The Last Woman on Earth (August 5, 1960)
Released August 5, 1960: When Evelyn, Harold and Martin return to the surface after skindiving on vacation, they discover that everyone on the earth has been killed.
Produced by Roger Corman
Directed by Roger Corman
Written by Robert Towne
The Actors: Betsy Jones-Moreland (Evelyn Gern) Anthony Carbone (Harold Gern), Robert Towne (Martin Joyce)
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A young fellow named Roger Corman discovered that he could use fresh young unknown actors, slap together an inexpensive movie, and if the story was good, people would flock to the movie, and he could make as much or more as the big studios with their expensive older actors/moviestars. When Roger was ready to take the cast and crew to the location in Puerto Rico, the screenwriter, Robert Towne, wasn't finished writing the story. No problem for Roger, who fired one of the male actors, and used the author to finish the story while filming the first part, and using him as the second male lead in the story! In the credits he listed his name as 'Edward Wain,' so the audience wouldn't know that it was actually the screenwriter. Still a pretty good movie, using only three characters and a bunch of local extras, the cameraman and Roger Corman directing.
A slick businessman, his new young wife, and his lawyer that kept him out of jail, go on vacation in Puerto Rico. Harold, the businessman is a bit shady in his dealings, but has gobs of money, and his lawyer/friend Martin is a good enough lawyer that he gets taken to court a lot, but never convicted of anything. Harold is also a 'wild child,' willing to bet on anything, willing to take any chance in order to have fun and make money. He has recently married blonde hottie 'Ev', who is very flirtatious with the lawyer Martin. One afternoon they decide to go skin diving, and when they return to the surface they discover that something has robbed the earth of all of its oxygen, and everyone is dead but them. Two men, one woman, and the woman is a flirt that likes both men. A great story idea to explore the emotions and rivalries of two men after the Last Woman on Earth. And it is fleshed out fairly well. Of course, Ev seems to like Martin better than her husband Harold, and Harold observes this. At one point Martin and Harold get into a fight that made me think that maybe they would kill each other off and leave Ev alone as the real "Last Woman on the Earth", but it doesn't turn out that way.
Of course, with two men competing for The Last Woman on Earth . . . and one of the two men is the person who is writing the ending . . . do you think it influenced how the ending went? hmmm . . . . We know that Evelyn is The Last Woman on Earth, the question is, who will be the last MAN on earth? If you have never seen this one, it's time that you did. It's well worth sixty four minutes of your time. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.