A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Even though he's a walking Christ metaphor by the end, Robert Neville is portrayed as a cynical, profane soldier-doctor who doesn't seem to even want to try to negotiate a peace with the mutant cult (one character who does is summarily killed anyway). The cast is multicultural, but the script is peppered with then-trendy race-baiting name calling and innuendo.
Violence & Scariness
Many characters are shot with machine gun, pistol, and sniper-rifle fire; a few are set on fire and run over by vehicles; and one is run through with a spear. A teenage boy is killed (offscreen, but the body is shown). Quick cuts of shriveled, long-dead corpses.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few shots of the heroine naked (frontal and side nudity from the waist up), once in bed after sex, another time in a clothing store. References to sexual interludes and birth-control pills. Pinup girl on a wall emphasizes Neville's bachelor status.
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Language includes "bastard," "ass," "damn," and an incomplete "motherf--ker." Some derogatory race-based terms ("honky," etc.). One character wears a jacket depicting an obscene gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Car brands and fashions on display. A clip from the rock music documentary Woodstock plays.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Recreational drinking, references to drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this last-man-on-Earth saga is pretty grim in the end. It depicts the aftermath of germ warfare, with whole civilian populations dropping dead in their tracks. Violence is frequent and includes much machine-gunning, car-crashing, and stabbing. A bit of the early '70s' "blaxploitation" influence is evident, in both the strong African-American characters and some vintage name-calling ("honky"). A few shots show the heroine nude, and she has a spicy sexual affair with the hero. Language includes "bastard" and "ass"; characters drink and make references to drugs. Although it's rated PG, that rating was given before PG-13 existed; it would warrant the higher rating today. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Despite the dated fashions and style, the film -- based on the same Richard Matheson novel that inspired 2007's I Am Legend -- still has some punch. When Neville experiments with his own blood as a cure, the movie edges toward turning him into a Christ-like figure. That said, as played by rugged icon Heston, Neville is a macho man who doesn't shy away from fights and dives eagerly into a love affair with a female survivor. She's played by an African-American actress -- very progressive for the day but also carries a bit of "blaxploitation" movie baggage.
Still, even though some viewers consider it laughable, there's enough about The Omega Man to make it a compelling vision of what happens after the world ends, and less-jaded younger viewers might find it worth viewing and discussing.
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Our Editors Recommend
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