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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 Nobel Prize-winning dead scientist.

Director:

Robert Fuest

Writers:

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

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Cast

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 Mary MacLeod ... Nurse (as Mary Macleod)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Future is Cancelled!

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Days of Man on Earth See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

A fascinating footnote
20 March 2004 | by dafyddabhughSee all my reviews

The novel from which this movie was taken, The Final Programme, by Michael Moorcock, is structurally identical in plot and character to another Moorcock novel... Elric of Melnibone, the first of the Elric series.

This is not a coincidence; both books are part of the Champion Eternal cycle... a series of interconnected series about the Champion Eternal, who exists in every time and every universe, condemned always to fight -- and never know why he is fighting. He goes by many names -- Elric of Melnibone, Jerry Cornelius, Count Urlik, Prince Corum, each with his own series. In some incarnations he knows who he is, in others he thinks he's a normal man (occasionally, a particular incarnation is female). Sometimes two (or even three) incarnations meet each other.

The cycle, which makes up about a third of all Moorcock's ouevre (probably dozens of novels), is one of the most monumental achievements of meta-fiction ever written... but I think this is the only book of Moorcock's made into a movie, though he did contribute to the adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel The Land That Time Forgot (dinosaurs on an island).

Now that Fritz Leiber is dead, Moorcock can lay claim to being the greatest living fantasy writer.

The movie The Final Programme (a.k.a. The Last Days of Man On Earth) does an incredible job of capturing the Jerry Cornelius character, much better than I would have expected. But the ending is changed from that of the book, and not for the better. Still definitely worth a rental.

Dafydd ab Hugh


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