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The Terminal Man

The Terminal Man(1974)

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  • A Cautionary Sci-Fi Tale

    • CherieJ
    • 6/2/10

    This is an extremely cerebral sc-fi entry from the annals of seventies cinema when the genre was beginning to be taken seriously by the studios after the success of such films as Planet of the Apes and 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is also one of the earliest efforts of writer Michael Crichton who made his name in the movie business as a writer of science fiction. If properly viewed as a critique of the power and misuse of medical science by unscrupulous doctors, this film is devastatingly effective. The hapless hero, played by George Segal, normally cast in light comic roles during his peak years in the seventies, is used effectively to arouse audience sympathy, as a normal Joe who (before the movie starts), has had an auto accident that affects the normal workings of his brain. When he seeks and receives help from the medical profession, his condition becomes catastrophically worse. He becomes a psychotic murderer, unrecognisable to his doctors or loved ones. This is for fans of the genre and also has crossover appeal as it is These days, cynicism about the medical profession and their motives is commonplace, and the plot may seem a bit old hat, but in this respect the film to modern eyes may seem extremely prophetic. The film is directed by Mike Hodges, best known for the English film Get Carter, and the most notable supporting players are Donald Moffat and Joan Hackett, the former an unscrupulous and uncaring doctor, and the latter a character with more depth who possesses an unerring sense of dread at the Frankenstein monster she has helped to create.This film is recommended to not only to fans of the genre, as it also has a cross over appeal. It is an intelligent and adult experience as opposed to the more juvenile and unbelievable entries of some science fiction titles.

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