Hoping to cure his violent seizures, a man agrees to a series of experimental microcomputers inserted into his brain but inadvertently discovers that violence now triggers a pleasurable response his brain.


Mike Hodges


Michael Crichton (novel), Mike Hodges





Cast overview, first billed only:
George Segal ... Harry Benson
Joan Hackett ... Dr. Janet Ross
Richard Dysart ... Dr. John Ellis
Donald Moffat ... Dr. Arthur McPherson
Michael C. Gwynne ... Dr. Robert Morris
William Hansen ... Dr. Ezra Manon
Jill Clayburgh ... Angela Black
Norman Burton ... Det. Capt. Anders
James Sikking ... Ralph Friedman
Matt Clark ... Gerhard
Jim Antonio ... Richards
Gene Borkan Gene Borkan ... Benson's Guard
Burke Byrnes Burke Byrnes ... Benson's Guard
Jordan Rhodes ... Questioner No. 1
Dee Carroll ... Night Nurse


As the result of a head injury, brilliant computer scientist Harry Benson begins to experience violent seizures. In an attempt to control the seizures, Benson undergoes a new surgical procedure in which a microcomputer is inserted into his brain. The procedure is not entirely successful. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His name is Harry Benson. He's thirty four. He's the first human being of his kind...and maybe the last. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One of the first films to mention Scientology. See more »


At the cemetery, the usual mechanism for lowering the coffin into the grave is missing. There aren't even any straps in place to lower it manually. See more »


[small peephole opens in door to what appears to be a solitary confinement room from the inside POV; first man's eye is seen peering in]
1st man behind door: He's quiet now.
[moves aside, a second man's eye appears]
2nd man behind door: What's his name?
1st man behind door: Benson.
2nd man behind door: Looks okay to me. What's wrong with him?
1st man behind door: Ahh, he's bananas.
2nd man behind door: When's he going out?
1st man behind door: In the morning
[closes peephole]
See more »

Alternate Versions

On its release at 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival, there was a director's cut which Hodges had cut out the beginning with the doctor looking at photographs of Harry Benson. See more »


Features Them! (1954) See more »


Goldberg Variation No. 25
by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Played by Glenn Gould
Courtesy Columbia Records
See more »

User Reviews

Slow?! Try a little patience.
29 June 2003 | by wilbrifarSee all my reviews

I was looking for a bit of trivia about this film and made the mistake of reading the reviews here. My jaw dropped when I saw the overwhelming opinion that this movie is worthless because it's too slow. Has everyone been too brain-deadened by recent Hollywood thrill rides to appreciate a patiently unfolding story? The Terminal Man is very creepy, very scary, and is acted with amazing skill by even the smallest of bit players. Each one of the doctors involved in the experiment, for example, carries his or her own personal baggage, and it's that baggage which clouds their reason and makes true progress impossible. The message of the film seems to be that no matter how advanced science becomes, people will still be people, and our petty prides and jealousies will tear down every accomplishment. That's the brilliance of this movie; it takes a broad sci-fi theme yet reduces it to its most unpredictable element: the personalities of the persons involved. There are so many amazing scenes in this film where a line or two of casual conversation reveals so much about the power games being played between the speakers. On the outside, these scientists are titans of technology; on the inside, they're closer to the befuddled old men of the comedy "BALL OF FIRE". The only one who thinks with heart as well as head is the Joan Hackett character, and the clash between her and the good 'ol boys of science is both profound and heartbreaking.

I urge anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size to ignore the negative comments and give this film a chance. Viewed with an open mind and a little patience, this movie becomes quite an exiting experience. It's one of the greatest sci-fi/horror films of all time, and has never gotten its due respect. It's the kind of film we could use more of, and the fact it's considered boring by today's audiences is very sad proof of the dumbing-down effect of Hollywood clap-trap. We're used to movies that ask you to set back while you're force-fed the story. The Terminal Man requires that you watch what's happening, listen to what's being said, and think about what's between the lines. If you can't do that, stick with Vin Diesel films.

76 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

19 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Terminal Man See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed