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The Last Hurrah (1958)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  November 1958 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,000 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 10 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) (as Frank Nugent) , (based upon the novel by)
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Title: The Last Hurrah (1958)

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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:

Ford's Finest! 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
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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. The Doctor immediately follows him into the room, and the doorknob is once again intact. See more »

Quotes

Roger Sugrue: [standing by Skeffington's bed] Well, at least he made his peace with God. There's one thing we all can be sure of - if he had it to do over again, there's no doubt in the world he would do it very, very differently.
Mayor Frank Skeffington: [opening his eyes] Like hell I would.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A bit of a whitewash, but still a great movie

This movie was based on the novel of the same name by Edwin O'Connor, which in turn was inspired by the career of the colorful 4-time Mayor of Boston (and sometime Governor of Massachusetts and U. S. Congressman) James Michael Curley. Curley, although remembered today as a lovable rogue and a flamboyant old-time politician who made the voice of Boston's despised Irish heard in the halls of power, basically ran Boston into the ground during his tenure as mayor, destroying the city's credit rating, and dividing its people by appealing to old-time Irish-American fears and prejudices.

But, as far as this movie is concerned, that's neither here nor there. Spencer Tracy is outstanding as the mayor (in my opinion, only James Stewart was a better actor among the leading men of the Hollywood studio era) and the supporting players are superb, notably Pat O'Brien, Donald Crisp, Basil Rathbone, John Carradine, Jane Darwell and especially O.Z. Whitehead, who is brilliantly cast in a small role as the featherbrained son of a crusty Yankee banker. Also noteworthy are the usual patriotic and sentimental touches of director-producer John Ford.

What ever your political opinions may be, this is an outstanding look at old-time politics as it begins to give way to the era of mass media.


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