The Last Child (1971)

Article 2626 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-13-2008
Posting Date: 10-21-2008
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey
Featuring Michael Cole, Van Heflin, Harry Guardino
Country: USA

In the future, it is illegal for women to have more than one baby due to overpopulation. A couple defies the law and tries to have a second baby when their first one dies after only fifteen days.

You know, the very concept of this dystopian science-fiction TV-Movie just seems to scream “message movie”; at least, that’s the obvious way to go with it. As might be expected, that’s the route the movie takes; the first two-thirds of the movie largely consists of the obvious; lots of preaching, characters trying to talk sense to other characters, characters guilt-tripping other characters, and emotional lines of dialogue that you saw coming miles away “I’m having the baby!”, for example. The last third of the movie is mostly car chase. This is one of those movies where most of the characters speak their dialogue quite slowly, and I’ve always suspected that this was because somebody thought if they spoke the dialogue too quickly, viewers might miss the message. Unfortunately, the message is so obvious from square one, that I’d understand them even if they were speaking in some obscure hindi dialect. In this situation, Ed Asner comes off best as the policeman chasing the couple, but this may be primarily because his character doesn’t engage in preaching or guilt-tripping; as a result, he comes across as the most natural. Still, it’s obvious from the 6.9 rating on IMDB that some people quite like this movie; me, I’d trade most of the message for a few surprises along the line.


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