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The Last Hurrah (1958)

 -  Drama  -  November 1958 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,795 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 9 critic

Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as Mayor of of a US town for the last time.

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(screen play), (based upon the novel by)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Adam Caulfield
Dianne Foster ...
Maeve Caulfield
...
John Gorman
...
Norman Cass, Sr.
...
Cardinal Martin Burke
...
'Cuke' Gillen
Edward Brophy ...
'Ditto' Boland
...
Amos Force
...
Roger Sugrue
Basil Ruysdael ...
Bishop Gardner
...
Sam Weinberg
Wallace Ford ...
Charles J. Hennessey
Frank McHugh ...
Festus Garvey
Carleton Young ...
Winslow
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Storyline

An aging politician tries to get re-elected one last time in the changing world of the 1950s when TV started to play a bigger part in politics. Based loosely on the career of multi-term Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, this film examines the good and evil inherent in politics and all the things that go into an election. Tracy's uphill battle to stay in office is set against the political machinery that preyed on ethnic hatred and old-time money. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All the fun, the fury, and fabulous characters of the famous book! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Hurra  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film Skeffington says that his signature will never be as valuable as Button Gwinnet's, who apparently had publicly signed few documents in his life. Gwinnet, a delegate from Georgia, was the second signer of the Declaration of Independence, after John Hancock. Gwinnet's signature is quite rare and is considered the most valuable American signature by collectors, with sales recorded as high as $150,000, matched or exceeded only just behind signatures of Gaio Giulio Cesare (aka Julius Caesar) and William Shakespeare. However, it is not quite so rare as suggested by Skeffington, as there are at least 51 examples of Gwinnet's signature known to exist, and at one time during the 1920s five samples of his signature were owned by a dealer in rare books named Rosenbach. See more »

Goofs

When Frank Jr. bursts into the bedroom to see his dying Father, the doorknob comes apart and the interior knob falls off. As the Doctor immediately follows him into the room the doorknob back intact. See more »

Quotes

Mayor Frank Skeffington: One more regret at my age won't make much difference.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.195 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
classic Spencer Tracy
20 January 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Tracy plays Irish-American Frank Skeffington, an old hand re-seeking political office for one last time, with dreams of helping the slums along, and, along with his cronies, leading the victory parade on St Patrick's Day. Will he make it? 'The Last Hurrah' is a tour-de-force, with John Ford's sharp direction, and several old timers making an appearance, such as Basil Rathbone as one of Tracy's more vehement opponents. Tracy of course is as excellent as ever, and there are some nice scenes between him and Jeffrey Hunter (playing his nephew).

Whether showcasing the camaraderie between Skeffington and his supporters, or giving the viewer a masterclass in acting, 'The Last Hurrah' cannot really be faulted. Even if the last half-hour of the film is a bit cloying, Tracy's last line is on target and raises a smile as the end card comes up.

Incidentally, this film was made in 1958, a time when black and white films mixed with those in colour to no-one's detriment. It would be interesting to see if a similar subject would come across as well today, in colour. It makes one long for the return of black and white for some genres.


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