225 user 115 critic

The Omega Man (1971)

Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.

Director:

Boris Sagal

Writers:

John William Corrington (screenplay), Joyce Hooper Corrington (screenplay) (as Joyce H. Corrington) | 1 more credit »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Neville
Anthony Zerbe ... Matthias
Rosalind Cash ... Lisa
Paul Koslo ... Dutch
Eric Laneuville ... Richie
Lincoln Kilpatrick ... Zachary
Jill Giraldi Jill Giraldi ... Little Girl
Anna Aries Anna Aries ... Woman in Cemetery Crypt
Brian Tochi ... Tommy
DeVeren Bookwalter ... Family Member (as De Veren Bookwalter)
John Dierkes ... Family Member
Monika Henreid Monika Henreid ... Family Member
Linda Redfearn ... Family Member
Forrest Wood Forrest Wood ... Family Member
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Am Legend See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,720,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston says in his biography that director Sagal lost his temper many times on the set with the crew. See more »

Goofs

(at around 27 mins) Robert shouts out, "Matthias," and it echoes across various empty city views. However, in the last view several vehicles (including a bus) can be seen driving along a highway on the upper far left of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the last man on earth wrecks his car]
Neville: There's never a cop around when you need one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the title, the "O" that starts the word "Omega" is actually replaced with the Greek letter Omega. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the common version of this film, the scene where Richie tells Neville that he should either kill the Family or cure them takes place inside Neville's apartment. In an alternate version, the scene takes place on the rooftop, where Neville has a large water tank and a .50 caliber machine gun. See more »


Soundtracks

Coming Into Los Angeles
(uncredited)
Written by Arlo Guthrie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Is your blood that colour?
15 June 2004 | by waugh24See 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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