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Z.P.G. (1972)

PG | | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 25 May 1972 (UK)
Concerned with population over-growth, the Earth government bans, under the penalty of death, all pregnancies but one couple decides to risk having a real baby rather than legally adopt a cyborg child.

Director:

Michael Campus
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Reed ... Russ
Geraldine Chaplin ... Carol
Don Gordon ... George
Diane Cilento ... Edna
David Markham David Markham ... Dr. Herrick
Bill Nagy ... The President
Sheila Reid ... Mary Herrick
Aubrey Woods Aubrey Woods ... Dr. Mallory
Wayne Rodda Wayne Rodda ... Metromart Salesman (as Wayne John Rhodda)
Ditte Maria Wiberg Ditte Maria Wiberg ... Telescreen Operator (as Ditte Maria)
Birgitte Federspiel ... Psychiatrist
Lone Lindorff Lone Lindorff ... Mother
Belinda Donkin Belinda Donkin ... Daughter
Claus Nissen Claus Nissen ... Guard
Jeff Slocombe Jeff Slocombe ... Guard
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Storyline

In the not too distant future, a very smoggy and overpopulated Earth government makes it illegal to have children for a generation. One couple, unsatisfied with their substitute robot baby, breaks the rules and gets in a lot of trouble. (Z.P.G. stands for Zero Population Growth.) Written by Matt Carlin <ghola@umich.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Smog covers the earth. The oxygen is depleted. Love is encouraged. But the penalty for birth is death. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Denmark

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Z.P.G. See more »

Filming Locations:

Asa Studios, Denmark See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final feature film of Bill Nagy. See more »

Quotes

Carol McNeil: Couldn't we have a Christmas tree?
Russ McNeil: I seem to remember last year you called them 'sentimental' and 'decadent'.
Carol McNeil: This year I feel sentimental and decadent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hammer (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop Goes the Weasel
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Jonathan Hodge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solid premise, so so result.
13 June 2012 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

In the future, overpopulation has become such an issue that those in authority take some pretty drastic steps. Any couple that refuses to get with the program and stop having kids will be punished with public execution. Instead, people have to make do with dolls that prove to be highly inadequate replacement for flesh & blood children. Russ and Carol McNeil (Oliver Reed and Geraldine Chaplin) decide to defy the law and do their best to raise a child in secret. Of course, it's only a matter of time before they're found out. Their neighbours & friends the Bordens (Don Gordon and Diane Cilento) learn their secret and their desire to be a part of this childs' life only serves to permanently scar the friendship.

While obviously done on a low budget, this is dealt with fairly successfully by having the outside world in this future be overcome by smog, forcing people to often wear masks. This gives this modest, reasonably entertaining production a certain degree of atmosphere. However, the film is never quite as involving as one would like. It's a little too slow and a little too static. It does succeed at being somewhat disturbing at times: first, whenever the authorities bring around their special killing domes, and second, when Russ goes to the library to learn what he can about premature birth, raising the suspicions of those in charge and leading to his being tortured.

Filmed on location in Denmark, "Z.P.G." gets by mostly on the performances of its four principal actors. Reed is commanding with his typical whispery delivery, and Chaplin is endearing as the young woman wanting a human child more than anything. The lovely Cilento and the under-rated Gordon are equally fine as the envious friends.

There is a sombre quality to the whole thing yet by the conclusion it does create a sense of hope and peace. With a bit more style and energy, this really could have been something special. As it is, it's good, if not great, and it does have a place among genre films of the time that dealt with the idea of dystopian futures.

Six out of 10.


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