Last Clear Chance
is a 1959 Glurge-fest
brought to you by Union Pacific, that shows just how stupid people get around trains.
A police officer obsessed with train and automotive safety torments an innocent mid-western farm family the day that their youngest son receives his driver's licence. He holds them hostage while rattling off tales of horrible driving etiquette and railroad-related horrors, even confronting their youngest son with the horrible image of his deceased friend. Ultimately, for reasons of his own, he finally relents. But has his grim lesson sunk in, or will innocent people die this day at the hands of our mortal enemy, the train? (Answer: Yes.)
While maligned by some as too narmish
particularly for a reactionary scene near the end of the film, where one railroad worker asks why some drivers fail to heed basic safety rules it was lauded by many others as a sobering effort to instill safe driving in young drivers. Today, it also stands out as a showcase of rural America in the late 1950s, before superhighways although a few four-lane highways are shown and urban sprawl and when farming was still a major part of the economy in rural areas; plus, some old-school railroad crossing technology, most notably the wig-wag (swinging pendulum) crossing signal, can be seen in use, as well as a vintage, early 1900s-style railroad crossbuck (diamond-shaped) sign
years before the crossings were upgraded with modern signals and gates
plus the long relegated-to-history caboose at the end of several trains. The movie itself was filmed in southwestern Idaho, with some footage also filmed in northern Colorado.
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
version, please go to the episode recap page
Last Clear Chance contains examples of these tropes: