Thursday, July 15, 2010
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964). Director: Sidney Salkan [Ubaldo Ragona].
This Italian production is the first film adaptation of Richard Matheson's excellent novel I Am Legend. Vincent Price stars as Robert Morgan, who seems to be the last human left alive in a world over-run with blood-drinking vampires. The movie is fairly faithful to the novel, and at least takes place in the United States. [Of course in the book the man's last name was Neville, and he wasn't a scientist; the movie also simplifies the business with "living" vampires vs. dead vampires.]. Franca Bettoia gives a vivid portrait of a woman, Ruth, that Morgan encounters late in the picture. Perhaps the best scene has Morgan's wife coming back from her grave. The Last Man on Earth is moody and atmospheric, Price isn't at all bad, but the picture isn't very well directed and isn't nearly intense enough to be fully effective. Comes close, though.
Verdict: Just misses. **1/2.