The Clones (1973) 720p

Movie Poster
The Clones (1973) - Movie Poster
Action | Sci-Fi
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
95 min
IMDB Rating:
4.6 / 10 
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Directors: Lamar Card [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A nuclear scientist is "cloned" by foreign agents, struggles against terrifying odds to prove he is himself and not the clone. Producers note that the word Clones was rarely, if ever heard in the American vocabulary before this picture was released


  • The Clones (1973) - Movie Scene 1
  • The Clones (1973) - Movie Scene 2
  • The Clones (1973) - Movie Scene 1

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Clone for the Road

What's the obvious connection between duplicating humans and controlling the weather? No, I can't quickly think of something either, although CLONES seems to think it can be made both obvious and convincing. It is as if the makers thought that cloning itself was not enough to sustain the necessary tension and interest, and so at a late stage come up with a new plot peril to sustain matters. It would perhaps have worked better if the film had dwelt on the insecurities and doubts which surround the duplication of the individual, or indeed made the cause of such events much more mysterious and enigmatic than they turn out to be, leaving things disturbing and unanswered. Instead what we have is a reasonably entertaining large middle section with a likable hero, allied with a couple of effective hunters surrounded by less impressive exposition. Any rate, this low budget film does best when it stays away from such artificial considerations of plot to play on the confusion and paranoia of confronting doppelgangers, such as we have encountered elsewhere in such films as THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF.

Despite some interesting stylisation of the opening credits, the opening minutes of CLONES are a little confusing and it is only when hero Dr Appleby leaves the laboratory, in chase of himself, do things look up a little. Due credit must be given to Michael Green for making of Appleby at least halfway sympathetic during the extended action-suspense sequences which makes up the central part of the film which, on reflection, even more impressive given the low budget of the makers.

Even with the caveats the score here is likely too low (I give proceedings at least a 5 or so) The final shoot out is well done and another reviewer is right: the last twist in the tale is unexpected.

4.7??? I protest!

Saw this twice long ago on Creature Features, hosted by the late great Bob Wilkins (Bay Area folk of a certain age will nod). It's the best kind of low budget science fiction, lean, fast, and unpretentious. It plays as much like an action movie as sci-fi, to be honest, much of the film is an extended chase, but very well done. The lead actor is unknown to me but fine in the role(s). Stanley Adams, Cyrano Jones on the original Star Trek, has a choice role as a scientist (and gets the last word in the movie). Best of all, Gregory Sierra plays a particularly nasty hit-man, in what can almost be seen as a prelude to his role in the excellent Deep Cover many years later.

No idea if this is available anywhere or ever gets aired (TCM, are you listening?), but well worth the time if you get the chance.

Flawed But Fascinating Low-Budget Sci-Fi

The Clones is more than worthwhile for those who admire ambitious shoestring budget film-making. Principal among its charms is its eerie stylistic inventiveness, with disorienting tracking shots, upside-down fish-eye camera-work, offbeat locations, and weird effects on the soundtrack, ensuring that an oppressive 70s paranoia takes hold of the viewer.

The script is hit-and-miss, sometimes dumb, and the story weakens when the clone conspiracy is revealed to be only a part of a much, much broader sci-fi intrigue. The aforementioned strengths more than compensate for any failings, however. The Clones is a film that will be best appreciated by those who enjoy old, modestly budgeted but atmospheric speculative movies like Seconds, It's Alive, or The Terminal Man.
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