Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend has been filmed several times: most recently, there was the 2007 Will Smith movie. In 1971, it was filmed as The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston. First, though, in 1964, it was filmed as The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price in the title role.
Although set in the USA, The Last Man on Earth was filmed in Rome (these being the days when Italy still had a thriving international film industry, and the legendary Cinecittà studios were used for something other than television commercials). As a result, the production was able to make use of Rome’s wide variety of architecture, from the crumbling buildings of the countryside to the wide roads and brutal angles of EUR, a district founded in 1935 by Mussolini and intended as a new Rome, a city designed according to fascist ideals.
In EUR stands the Square Colosseum, (Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana), which is partially visible in the scene above. It’s a central feature of EUR, less than thirty years old when the film was made, and yet already a relic of a disappeared ideology and a failed model for civilisation. Which is rather fitting.