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The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 8 March 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:

William F. Leicester (screenplay), Richard Matheson (screenplay) (as Logan Swanson) | 3 more credits »
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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:

Do you dare to imagine what it would be like to be... the last man on earth... or the last woman? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Damned Walk at Midnight See more »

Filming Locations:

Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although this is much more faithful to the book than The Omega Man (1971) and I Am Legend (2007) which are based on the same novel, it changes the main character's name from Robert Neville to Robert Morgan, while the other two leave it unchanged. See more »

Goofs

During the flashback, when Robert returns home from the lab he pulls into the driveway and the steering wheel is on the left side. He exits the car from the right with the steering wheel on the right side as well. When it cuts back to the wide shot the steering wheel is again on the left. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Cult Classic!
26 July 2001 | by Whizzer-2See all my reviews

Richard Matheson's seminal sci-fi horror novel, "I Am Legend", published in 1954, is first and foremost, a character study, and any film producer must come to terms with that, if there is to be a successful adaptation from print to screen. The novel was adapted to screen in 1964 as "The Last Man On Earth"; producer Sidney Salkow, hampered by a tiny budget, intuitively did the best he could and came close to pulling it off! What Salkow did was convey the novel's mood, tone, atmosphere and plot in primitive fashion, crudely capturing the gist of the novel - that of one man, Robert Neville's confrontation with a horrendous existential dilemma - to be, himself, that is; or not to be, a plague- induced vampiric shell. While "TLMOE" was not entirely successful in translation, especially in the ending - co-scripter Matheson ultimately distanced himself from the final product - it nevertheless, clearly outshines a later, technically superior 1971 remake, "The Omega Man" in the aforementioned aspects. "The Omega Man", taken on it's own, is an interesting, entertaining film; but when referenced against the novel, falls flat on it's face. (Matheson himself stated that that film and his novel are two completely different animals.) In contrast, "TLMOE" fares much better when referenced: it shows that Morgan's (Neville's) battle is more with reactions within himself than with the vampires as a physical threat per se, as it becomes obvious that the vampires are slow-moving, dull-minded individually, and disorganized as a group, each instinctively and savagely interested only in HIS blood. Besides the perpetually nightmarish nuisance of the vampires, who have a collectively demoralizing effect on him, Morgan (Neville) must fight against the horror generated by the desolation and doom of a post-apocalyptic world, against the loneliness of being the last human on earth and against the agony of tragically losing his wife and daughter to the plague. In the final analysis, "The Last Man On Earth" could be likened to a series of crude, but brilliant brush-strokes of feeling-tones. As such it fully deserves cult-classic status.


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