7.4/10
2,337
37 user 18 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play) (as Frank Nugent), (based upon the novel by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three vignettes of old Irish country life, based on a series of short stories. In "The Majesty of the Law," a police officer must arrest a very old-fashioned, traditional fellow for assault... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Tyrone Power, Noel Purcell, Cyril Cusack
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A typical day for Scotland Yard Inspector George Gideon consists in working on several cases at the same time.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Anna Lee, Anna Massey
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1898, Irish immigrant Martin Maher is hired as a civilian employee at West Point where, during a 50-year career, he rises to the rank of NCO and instructor.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Robert Francis
Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, Constance Towers
Comedy | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell
Drama | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Cheyenne, tired of broken U.S. government promises, head for their ancestral lands but a sympathetic cavalry officer is tasked to bring them back to their reservation.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A corrupt marshal is pressured by his army friend into negotiating the release of white captives of the Comanches, but finds that their reintegration into society has its consequences.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones
7 Women (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In China in 1935, seven dedicated missionary women try to protect themselves from the advances of a barbaric Mongolian warlord and his cut-throat gang of warriors.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Sue Lyon, Margaret Leighton
Wagon Master (1950)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey Jr.
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Read.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
The Fugitive (1947)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Anti-Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández
Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Adam Caulfield
...
Maeve Caulfield
...
John Gorman
...
Norman Cass, Sr.
...
Cardinal Martin Burke
...
'Cuke' Gillen
...
'Ditto' Boland
...
Amos Force
...
Roger Sugrue
...
Bishop Gardner
...
Sam Weinberg
...
Charles J. Hennessey
...
Festus Garvey
...
Winslow
Edit

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:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Author Edwin O'Connor reportedly based the character of "Kevin McCluskey," the candidate running against Skeffington, on John F. Kennedy. Kennedy had first won elective office running to succeed James Michael Curley in Congress after Curley returned to the mayoralty of Boston. 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

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

Referenced in Cheers: Norm's First Hurrah (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Top of the Cork Road
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Arthur Morton and George Duning
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Brilliant Political Drama, Tracy is a master of film
12 November 2002 | by (America) – See all my reviews



This is without a doubt one of the finest political films ever produced. It is based on the book of the same name and based loosely on the life of Mayor James Curley who was incredibly popular as the mayor of Boston so popular in fact he was re-elected while he was in jail. Spencer Tracy is excellent as Mayor Frank Skeffington. (Which is kind of funny because the character is of Irish descent but his name is obviously not Irish)

Skeffington runs one of the countries great political machines. He is the undoubted leader of the city, he controls the city with an iron fist but he knows his gig is almost up. The days of engagements at luncheons and political rallies are giving way to television, which would almost make the political machine obsolete.

Skeffington does care a lot about his constituents. He often helps his voters personally. The city seems to be a great place to live and no problems ever seem to surface. But there are some problems with Skeffington's rule. First of all he often short changes various businesses, forces them to take lesser wages to help constituents. Skeffington and his cronies will often turn funerals into political meetings. This Skeffington is no saint and it seems as though his tenure might be up.

Skeffington knows his gig is up and he decides that his fifth term will be his last term, once he is elected to his fifth term of course. At this point the viewer meets some very interesting supporting players. Skeffington's cronies are the most loyal of political supporters. They will do anything Skeffington says and are the Bulwark of the city electorate making sure everything goes the way the Mayor's office wants it to. In this group of cronies are John Gorman, played by the legendary Pat O' Brien, Carleton Young, who plays Winslow, 'Cuke' Gillen, played by James Gleason, and Ditto, played by seasoned character actor Edward Brophy. The group works so well together and really are scene-stealers.

Jeffrey Hunter (Who played the first Star Trek Captain in the unsold pilot) plays the nephew of Skeffington, who works for a conservative newspaper. The editor of the newspaper, played by John Carradine does an excellent job in this movie as the old miser who has it out for the working class and Skeffington, since his family was poor and he managed to make something out of himself. The editor of the newspaper also was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

And there is also Skeffington's opposition which consists mostly of rich Anglo-Saxon white men (You guessed it, Republicans) These people are so good at playing pricks, my hat is off to them. Donald Crisp plays a Cardinal in the Catholic Church. He does a great job but the part is small for him. Basil Rathbone plays a banker opposed to Skeffington, Frank Albertson plays the father of his nephew's wife and he is a real prick. All of them do very well as the bad guys of the movie.

The movie shows some strong political views and it does not abate in its criticism of conservative rich white men. The movie talks about how the Cardinal, one of the bankers and Skeffington all grew up together and the other two seemed to forget where they came from. Sadly there are many rich people that did forget where they came from and still do.

But the movie also portrays the mayor in an accurate light as well. It does not portray him as completely honest but it does ask the question if the mayor is doing a good job and the people like him couldn't the authorities possibly overlook the law? Many people that use to live under political machines wish the political machine returned. Without the political machine cities tend to be subjected to the drudgery of politics.

Movies like this are not so abundant. This movie was all about acting. There were no special effects, just the power of the performances and the performances were very powerful. This was a great movie, no doubt about it. Tracy has such vigor and this proves like many others of his films he is a gifted actor. The all-star supporting cast is a pleasure to watch as well. Before I forget Arthur Walsh plays Skeffington's son, his part was small but good.

There is just something to watching all of these men in the 1950's, with all of the cigarette smoke, the somewhat stiff dialogue, the black and white photography, the movie shows an era bygone. Skeffington also shows his liberal side. He talked about how he supported the minorities, how he tried to make the city livable for all and so forth. I must admit the political pageantry surrounding this man was impressive even on the screen. The voting scene also was quite impressive. That scene showed the energy that used to be in an election that isn't anymore, and it is sad how few take part in the political process.

I can say nothing less than you should see this movie. It is a classic and brilliant overall. The movie is based on the life of James Curley, a former mayor of Boston who was re-elected while he was in Jail! He was never defeated as an incumbent but was defeated twice in the 1950's as a candidate for mayor. The ending of this movie almost made me cry, it was a great ending and almost inspiring. The ending as well shows you how heartless some people can be, especially rich people. This movie poses a lot of ethical questions and is very entertaining. This one is not to be missed.




27 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?