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The Last Hurrah (1958)

 -  Drama  -  November 1958 (USA)
7.5
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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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Title: The Last Hurrah (1958)

The Last Hurrah (1958) on IMDb 7.5/10

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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

There are numerous references to other cities around the world, among them Dublin (Ireland) and Tel Aviv (Israel). There are also references to Boston-area colleges, although they are discreet, since officially this film is only about "a New England city." In one early scene, one of Skeffington's yes men is describing the son of one of Skeffinhton's prospective opponents, and says that he went to college, "No, not that college across the river [referring to Harvard, which is across the Charles River from Boston, in the city of Cambridge], the regular college" (referring to either Boston College, a Roman Catholic Jesuit school located in Chestnut Hill, or Boston University, a private school located in Boston proper). Later, while speaking with his nephew, Skeffington mentions " . . . beanbag contests between Harvard and" but his nephew cuts him off by saying that he was from Northwestern, a school in Chicago. 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

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

Connections

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