22 user 29 critic

The Final Programme (1973)

R | | Sci-Fi | August 1974 (USA)
A trio of scientists plan to create a self-replicating, immortal, hermaphrodite using the Final Programme developed by a dead, Nobel Prize-winning scientist.


Robert Fuest


Michael Moorcock (novel), Robert Fuest
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Finch ... Jerry Cornelius
Jenny Runacre ... Miss Brunner
Sterling Hayden ... Maj. Wrongway Lindbergh
Harry Andrews ... John
Hugh Griffith ... Professor Hira
Julie Ege ... Miss Dazzle
Patrick Magee ... Dr. Baxter
Graham Crowden ... Dr. Smiles
George Coulouris ... Dr. Powys
Basil Henson Basil Henson ... Dr. Lucas
Derrick O'Connor ... Frank
Gilles Millinaire Gilles Millinaire ... Dimitri
Ronald Lacey ... Shades
Sandy Ratcliff ... Jenny (as Sandy Ratcliffe)
Mary MacLeod ... Nurse (as Mary Macleod)


After the death of his Nobel Prize-winning father, billionaire physicist Jerry Cornelius becomes embroiled in the search for the mysterious "Final Programme", developed by his father. The programme, a design for a perfect, self-replicating human being, is contained on microfilm. A group of scientists, led by the formidable Miss Brunner (who consumes her lovers), has sought Cornelius's help in obtaining it. After a chase across a war-torn Europe on the verge of anarchy, Brunner and Cornelius obtain the microfilm from Jerry's loathsome brother Frank. They proceed to an abandoned underground Nazi fortress in the Arctic to run the programme, with Jerry and Miss Brunner as the subjects. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Future is Cancelled!




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Did You Know?


A few years after making this film, Sterling Hayden was interviewed for a British magazine and insisted that Robert Fuest was his favorite director, the best he had ever worked with. As Hayden has only one scene in this film, and almost certainly took no longer than a couple of days to film it, perhaps less, and as he also spoke in the same interview about his work with Stanley Kubrick, John Huston, Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Altman and Nicholas Ray, it may be that he was being sarcastic. See more »


Miss Brunner: What are you going to do now?
Jerry Cornelius: Well, for a start, I'm going to sit here and get smashed out of my mind. And I also have it on very good authority that the world is coming to an end. I thought I'd go home and watch it on television.
See more »


References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

User Reviews

Clapton on soundtrack?
28 May 2005 | by tulsatvSee all my reviews

Very stylish tongue-in-cheek sci-fi. I don't recall it being a midnight movie in the 70s or 80s, though it should have been a cult classic here in the U.S.

After watching it for the first time last night, I can understand why it didn't see much action on American TV: it is permeated with drug use, irreverence toward religion, nudity, and generally perverse attitudes. As noted by others, it is in the style-sphere of "Modesty Blaise" and "The Avengers" (for which director Fuest wrote and directed in the Linda Thorson and Joanne Lumley eras.) The movie looks great, especially considering the small budget.

As a computer programmer, I took it as a nice joke that the computer is depicted as a realistically nondescript box, rather than the usual sci-fi flashing-light monstrosity.

Jon Finch seems like a lost member of Led Zeppelin, charismatic, offhand and saturnine. Jenny Runacre plays the imperious Miss Brunner (a nod to SF writer John Brunner?) with a lot of relish.

Nice to see two Kubrick actors here: Sterling Hayden (Gen. Jack Ripper in "Dr. Strangelove") and Patrick Magee from "Clockwork Orange". Also, George Coulouris from "Citizen Kane" and a young Sarah Douglas, who later played one of the Kryptonian criminals in the "Superman" series.

On the DVD commentary, it is mentioned that Eric Clapton performed the blues guitar on the soundtrack. He is not credited, but the two composers for the film, Beaver and Krause, share music credits with Cream on a 1970 picture, "Pacific Vibrations". So it seems plausible, and I wonder if the solo drum portion of the soundtrack might then be Ginger Baker? Jazz baritone saxist Gerry Mulligan's contribution is wonderful. The diverse music is a strong point of the film.

The ending didn't really pay off for me. Maybe it was intended to be a sly nod to "2001"; maybe they just needed to wind things up. But I found the movie very worth seeing.

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Release Date:

August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Days of Man on Earth See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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