Directed and produced by Lewis Collins, starring Joan Taylor, and funded by the Lumbermen’s Mutual Casualty Company, “The Last Date” is one of the most memorable driver’s education scare films. It may be among the very first in the genre, dating from 1949. “The Last Date” has a simple but effective plot structure… Larry invites Jeanne to a party at Casino Lake. On the way there they listen to a DJ talking about “Teenicide… the fine art of killing yourself, and maybe someone else before you’re 20. You do it… with a car!” This gets repeated about a dozen times throughout the short. Nick shows up and talks Jeanne into going for a ride around the lake. He’s not worried about speeding; his dad taught him how to drive, and he’s only been arrested three times! Of course, it all ends in tragedy, a head-on accident, and Jeanne ends up impaled on the windshield. She gets her pretty face so disfigured that she can’t ever go out ever again, at least not until plastic surgery gets invented in about 10 years’ time.
Joan Taylor (August 18, 1929 – March 4, 2012) was an American television and film actress. Taylor’s career began at the Pasadena Playhouse. She met Freeman there when both were involved with putting on “Here Comes Mr. Jordan”. In the early 1950s, she was chosen by Paramount Pictures as a member of the studio’s ‘Golden Circle,” described as a “group consisting of a dozen unusually talented young actors for whom Paramount held high hopes.” Her Producer also insured 19-year-old Taylor’s legs for $100,000 against injury. Her first film was Fighting Man of the Plains, with Randolph Scott.
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