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Last Woman on Earth (1960)

 -  Drama | Horror | Mystery  -  5 August 1960 (USA)
4.8
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 1,148 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 22 critic

Ev, along with her husband, Harold, and their lawyer friend Martin, are swimming while on vacation in Puerto Rico. When they resurface, they gradually conclude that an unexplained, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Betsy Jones-Moreland ...
Evelyn Gern (as Betsy Jones Moreland)
Antony Carbone ...
Harold Gern
...
Martin Joyce (as Edward Wain)
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Storyline

Ev, along with her husband, Harold, and their lawyer friend Martin, are swimming while on vacation in Puerto Rico. When they resurface, they gradually conclude that an unexplained, temporary interruption of oxygen has killed everyone on the island... maybe even the world! Written by Kim Williams <KDWms@webtv.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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They fought for the Ultimate Prize!


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Details

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Release Date:

5 August 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Woman on Earth  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was Roger Corman's practice when going on location to make the most of that location by shooting a second film. This film was made because Corman was in Puerto Rico to shoot Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961). See more »

Goofs

While Evelyn is talking with her husband Harold at the bar, as the camera angle changes, her dress shoulder straps alternate between on and off her shoulders. See more »

Quotes

Martin Joyce: You mean you'd exile one-third of the human race?
See more »

Crazy Credits

This was produced by Roger Corman's Filmgroup company. On the Allied Artists televison prints, it is listed as "A Film Group Picture." See more »

Connections

Referenced in En prácticas: Instituto RTVE (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
LAST WOMAN ON EARTH {Extended B&W Version} (Roger Corman and, uncredited, Monte Hellman, 1960) **
20 August 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

While not officially listed (on IMDb) as having been worked on by cult director Monte Hellman, he confirmed his involvement on this Corman cheapie during Criterion's Audio Commentary for his own TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971). In fact, it was one of four (3 originally helmed by Corman and another by himself) which he was commissioned to extend for TV showings: ironically, these alternate versions have since virtually become the official ones! I do not know which scenes Hellman devised for the film but it was interesting to note the cockfight in the very opening sequence, given that he would make the screen's best depiction of this violent sport with COCKFIGHTER (1974) – which Corman himself would produce! Incidentally, when I acquired the film under review, I was unaware that it was supposed to be in color (though, by all accounts, this had faded anyway in surviving prints): had I known, however, I would have made it a point to check out the version recently broadcast – in the original language – on late-night Italian TV!

Anyway, though the title had always struck me as intriguing (preceding THE LAST MAN ON EARTH by 4 years), the film was slapped with an unflattering – but, in retrospect, undeserving – BOMB rating by the "Leonard Maltin Movie Guide". Curiously enough, the picture it was shot back-to-back with i.e. the recently-viewed CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA (1961) – another Corman effort 'doctored' by Hellman and with which this shares its three leads – rates *1/2 in Maltin's book but it is a much less rewarding experience in my opinion! Yet one more picture made during this time and using the same locations was the war movie BATTLE OF BLOOD ISLAND (1960; which, however, Corman only produced) – collectively, the films would come to be known as "The Puerto Rican Trilogy" (and they were released as such on DVD as well).

To get back to the matter at hand, the plot of this one is pretty spare: a crooked businessman (Bogie look-alike Anthony Carbone), his girl (Betsy Jones-Moreland) and his lawyer (Edward Wain aka renowned scriptwriter Robert Towne, who also penned this) convene in the South American town to discuss his latest indictment However, while taking some time off deep-sea diving, the entire world population apparently expires from radioactive fall-out (hence the title)! Needless to say, Carbone is not the easiest guy to live with, so Moreland finds solace in the younger and more genteel Wain. This, of course, does not sit well with his 'boss', so we are treated to the usual eternal triangle dilemma albeit set against an apocalyptic back-drop – this idea in itself would have been great, had it not been already dealt with the previous year in THE WORLD, THE FLESH AND THE DEVIL (which actually added a racial issue to the fray and is a film I also own but have yet to watch) but, then, Corman was well-known for his shrewd commercial sense in concocting a quick cash-in to the next big thing (notably the reincarnation-themed THE UNDEAD {1957} following hot on the heels of the critically-lauded THE SEARCH FOR BRIDEY MURPHY {1956})!

Unfortunately, the narrative sticks to this one (rather drab) situation and, perhaps in view of the limited setting as well, does not develop further when Corman and Towne could pretty much have gone in any direction imaginable: given Carbone's self-confidence and ruthlessness, would it not have been logical for him to turn megalomaniacal rather than merely jealous! The latter stages, in fact, have him banishing Wain from the hotel they were living in but the latter and Moreland double-cross him by leaving together. He sets out in pursuit and finally confronts his romantic rival in a fortress (a good set-piece), with the unexpected – and strangely moral – ending then relocating to the inside of a church (as would THE LAST MAN ON EARTH itself oddly enough!), where the hero/interloper dies (soon after going blind from having received numerous blows throughout in the region of his eyes!) and the 'blessed' couple can have a go at saving their marriage!


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