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The Last Hurrah (1958)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | November 1958 (USA)
Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as mayor of a U.S. town for the last time.

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(screen play) (as Frank Nugent), (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:
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Adam Caulfield
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Maeve Caulfield
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John Gorman
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Norman Cass, Sr.
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Cardinal Martin Burke
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'Cuke' Gillen
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'Ditto' Boland
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Amos Force
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Roger Sugrue
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Bishop Gardner
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Sam Weinberg
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Charles J. Hennessey
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Festus Garvey
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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

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Ford's Finest! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Hurra  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles long claimed (including in "This is Orson Welles," a 1992 book by Peter Bogdanovich) that the real reason he did not do the film was because his agent turned down the role for him while Welles was out of town, claiming that the compensation and/or the billing was not good enough. See more »

Goofs

Episcopal Bishop Gardner is seen wearing a black shirt with his clerical collar. The traditional color for a bishop is purple. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in The Doris Day Show: The Last Huzzah (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the spirit, but not the fact
31 March 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

John Ford certainly does capture the spirit of how James Michael Curley would like to have been remembered. It's how he wrote his memoirs and how Edwin O'Connor wrote that brilliant piece of fiction.

Curley was a demagogue par excellence. He played ethnic politics to the hilt. He served one term as governor of Massachusetts and that term was noted for an outrageous scandal in which pardons were sold to prisoners who could cough up the money. And he was always the victim of those nasty Yankee patriarchs.

Spencer Tracy does a great job in cleaning up the Curley image and the rest of the cast is fine. I would like to call attention to two actors who typified the cultural divide that James Michael Curley never attempted to bridge in his lifetime, unlike in this film.

Willis Bouchey playing Roger Sugrue, disparagingly referred to as the Papal Knight, is this rabidly bigoted Roman Catholic who is forever finding fault with the rest of humanity and criticizing those of his fellow Catholics who are not as good as he. He nearly has a stroke after seeing a Monsignor played by Ken Curtis on TV playing golf with a rabbi. No wonder Donald Crisp playing the Cardinal refers to him as "that horrible man, Roger Sugrue."

And the other side of the coin is John Carradine playing Amos Force the descendant of old line Puritans who is as bigoted in his way as Roger Sugrue is in his. It's alluded to that back in the 1920s Carradine was in the Ku Klux Klan and you can believe it from Carradine's portrayal.

Bouchey and Carradine are the two best in a cast that is saturated with John Ford favorites. As a lesson in respect for diversity, The Last Hurrah has a lot to say. History it's not though.


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