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"Movie Review: Last Woman on Earth (1960)" Topic

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379 hits since 22 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian22 Jan 2019 9:48 p.m. PST

For tax reasons, Roger Corman went to Puerto Rico to film two of his movies… and then made a third, too!

The second movie was Last Woman on Earth. Perhaps you've seen the lurid movie poster of a naked woman entwined with a white cloth, with an enormous sun behind her? Great poster, doesn't have anything to do with the movie!

Robert Towne, who would eventually become famous for writing the screenplay to Chinatown, apparently met Roger Corman in an acting class. Roger made low-budget movies, so Robert's script primarily involves only three characters. Roger then induced Robert to play one of the roles!

This is the only movie of the Puerto Rico trilogy to be filmed in color. Roger had gotten the film as a free sample!

The three main characters are: Harold Gern (played by Antony Carbone), a wealthy and hedonistic businessman; Evelyn Gern (played by Betsy Jones-Moreland), his bored and ignored wife; and Harold's smart attorney, Martin Joyce (played by Robert Towne).

The Gerns are in Puerto Rico on vacation, and their attorney has flown down for business reasons but is 'forced' to enjoy himself. After scuba diving, they return to their boat to discover the crew dead and they can't breathe! Using their scuba gear, they are able to make it back to the island. When their tanks are empty, they resign themselves to death… but the oxygen is back in the atmosphere!

This sets up the drama: three people left alive in all of Puerto Rico. What happened? What about the rest of the world? How will their characters change as they face the new realities of this world? And, of course… who will get the girl!

So there's no aliens, mutants or monsters, just a nice social drama that ends with an interesting chase sequence, some brutal fighting, and a final scene in a modernistic church!

I'm a huge fan of Betsy Jones-Moreland, and this is some of her best work. (She had to provide all of her own wardrobe and make-up!) Antony Carbone does well in a difficult role, and Robert Towne does OK.

I enjoyed the movie. Not what I expected, but interesting.

Can you wargame it? Probably not, there's just not enough action… but you might grab some ideas.

The DVD set I have includes a commentary track with Fred Olen Ray as host, plus Antony Carbone and Betsy Jones-Moreland, and it is a lot of fun to hear the actors tell their stories of working with Corman.

Dynaman878923 Jan 2019 4:47 a.m. PST

Thread hijacking.
Roger Corman – "You gotta hand it to a guy with that much talent being able to make a living". – A quote from my father in regards to Uncle Floyd but it applies to RC as well.

I just find it so Roger Corman like that he made three movies with a budget for 2 and got a color film out of the deal too.

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