The Last Man on Earth (1964)

last man on earth poster 1964 movie vincent price i am legend
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 6/10

Rather strong adaptation of the original story

Tons of poor prints of the film exist

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Last Man on Earth

Studio:  American International Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  March 8, 1964

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


I could be “The Last Man on Earth”!

A plague has ravaged the Earth, and only one man seems to have survived.  Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) spends his days collecting supplies and his nights hiding in his home from the vampiric-like reanimated bodies of the people he used to know.  When he discovers a dog and a woman named Ruth Collins (Franca Bettoia) who seem to have also survived the plague, Morgan thinks he might be able to find the only way to save humanity…if humanity wants to be saved.


I said I wasn’t interested in “The Watchtower”

Directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, The Last Man on Earth is a Vincent Price horror film.  The movie adapts the famous 1954 novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson and is the first adaptation of the much adapted tale.  The film is within public domain and is often collected in multipacks as a result.

I love the story of I Am Legend.  The idea of “vampires” as a culture and being afraid of humans is a great twist on the vampire tale.  Opposed to many of Vincent Price’s film, Price is somewhat downplayed in the role and this feels a lot like a different type of Vincent Price film.  The movie in its slow zombie-like vampires also is stated by George A. Romero to be a big influence on Night of the Living Dead.



The movie is relatively faithful to the novel and was partially written by Matheson though he is credited as Logan Swanson.  Matheson didn’t like how the film turned out and asked his name to be removed.  The story speeds up some of the ending sequence and there is little hope in the original book since no cure is found.  I actually like this idea of a cure in that the ending is more tragic…the vampires essentially damn themselves.

Matheson thought Price was miscast and that might be true.  Despite this, Price does subdue his usually more maniacal acting and plays the role rather straight.  He seems a bit old for the role, but I think that the movie still works in his hands.


So….I’m guessing you don’t want my autograph…

Visually the movie does suffer.  One of the first directors proposed was classic director Fritz Lang…I would have loved to see a version by him.  The movie is unfortunately rather cheap and it appears it.  With tons of bad prints, the movie often is so poor of quality that it can even be hard to see what is going on.  If you are going to see the movie try to seek out one of the better prints.

I do think that The Last Man on Earth is a pretty good film.  It is rather depressing, and the movie has a cold distant feel that helps the film more rather than hurts it.  The story was remade in 1971 with Charlton Heston as The Omega Man and the much delayed I Am Legend from 2007 with Will Smith.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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