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The Last American Hero (1973)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 27 July 1973 (USA)
A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south has ever seen.

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Writers:

(articles),
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Marge
...
Mrs. Jackson
...
Hackel
...
Wayne Jackson
Art Lund ...
...
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)
...
Rick Penny
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Instead of a white stallion, he rode a full race, powder blue stocker. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fictionalized version of Junior Johnson's career as a driver and moonshiner. See more »

Quotes

Burton Colt: How you've changed. Last time I saw you, you were gonna whip my ass with whatever it by-god takes. Now you want a job.
Elroy Jackson Jr.: [about Colt's racing trophy] Two questions: how long's it been since you won that thing, and do you want more?
Burton Colt: Your manners haven't changed.
Elroy Jackson Jr.: I don't want no job, neither. I work for nothin', take fifty percent of the prize money.
Burton Colt: To begin with, I hire drivers on *my* terms.
Elroy Jackson Jr.: And end up nowhere.
Burton Colt: Where do you get off being so goddamn snotty?
Elroy Jackson Jr.: I know my potential. So do you.
Burton Colt: One race...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got A Name
Sung by Jim Croce
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Music by Charles Fox
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User Reviews

Exciting ride with thrills and spills just ahead of characters and plot
16 August 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Jeff Bridges' combination of redneck roughness and choirboy sweetness is just right for this 1973 tale of a poor Southern boy, Junior Jackson, making good on the car racing track. The movie is based on Tom Wolfe's articles about the famous stock car racer, Junior Johnson, whom Wolfe dubbed "The Last American Hero". Cinematic Junior, like the real one, learns how to drive hard and fast while running the moonshine whiskey made by his father. The movie covers the first year or so of his career, from when he takes up racing to raise money while his father is in jail, until his first big win.

The movie celebrates individuality and competitiveness, but despite all his skill, guts and cheek, even Junior can't make it by himself. Real success comes only after he gives up his independent status, and agrees to drive for a car-maker (Ed Lauter). Also in support are his family, with Art Lund and Gary Busey excellent as his father and brother; and a stock car groupie (Valerie Perrine) who retains a soft spot for him, whoever else she's currently sleeping with. However, for many viewers, the main interest of the film will lie less in its plot, characterisations, or "right stuff" message, than in the atmosphere and thrills of the races which the movie graphically captures.


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