Last Woman on Earth
|Last Woman on Earth|
|Directed by||Roger Corman|
|Produced by||Roger Corman
|Screenplay by||Robert Towne|
|Music by||Ronald Stein|
|Cinematography||Jacques R. Marquette|
|Edited by||Anthony Carras|
Last Woman on Earth (often referred to as “The Last Woman On Earth”, although appearing without the word “The” in the film's actual title-card) is a 1960 American science-fiction film produced and directed by Roger Corman. It tells the story of three survivors of a mysterious apocalypse which appears to have wiped out all human life on earth. The screenplay is by Robert Towne, who also appears in the film billed as "Edward Wain". The music was composed and conducted by Ronald Stein. The film was originally released as a double feature with The Little Shop of Horrors.
Harold Gern (Antony Carbone), a successful businessman from New York who is constantly in legal trouble, is spending a holiday in Puerto Rico with his attractive wife Evelyn (Betsy Jones-Moreland), whom he married "between trials". They are joined by Martin Joyce (Robert Towne, billed as Edward Wain), Harold's lawyer, who has come to discuss the latest indictment.
Harold invites him along on a boat trip during which all three try out some newly bought scuba diving equipment. When they resurface, they are unable to breathe without using their scuba tanks. They climb back into their boat and find Manuel, the crewman, dead, apparently of asphyxiation. Upon rowing ashore, they enter the jungle. With their air running out, they discover that the foliage gives off oxygen they can breathe.
When they go into town, they find nobody left alive, and they cannot contact anyone by radio. It dawns upon the three that they might be the only survivors in the area, maybe in the world. The domineering Harold takes charge. They becoming self-sufficient; the two men fish—marine creatures have survived. Later, they also find living insects and baby chicks, presumably newly hatched. Harold feels that in the long run they will have to move north to a colder climate—to avoid an insect problem and also problems with food preservation and to increase their chances of meeting other survivors.
Soon, a love triangle develops. Martin points out to Harold that neither the latter's marriage certificate nor his money mean anything any more. One day, while Harold is out fishing by himself, Evelyn gives in to her attraction to Martin. When Harold finds out, he beats Martin and orders him to leave. Evelyn hops in the car, and the two lovers drive off. Harold chases after them. At the harbour, another fight breaks out when Martin refuses to tell Harold where his wife is. Martin eventually runs into the church where Evelyn has been waiting. There, he dies of his injuries. The two survivors are left wondering where they will go or what they will do now.
The film is in the public domain, and several DVD editions exist, including one by Alpha Video. Most are copies of black and white 16mm prints struck for television but a faded colour print is carried by the Internet Archive. The Retromedia release is transferred from a color-corrected 35 mm print. This was released on DVD through Image Entertainment, featuring introductions by Corman, with commentary tracks by Jones-Moreland and Carbone. The release also features the other two entries in Corman's "Puerto Rico Trilogy" – Creature from the Haunted Sea and Battle of Blood Island – films shot back to back with Last Woman.
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- List of films in the public domain in the United States
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- Last Woman on Earth (1960) at the Internet Movie Database
- on YouTube
- Last Woman on Earth is available for free download at the Internet Archive (from faded colour print)
- Last Woman on Earth is available for free download at the Internet Archive (higher resolution, from higher-quality black-and-white print)
- Last Woman on Earth DVD review