Power, The (1968)

Power, The (1968)

“I know what a man’s power can do. The raw power of one man alone, to kill millions of innocent people.”

Shortly after an anthropologist (Arthur O’Connell) at a human endurance research lab discovers that one of his teammates has telekinetic powers, he is killed, and his colleague Jim Tanner (George Hamilton) is fired due to supposedly falsifying his credentials. Hamilton and his colleague/lover (Suzanne Pleshette) go on a road trip to learn more about a mysterious man named “Adam Hart”, but they quickly find their own lives — as well as those of their other teammates — in constant jeopardy.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Aldo Ray Films
  • Amateur Sleuths
  • Gary Merrill Films
  • George Hamilton Films
  • George Pal Films
  • Living Nightmare
  • Michael Rennie Films
  • Mind Control and Hypnosis
  • Murder Mystery
  • Science Fiction
  • Scientists
  • Serial Killers
  • Yvonne De Carlo Films

Byron Haskin directed and George Pal produced this sci-fi murder-mystery thriller — based on a novel by Frank M. Robinson — which includes plenty of action and mystery but is ultimately a disappointment. Various memorable players show up in supporting roles across diverse landscapes — Yvonne De Carlo as O’Connell’s drunk widow living in a mobile home:

… Barbara Nichols and Aldo Ray as a busty, dissatisfied gas station clerk and her suspicious husband:

… and Michael Rennie as a stoic visitor at the lab:

— but none of them are given sufficient screen time. Worst of all is that the film fails in its quest to deliver a satisfying conclusion or backstory; we feel like we’ve invested in quite a complex story without much pay-off by the end.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • George Hamilton as Professor Jim Tanner
  • Miklos Rozsa’s score

Must See?
No; you can skip this one.


One thought on “Power, The (1968)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    In agreement with the accurate assessment. It does “feel like we’ve invested in quite a complex story without much pay-off by the end.” But more than that… by the end, you’re likely to find yourself thinking, ‘Was there some kind of actual point to all of this? Because it feels like something went off the rails somewhere.’

    I imagine both Cronenberg and De Palma may have liked it, though. 😉

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