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on 12 May 2015
MM may well look down unfavourably upon this cinematic adaption of his literary yarn (a baton which Alan Moore was only too happy to pick up and run all the way to the bandwagon with!) but had it not been for this quite wonderful movie then I would likely not have discovered Nature of the Catastrophe, Cure for Cancer, etc, etc. Along with other possibly Jerry Cornelius outings such as Performance and The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer, this "cult" classic JC adaption comes highly recommended by all save Mike.
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on 1 March 2015
This film is a Masterpiece.Jon Finch is a forgotten Hero of the silver screen.The cast all round are perfect in their parts.The look and design of the sets is incredible for a film of that Era.There is also some good comedy ..Well worth the price.BUY IT NOW !
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on 26 August 2015
With Jon Finch seemingly channeling Patrick McGoohan and Charley Drake, his Jerry Cornelius is a delight of dead eyed opulence. The DVD picture is a little light in places, the opening credits almost VHS in quality, but you soon forget the softness of the video and concentrate on the performances, all of which are camp, studied and excellent. A fine 70's gem from Robert Fuest.
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Famously disliked by author Michael Moorcock, in its uncut form Robert Fuest's The Final Programme may gut its source novel partially for budgetary reasons and partially because the director seems more interested in how things look and sound than the plot or ideas, but it's still one of the more enjoyable pop art-inspired films if you're willing to just go with the flow. Like his Doctor Phibes films it's strikingly designed (no surprise that Fuest cut his teeth as an art director on TV's The Avengers) with an ambition that belies its modest funding and with its tongue firmly in its cheek as Jon Finch's ruffle-shirted, painted black fingernailed chocolate biscuit munching Nobel Prize winner Jerry Cornelius, "a legend in his own time," finds himself in the midst of his late father's last great experiment as the last days of the dark age of man begin in a world that's falling to pieces, but where the rich can at least watch it crumble with style. First, however, he has to secure a microfilm containing the crucial final part of the equation from his paranoid drug-addicted brother Derrick O'Connor who has turned the family estate into part funhouse, part death trap, assisted by the dubiously motivated Jenny Runacre, who has her own way of getting the best out of people...

Aside from Graham Crowden and George Coulouris' scientists who have literally assembled the finest brains in the world, most of the more familiar names in the cast - Hugh Griffith, Patrick Magee, Julie Ege, Harry Andrews and Sterling Hayden doing John Huston as a general who sells jet planes from his pad at the National Gallery - are one-scene wonders who only worked a single day, with Finch carrying most of the film with seemingly effortless style. Finch was given a big build-up in the early 70s with roles in Sunday Bloody Sunday, Frenzy, Polanski's MacBeth and Robert Bolt's Lady Caroline Lamb and even turning down a shot at playing James Bond in Live and Let Die without ever breaking through, but he's a delight here, taking the flippancy seriously and all the funnier for it and exuding so much laidback charisma along the way it's no wonder he was considered for 007.

It doesn't add up to much more than a shaggy dog story, but if you're on its wavelength there's a surprising amount of fun to be had, from the jaded throwaway bon mots to the most joyfully crap fight ever filmed (heralded by the inexplicably memorable "S***, it's the Greek!"). A very tasty world indeed.

Sadly Network's DVD leaves something to be desired. On the plus side it is the uncut version - the film was cut to 70 minutes in the States, retitled The Last days of Man On Planet Earth and given a poster that made it look like Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Meets the Barbarian Women - but the definition on both the widescreen and fullframe versions included is often very soft. Where Anchor Bay's long-deleted US DVD included a director's commentary, the extras package here is limited to a brief stills and poster gallery, the UK and Italian trailers, the latter (like the Italian title sequence also inexplicably included) identical but for Italian subtitles.
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on 23 November 2005
If you love 60's/70's kitch then you'll love this film, they just don't make them like this anymore and they never made them any more freekier than this. A Clockwork Orange has now been labeled a classic, I think this one deserves the title too!
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on 28 December 2013
I first saw this film as a teenager way back in the 1970s, the coolest decade so far (no, you are NOT allowed to argue about that statement)! This film was the first attempt to bring a Michael Moorcock hero to the big screen and, as far as I know, the last attempt to bring a Michael Moorcock hero to the big screen! Sad but true! I'll be blunt, Jerry Cornelius was not my favourite character from the Multiverse of Moorcock's imagination and would not have been my first choice for a film adaptation but it was easier to visualise than say Elric of Melnibone or Duke Dorian Hawkmoon von Koln. Guns and cars are easier to deal with than ornithopters, dragons and soul-sucking swords!

"The Final Programme" is a delight for anyone who has read "The English Assassin" series of books, grew up with that "hippy vibe" or likes the style and look of the Moloko Bar in "A Clockwork Orange"! There are some weird shenanigans going on in this film, mainly around the distractingly alluring Jenny Runacre as "Miss Bruner"! Fans of gun battles will be disappointed by the efforts of Jerry and his brother Frank and fans of fisticuffs (or anyone else really) will find the final fight between Jerry and Miss Bruner's "pash", Dimitri, hilariously camp!

I have a soft nostalgic spot for "The Final Programme" and so I am biased in my assessment of the film's merits. I love everything about it except for the score which is inescapable and reminiscent of the circus or "The Benny Hill Show"!

If, like me, you loved the '70s then you'll enjoy "The Final Programme". Buy it and enjoy!
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on 4 October 2004
Needle guns at dawn indeed, I'll accept the challege any day. A film to get drilled down into your very soul, the phrase "smooth stuff professor" will stay with you for life, I guarantee it. This is a deeply flawed film - but hey, what do you expect from Moorcockian roots, it was never going to be easy. I just love the fact that anyone would ever attempt it and more, that its scarred me so deeply that I'm still obsessed with it 20 years on. Dig that car coat baby!
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on 17 June 2015
Great movie, A classic, must see. Saw it years ago when I was a kid on the BBC, really liked it but forgot it's name, then Twitter came along and I happened to meet someone that remembered it from my description. So happy to have found it.
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on 9 July 2004
Good in parts.
I love this film. For its style. For its source. For a truly great performance by the woman who went on to be Ali's wife off EastEnders.
And most of all for the scene in the Kensington Roof Gardens.
If you like the Jerry Cornelius novels, you'll like this, even if you will wish it was a tiny bit better done.
If you don't know who Jerry Cornelius is, meet me at the corner of Ladbrooke Grove. Bring a needle gun. You'll need it.
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on 16 November 2014
The film hasn't aged well, and the sequence of him in the cockpit in the phantom, (shown when the BBC first showed the film all those years ago), is still missing.

Jenny never looked better, Jon clearly played it for the silliness of the whole thing, taking it all too seriously to send it up. It's the type of romp that only the 70's could produce, and some of it seems rather embarrassing at times now. However it is a fun 90 minutes, with some great cameo roles.

I loved it then, it's only fun now, but still worth your time.
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