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The Last Hurrah (1958)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | November 1958 (USA)
3:07 | Trailer

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



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



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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


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


Ford's Finest! See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

November 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Hurra  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Charles Trowbridge. See more »


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 »


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


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

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User Reviews

Delightful film.
28 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I believe that I have watched "The Last Hurrah" six or eight times. It is not history. It is John Ford. Well, ... there's a bit of political, social and cultural history in this film and in the novel by Edwin O'Connor. It is a commentary, from Ford's point of view and with the customary Ford schmaltz, on big city politics in the first half of the 20th Century. Although the film never mentions the locale, it is Boston. The novelist, O'Connor, a New Englander from Rhode Island, admitted that the Frank Skeffington character was based roughly on James Michael Curley, who served as mayor of Boston four different times and as governor or Massachusetts and as a Congressman from Massachusetts. Curley wrote his autobiography in 1957, a year after O'Connor published his novel.

Ford uses many of the stock company actors which he regularly used in the 1950s and '60s. But Spencer Tracy is splendid as Skeffington. When I later read the novel, I thought of Tracy as Skeffington and I constantly heard the harp music theme used in the film in my mind. "Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. How do you thank a man for a million laughs?"

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