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32 user 46 critic

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 name of the hospital, though never spoken in the movie, is "Babel". It is seen on a wall near the end of the movie and is barely visible as a low contrast (beige on white) emblem on the uniforms. The logo is a circle, containing the name printed horizontally and vertically sharing the central "B", similar to the Bayer Cross. See more »

Quotes

2nd man behind door: They take Benson yet?
1st man behind door: This morning.
2nd man behind door: They really gonna put wires in his brain?
1st man behind door: Sure.
2nd man behind door: No shit!
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 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Initiative (1999) 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

 
Much better than given credit for
26 April 2008 | by tutttSee all my reviews

This is a superior film with brilliant set design and costuming. From the sterility of the Hospital (known only as "Babel" from the subtly placed and nearly invisible emblems), to the mind-numbing anonymity of the staff uniforms, few films are as well dressed as this. Only the dissenting staff, Dr's Ross and Manon, show any hint of individuality in their work apparel. Ironically it is Benson the patient, supposedly insane, who displays the most humanity of all, with the possible exception of Dr. Ross. Segal was brilliant, and severely under-utilized in the film. Perhaps the filmmakers thought it necessary to de-emphasize Benson, in order to illustrate the dehumanization of the hospital and its staff. But a bit more contrast could have been provided IMO. Still, the film is excellent nonetheless.

Today's audiences however, with their short attention spans, will likely be permanently disappointed. To those who complain that this film is "slow" (and they are legion); I would say to either learn some patience, or simply avoid the film and go back to watching action/adventure.

While made in the early 1970's, it is highly relevant to today's world as well. Replace the "wires in the brain" with today's over-prescribed Ritalin, SSRI's, and other similar drugs, and you will see the point.

This is an excellent movie which deserves to be on DVD, with commentary by Crichton, Hodges and/or Segal. They are all still with us as of 4/2008 (Sadly Ms. Hackett is not). The sooner the better.


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