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The Last Man on Earth[1] is a 1964 Italian-American science-fiction horror film adaption of the 1954 Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. The film stares Richard Price [2] as the protagonist Dr. Robert Morgan, and was filmed in Rome, Italy.

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Plot Edit

A devastating plague has turned Earth into a population entirely of undead, vampire-like creatures who cannot stand sunlight, mirrors, or garlic, with the sole survivor Dr. Robert Morgan[3]. Morgan has developed a routine for his own survival, which consists of killing the creatures during the day, when they can’t stand the sunlight, and protecting himself in his house at night. Morgan believes he is immune to the plague because he was bitten by an infected vampire bat in Panama, and the form of the bacteria in his blood created a resistance to the plague itself.

A flashback informs the audience that Morgan’s wife and daughter became victim to the plague years ago, and he discovered when he tried to simply bury his wife that the creatures could come back to life, which is when he began burning the creatures’ dead bodies. Morgan is extremely lonely without his wife and daughter, and when a wounded dog appears he longs for its companionship. But he quickly discovers that the dog itself is infected and is forced to stab it with a wooden stake.

Morgan later spots a woman in the distance of his house, and while the woman is at first scared of Morgan he eventually convinces her to return to his home. Since Morgan is used to being the only survivor of the plague, he is suspicious that the woman, Ruth, is actually one of the plague creatures. Morgan’s suspicions are confirmed when he finds Ruth injecting herself with a mix of blood and a vaccine, and when she pulls a gun on Morgan to protect herself she eventually surrenders. Ruth explains there is a group of people like her that are infected with the plague but working to develop a treatment to the bacteria, and her people sent her to spy on Morgan. She says that her people want to rebuild society and kill the infected vampires.

Later while Ruth is sleeping, Morgan transfuses his own blood into her and finds that this completely cures her. He begins to see hope and think that they can cure the rest of Ruth’s people, but shortly after the group attacks Morgan’s home and forces him to flee. The people chase Morgan and although he attempts to stop them with tear gas and gunfire, they catch up to him and find him wounded in a church. Ruth begs her people to let Morgan live, but they stab him with a spear on the alter, where he dies and claims that he is the last true man on Earth.

Character Analysis: Dr. Robert Morgan Edit

Dr. Robert Morgan, the protagonist in the film, faces a hard life being the last healthy man on Earth. He

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spends his days killing the vampire creatures and protecting himself by boarding his house and hanging garlic. He feels alone in the empty world, and greatly misses his wife and daughter. It is clear that Morgan struggles with accepting the fact that he is alone as he jumps at the few chances he gets for companionship. When he first sees the dog, he attempts to chase it down and is disappointed when it runs away. Even when he finds it is infected, he shows regret and discomfort killing it. When Morgan finds out that Ruth is infected with some form of the plague, he does not immediately kill her but attempts to cure her. This shows that Morgan craves companionship and will even risk his own health to have somebody be with him after the years of being completely alone. Morgan talks to himself throughout the film, and it is clear that he is disturbed and depressed by his state of loneliness.

  1. https://d2l.arizona.edu/d2l/le/content/563364/viewContent/4977117/View
  2. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058700/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Man_on_Earth_(1964_film)

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