6.9/10
16,483
195 user 115 critic

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 6 May 1964 (USA)
When a disease turns all of humanity into the living dead, the last man on earth becomes a reluctant vampire hunter.

Directors:

Ubaldo Ragona (as Ubaldo B. Ragona), Sidney Salkow

Writers:

Richard Matheson (screenplay) (as Logan Swanson), William F. Leicester (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,651 ( 523)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Robert Morgan
Franca Bettoia ... Ruth Collins
Emma Danieli Emma Danieli ... Virginia Morgan
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... Ben Cortman (as Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
Umberto Raho ... Dr. Mercer (as Umberto Rau)
Christi Courtland Christi Courtland ... Kathy Morgan
Antonio Corevi Antonio Corevi ... Governor (as Tony Corevi)
Ettore Ribotta Ettore Ribotta ... TV Reporter (as Hector Ribotta)
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Storyline

When a plague devastated life on Earth, the population died or became a sort of zombie living in the dark. Dr. Robert Morgan is the unique healthy survivor on the planet, having a routine life for his own survival: he kills the night creatures along the day and maintains the safety of his house, to be protected along the night. He misses his beloved wife and daughter, consumed by the outbreak, and he fights against his loneliness to maintain mentally sane. When Dr. Morgan finds the contaminated Ruth Collins, he uses his blood to heal her and he becomes the last hope on Earth to help the other contaminated survivors. But the order of this new society is scary. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Alive among the lifeless... alone among the crawling creatures of evil that make the night hideous with their inhuman craving! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

6 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Damned Walk at Midnight See more »

Filming Locations:

Lazio, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was written in part by Richard Matheson, but he was dissatisfied with the result and was therefore credited as Logan Swanson. See more »

Goofs

When Morgan talks to Ruth, approximately at 1:10:09, it is possible to see a sudden shadow (maybe a crew member passing in front of the light source) projected on Morgan's back for a second. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Robert Morgan: Another day to live through. Better get started.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2008 DVD release by Ripley's Home Video in Italy restores not only the mother-with-crying-baby shots from the end scene of the film (as in the US MGM release), but also two lengthy sequences earlier in the film. The first is a flashback scene where Virginia consoles a tearful Morgan after the funeral of their daughter Kathy, while the second is a conversation between Morgan and Ruth after her she has changed into some of Virginia's clothes. Both scenes reinforce Morgan's utter devotion to his deceased wife and help to clarify his descent from a lively and vibrant family man to the grim loner, himself only one step away from the living dead. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Last Man on Earth (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Seems like a great film ...but for all the wrong reasons?
5 September 2004 | by tostinatiSee all my reviews

I like this film, and definitely associate it with my childhood, via the inside cover of an old issue of Famous Monsters that pictured a vampire arm groping around the door for Vincent Price. I gazed at that photo as the magazine wore out, for years before I actually got to see the film.

Vincent Price is always good to see. But as he is not a terribly physical actor, he looks awkward doing some of the things he is called on to do here, like dragging a body to the edge of a pit and heaving it in, pounding a stake into a vampire heart, or hurling a mirror across the room in disgust and despair. Not standing about with cocktail in hand, dressed to the nines and oozing wicked sophistication, he looks about as out of place as Cary Grant would setting a trash can out at the curb.

I ask, in the title of this review, if we like this film "for all the wrong reasons" because, inescapably, I find it pitched at a sort of self-pity, tapping into the allure of images of yourself alone at the center of the human universe, of satisfied contemplation of the stupid folly of Man the Scientist, the Politician, the Warrior, that will bring the end of his own species. --In a word, it seems to inhabit a place that is the near-exclusive province of the truly isolated, disaffected and fantasy-prone adolescent.

Being aware of this demographic skew doesn't invalidate the real and strong emotional place the film creates and enables anybody else to inhabit. But I do wonder about the effusive, near-idolatrous over-analysis this film has been known to elicit. I think it would be a pity if, through the growing cult of this film, we come to be less moved by horror --the whole precept on which Matheson's novel and the film are based-- than seduced by the film's image of post-apocalyptic solitude, which can lapse into full-blown gloating misanthropy with just a slight nudge.

I find Last Man oppressively tragic and sobering and depressing-- and always, always utterly absorbing. Even tenth time watched, it feels like you are watching your own funeral, listening to nothing less than taps being sounded for your own species. This is, not to be too glib, the films greatest strength AND weakness.


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