The Final Programme

Released 1973




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The Final Programme

Movie Summary

Robert Fuest

In the near future, after the world has been devastated by some sort of (unspecified) nuclear catastrophe and the nature of western society has been elaborately changed, scientist Jerry Cornelius travels to Lapland for the funeral of his estranged father. After the funeral, he is approached by three scientists about some missing computer-tape which had been in his father's possession, and which will be needed for the mysterious "final programming" of the world's most sophisticated computer. Does this have something to do with the predictions of the Hindu mystic Jerry has recently met, concerning the birth of a Messiah for a supposed new age of human enlightenment?

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Both Jon Finch and Jenny Runacre were late additions to the cast in the two leading roles. It had originally been the plan that Timothy Dalton and Vanessa Redgrave, who were a real-life romantic item at the time, should play these parts. The part of Miss Brunner was also offered to Sally Kellerman, who turned it down.

    • Sterling Hayden once told a British interviewer that Robert Fuest was the best director he had ever worked with. As this minor and unpopular film was the only occasion on which they worked together, and as Hayden's role in it was extremely brief, he may not have been entirely serious, especially as the same interview touched on his work with John Huston, Nicholas Ray, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola and Bernardo Bertolucci.

    • The saxophone solos on the soundtrack of this film were performed by jazz great Gerry Mulligan.

    • It took some time for this film to reach the United States, and, when it did, it was cut to 78 minutes and retitled The Last Days Of Man On Earth. It was a box-office failure.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Jerry Cornelius: I have it on very good authority that the world is about to come to an end. I thought I'd go home and watch it on television.

    • Hira: The present age began on February 18th, in the year 3,102 B.C.
      Jerry Cornelius: Then?
      Hira: Yes. In the afternoon.

    • Miss Brunner: There's Jenny. She's a new girl. I've got her on trial.
      Jerry Cornelius: No doubt you'll find her guilty.
      Miss Brunner: But insane. Come here, Jenny. Sit down, dear, and don't fidget.

    • Jerry Cornelius: [speaking of the family home]: I'm afraid the old place is going up.
      John: For sale, sir?
      Jerry Cornelius: For keeps. Napalm, probably.

    • Miss Dazzle: Do you know Rome?
      Jerry Cornelius: We've met.
      Miss Dazzle : I just love it.
      Jerry Cornelius: Yeah, but it's just not the same without the Vatican, is it?
      Miss Dazzle: I like the new place better.

    • Jerry Cornelius: (last line of film): A very tasty world...

  • NOTES (1)

    • Michael Moorcock hated this film version of his well-known science-fiction novel. He claimed that he had been called in to rewrite the script because Robert Fuest's version had been incomprehensible, but that, during the shooting of the film, Fuest had thrown out his script and gone back to his own without telling anyone. "None of the actors knew what they were supposed to be doing," he claimed, adding, "By the end, I was openly contemptuous of him."


    • The character of Major "Wrong Way" Lindbergh is named in clear reference to two famous American aviators - Charles Lindbergh, who flew solo from New York to Paris in 1927, and Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who in 1938 flew (mostly in heavy fog) from New York to Ireland, having intended to fly instead to California.

More Info About This Movie


Science Fiction


Futuristic, Thrillers, Cult