Public Domain Movie: The Last Woman on Earth (1960)

The Last Woman on Earth — Movie Review and Information

Directed by Roger Corman and with a runtime of 71 minutes, The Last Woman on Earth is quite an entertaining film. It’s not spooky. There are no axe-murderers or slashers so it’s pretty safe to say that The Last Woman on Earth does not follow the traditional vein of most horror movies.

So, what’s it about? Let’s start at the beginning.

Successful American businessman, Harold Gern, is on vacation in Puerto Rico. He has recently got married and has his new wife Evelyn with him.

The first scene of the film shows Mr Gern at a cockfight and his wife looks suitably bored by the whole thing. Either Gern has not noticed this fact or he just doesn’t care. The latter seems the more likely because he seems to be an extremely self-centered man.

Another thing worth mentioning about Gern is his love for smoking a pipe, which always looks ridiculous when it’s hanging from his mouth.

Gern has been having a few legal problems and has arranged for his Lawyer, Martin Joyce, to meet him at the cockfight. So it’s apparent the vacation is all about him, him: his business, his choice of entertainment and his show all that way. Evelyn just seems to be along for the ride.

After the Cockfight Evelyn returns, alone, to the hotel, and Gern heads for the casino, taking Joyce with him.

The following morning Gern takes Evelyn on a boat trip and being the kind of swell guy he is, he takes Joyce along for the ride so that he can mix a little business with pleasure and talk shop on the tropical seas.

Evelyn manages to get the men’s mind off business long enough to permit the three of them to go scuba diving. After an accident with a harpoon gun, the party of three resurface only to find that they can’t breath. Fortunately, they are able to keep breathing from their oxygen tanks for a little longer.

The Last Woman on Earth Movie Poster
The Last Woman on Earth Movie Poster

When they climb back onboard, the first thing the trio see is Manuel. He’d been minding the boat for them. Now his dead body is stretched out on the deck.

Gern and his party also discover it’s impossible to strike matches. That makes it clear there is no oxygen in the air.

By the time they get back on land, the oxygen has returned and they can breathe normally. It’s too late for everyone else though. The trio find lots of dead people. It appears they have the world to themselves. That makes Evelyn the last woman on earth.

One woman. Two men. It is not a situation that breeds harmony. Especially not for the guy who is the last piggy in the middle on earth.

The Last Woman on Earth does have horror elements. It also has sci-fi elements. It’s entertaining at times, and even amusing, but rather sad at the end. No explanation is provided as to why everyone died or what killed them; but that’s not what the film is about, it’s about how the last three people on earth manage to live together in such terrible circumstances.

Additional Information

Director: Roger Corman

Cast

Betsy Jones-Moreland … Evelyn Gern
Antony Carbone … Harold Gern
Robert Towne … Martin Joyce




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