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The Last Generation () LoadingSUBSCRIBE

6.7 (17)
  • Country:
  • Genres:
  • Release: 1971-04-01
  • Director: William A. Graham
  • Writers: Earl Hamner Jr.
  • Language: English
  • Stars: Lew Ayres , Pearl Bailey , Lee Grant
  • Runtime: min
  • Awards: N/A
  • AKA: The Last Generation (United States of America)
  • Plot: The Lost Generation takes place in a future time in an over-populated New York City, where multiple, unrelated families share apartment space, and there is no 'real' food available to the general public, only artificial versions of eggs, wheat and vegetables, etc. Babies born without government permission are frozen and only under extraordinary circumstances are thawed and given to the parents (an example is to replace a child lost in a foreign 'military police action' type war, similar to a Vietnam type of conflict. One of the peripheral characters in the film has that happen, and the thawed child is never quite 'right'). There is only public transportation, such as overhead trains and subways, and moving sidewalks on which protesters 'march' with signs that say, "legalize suicide" and "legalize abortion" (not yet legal in the U.S. at the time movie was filmed). The premise of the movie is a race from one side of NYC to the other, put on by the criminally connected government of the country and city. The winner of this race will be given one acre of the last remaining Unite States National Park Land being distributed to the 'public' through these contests across the country. On this acre the winner would be allowed to have a cow and a couple of chickens and to grow vegetables. It is made clear that no one expects a regular everyday person to actually WIN, it is all a ploy to enable a big business type to have someone win the property for one of the big bosses so he can develop it with another high rise, such as those that have blocked the city so that one can no longer make it all the way across NYC without climbing buildings as if they were mountains because security will not allow anyone 'unconnected' inside them to pass through! The story's hero ( Stuart Whitman) decides to enter the race, and gets a variety of people to help him by promising to share the bounty he grows on his little farm with them if he wins. This captures the imagination of many hopeless people, who advance him things like a map of the old sewer system under the city, and providing climbing gear to get over the skyscrapers and other things, against these hopes of future returns. Just before he sets out on this contest race he discovers he has another incentive: his wife (Vera Miles) is pregnant, against the law, and if he does not win the race and thus earn the right to have a child, the baby will be frozen and his wife punished. During his desperate race to cross the city he must wear protective gear to go into the Hudson River that is so toxic it will kill him if he is not so protected. He has to do it so he can get to the sewer system to go under the city instead of trying to climb the tall buildings. To get to the river he must go through an 'auto graveyard'. There are no longer cars and trucks in this city, and all the abandoned ones are parked with the sides almost touching, as they would be in a crowded valet parking lot, covering acres and acres of space. There are rebellious homeless people who live in these cars in a desperate and wild state. He is befriended by one manic soul who lights a precious hand rolled black market cigarette in front of him....something he has never seen before, and only heard of as if it were a legend of something awful. He runs from the car as the car dweller cackles manically. Other adventures include an encounter with a gangster (Cesar Romero) who has a daughter (Connie Stevens), who kind of falls for the hero and helps him by getting some needed equipment to continue his journey, and warns him that the criminal element are seeking to kill him to prevent him from interfering with their winning the race. In the end the hero does win, and the final scene shows him and his now obviously pregnant wife inside, and clinging to, a high chain link fence, with trees and grass behind them (there has been no other vegetation shown in this movie) listening to the shouted curses of the masses outside as they are held back by military police. The hero's final words are those of a hope they can start a new beginning for humankind in their little Eden, but the surrounding chaos implies that it is just too late.
  • IMDB:tt0367950
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