he Omega Man is a 1971 science fiction thriller starring Charlton Heston. The movie is based on Richard Matheson's 1954 novel, "I am Legend". The screen play was written by John William and Joyce Corrington, and the movie was directed by Boris Sagal. Although it was filmed in technicolor, it was filmed with only mono sound and ran for 98 minutes. It had a PG rating in the United States.
In "The Omega Man", Colonel Robert Neville (Charlton Heston), is a biological weapons research scientist for the United States Army. As an apocalyptic, biological and chemical war breaks out, Neville innoculated himself with an experimental vaccine after a helicopter crash. The plague caused by the war has killed or mutated everyone. The mutated people "The Family", a group of albinistic humans garbed in black robes and hoods bent on infecting and killing Heston.
In Matheson's book, these evil albinos were actually vampires. Like the vampires, the plague has caused them to become sensitive to light, as well as psychotic. But to show it's timeless theme of human self annihilation, the film inspired Alex Garland's screen play of the 2002 movie "28 Days Later".
The Family is led by a Matthias (Anthony Zerbe), a former Los Angeles television newscaster and his cohort, Lincoln Kilpatrick. They believe science and technology to be the cause of the apocalypse. Neville is the last symbol of the old world who must die for helping bring on the calamity they now live in. Neville, lives in a secure apartment using electricity from a seemingly undying generator, machinery, variuos firearms and wit, stands as the last hold-out against The Family.
Along with infected but not mutated allies such as gun toting Rosalind Carter, Neville prepares a serum from his own blood to save what is left of the human race.
For it's time, The Omega Man was a great sci-fi thriller. Heston, in his waning tough guy years just can't shake off his hollywood persona, wearing skin tight track suits or safari garb he just looks like a Hollywood actor throughout the film. In this instance, it does not hurt at all. After all, he IS Charlton Heston. Zerbe and Kilpatrick worked very well and provided several tense moments in the film.
But alas, by today's standards the movie might be condidered a sci-fi comedy. There are inconsistantcies such as working street lights(even though the entire infrastructure of the planet was destroyed), working generators, cars, etc. Heston's never ending shooting gallery of mutants and endless supply of ammunition just helps him pass the days away. Even though the film might be considered a bit hokey(again by today's standards)for a 1971 era movie, The Omega Man will forever reign as one of the best sci-fi movies ever made.
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Although, by today's standards, the film might not score very high, I can't think of another sci-fi movie I enjoy pulling out more to watch late at night...except for maybe West World....but that's another story. The film has a true hero an villain, twists and tense moments. It is very enjoyable.
The music that Heston is playing on his 8 track, in his red Ford convertible Galaxy 500, is "A Summer Place," written by Max Steiner. A special rendition was created for the film by Composer Ron Grainer. This is a blooper in the film. The song is from "A Summer Place" but if you look closely, Neville (Heston) puts a Frank Sinatra 8 track into the player.
After Charlton Heston crashes his car, and gets out, the camera angle changes, then there is a shot of the armored truck with the goal out of it. The camera switches shots again. And follows Charlton Heston to pick up his gun and gas can. In the side mirror, as they pan around, you can see a guy in a white shirt, the camera, and some more of the crew members.
The scene of the woman in the crypt (Credited as Anna Aries)was actually cut because of time, along with six other scenes. The scene in question involves Rosalind Cash visiting the graves of her dead parents. She is confronted in the crypt area by a young woman who is holding a dead infant. The scene was shot a Forrest Lawn Hollywood Hills, which is directly adjacent to Warner Brothers. There is no dialogue in the scene with the young woman, and her screen time is less than fifteen seconds.
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The production company wanted a set that looked like an abandoned metropolitan area, but it was too costly to build. The producer drove through downtown L.A. one weekend and discovered there were no shoppers, so the majority of the film's exterior was shot on location during the weekends.
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The soundtrack score was released in a limited edition of 3,000 copies. Use our search device to try and locate a copy. Track listing:
1. A Summer Place - Max Steiner
2. The Omega Man
3. Surprise Party
4. Needling Neville
5. Swinging at Neville's
6. The Spirits Still Linger
7. Where Did Lisa Go?
8. 'Round Midnight - Cootie Williams/Thelonious Monk
9. Jumped by the Family
10. On the Tumbril
11. Bad Medicine for Richie
12. All Through the Night - Cole Porter
13. Zachary Makes His Move
14. Hope Springs Eternal
15. Richie on the Roof
16. Neville Crashes Through
17. Matthias the Victor
18. Dutch Takes Over
Soundtrack Available: Used On CD
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"The Last Man Alive Is Not Alone"
|Charlton Heston is The Omega Man|
Lincoln Kilpatrick, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash
|Sci-Fi / Fantasy|
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|For 1971, when I was a kid, The Omega Man scored high for me. Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Lincoln Kilpatrick, and Rosilind Carter provided a dark look into the future as to what might happen if governments don't learn to settle differences without resorting to war.|
|Various inconsistancies with the plot and available resources to our intrpid hero but not enough to worry about.|
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