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The Last American Hero (1973)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  27 July 1973 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 926 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 15 critic

A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south had ever seen.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Elroy Jackson Jr.
...
Marge
...
Mrs. Jackson
...
Hackel
...
Art Lund ...
Elroy Jackson Sr.
...
Burton Colt
...
Kyle Kingman (as William Smith II)
...
Cleve Morley
...
Lamar
...
Davie Baer (as Ernie Orsatti)
Erica Hagen ...
Trina Kingman
Jimmy Murphy ...
Spud (as James Murphy)
Lane Smith ...
Rick Penny
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Storyline

A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south had ever seen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It took him 20 years to find out who he was and 2 laps to let the world know.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 July 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Driver  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie depicts Junior's father as being arrested for producing moonshine. In reality, it was Junior himself that was arrested and sentenced. In 1956, federal tax agents found Johnson working at his father's moonshine still in Wilkes County; they arrested him. Many local residents believed the raid was done in revenge for the agent's inability to catch Johnson delivering moonshine on local highways; this is depicted in the movie when we see the local law enforcement busting up his father's still. Junior Johnson was convicted of moon-shining and was sent to prison in Chillicothe, Ohio. He served 11 months of a two-year sentence. See more »

Quotes

Rick Penny, Driver: [after an argument with Colt] Six test runs in one afternoon, chewin' on my ass every minute of the way.
Elroy Jackson Jr.: That's a real nut crusher.
Rick Penny, Driver: Hey, man, let me lay something on you. Wait'll you drive for somebody who ain't won a race in ten months.
Elroy Jackson Jr.: I don't see a gun at your head.
Rick Penny, Driver: Oh yeah? What's that supposed to mean?
Elroy Jackson Jr.: You don't feel like takin' orders, drive for yourself.
Rick Penny, Driver: Boy, I never saw it fail. Nobody knows more than a rookie.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got A Name
Sung by Jim Croce
Written by Charles Fox & Norman Gimbel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Bridges performance
24 June 2005 | by (Farmington Hills, MI) – See all my reviews

Very good acting performance by Jeff Bridges. He hit just the right note as the naive, in-over-his-head, but determined and aggressive stock car driver, Junior Jackson.

His performance as a young country kid, trying to break into the big time, with small-time resources, is memorable.

Valerie Perrine is equally good as Marge, the man-starved woman who takes a liking to Junior. She senses he's someone who may be on the way up, while her current beau, successful driver Kyle Kingman, is probably on the way down. To hedge her bets, she makes sure to warm both their beds, to ensure she will be with the guy in the winners circle.

The movie looks, feels and sounds woefully dated, and the production and direction leave something to be desired. There are decent stars in this movie, but it looks like it was made on a shoe-string budget.

Bridges, Perrine, William Smith (as Kingman) and Ed Lauter (as Burton Colt, Junior's car owner) make this work with excellent performances.

A simply made movie, with outstanding characters.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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