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The Terminal Man (1974)

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.

Director:

Mike Hodges

Writers:

Michael Crichton (novel), Mike Hodges
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Cast

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 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 ... Benson's Guard
Jordan Rhodes ... Questioner No. 1
Dee Carroll Dee Carroll ... Night Nurse
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Harry Benson is a brilliant computer scientist. For three minutes a day, he is violently homicidal.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Homem Terminal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film never had a UK cinema release. See more »

Quotes

[Benson is describing what he smells before he has a seizure]
Benson: It smells like pig shit in turpentine.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Young Star Gazers (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Never Boring, Despite Its Deliberate Pace
26 April 2017 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

Just watched a pretty interesting sci-fi thriller from 1974, Mike Hodges' "The Terminal Man," starring George Segal, Joan Hackett, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Dysart and Ian Wolfe. Based on a Michael Crichton novel, this one tells the story of a computer programmer (Segal) who lives in fear that the machines of the world will soon be taking over the humans. His fears are made reality after he suffers a terrible car accident, the after effects of which leave him with occasional amnesiac and violent episodes. To effect a cure, he is made the subject of a new operation. A device is inserted into his brain that will deliver shocks to ward off these episodes. Unfortunately, the operation does not have the intended effect, and before long, Segal becomes a homicidal maniac, going bonkers at periods that the surgeons are able to predict. The film is very slow moving in its first half, and indeed, the operation that is performed on Segal takes up a very long part of the film's running time. But the movie is never boring, despite its deliberate pace. In the second half, as Segal grows increasingly mad, things get more interesting, of course. The main problem with the film, however, is that we never learn anything much about Segal's past, so as a character, he is pretty much a cipher throughout. The picture ends with a predictable albeit memorable downbeat finale, lending a touch of ambiguity to the film's title itself. Strangely enough, at one point in the film, the Clayburgh character is seen watching the movie "Them!" on her television...the very film that I had just watched a few days before. I thought that was pretty strange. Anyway, a marginal thumbs up for this '70s thriller.


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