IMDb > The Last American Hero (1973)
The Last American Hero
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The Last American Hero (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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The Last American Hero -- A North Carolina moonshiner becomes a professional stock-car racer to raise money to free his jailed father. Based on Tom Wolfe's profile of Junior Johnson.


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6.3/10   1,048 votes »
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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Tom Wolfe (articles)
William Roberts (written by)
View company contact information for The Last American Hero on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 July 1973 (USA) See more »
It took him 20 years to find out who he was and 2 laps to let the world know.
A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south has ever seen. | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Americana at its best and most nostalgic See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jeff Bridges ... Elroy Jackson Jr.

Valerie Perrine ... Marge

Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Mrs. Jackson

Ned Beatty ... Hackel

Gary Busey ... Wayne Jackson
Art Lund ... Elroy Jackson Sr.

Ed Lauter ... Burton Colt

William Smith ... Kyle Kingman (as William Smith II)

Gregory Walcott ... Cleve Morley

Tom Ligon ... Lamar

Ernie F. Orsatti ... Davie Baer (as Ernie Orsatti)
Erica Hagen ... Trina Kingman
Jimmy Murphy ... Spud (as James Murphy)

Lane Smith ... Rick Penny
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Garland Atkins ... TV Reporter (uncredited)
John Samuel Brawley ... Joe Casper (uncredited)
Bob Cole ... Marshall Collins (uncredited)
Louis Compton ... Track Announcer - Martinsville (uncredited)
Bill Connell ... Tiny (uncredited)
Ted Duncan ... ATF Agent (uncredited)
Paul Holman ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Lamont Johnson ... Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Bridget Furr Jones ... Baby Girl with Junior Jackson at Speedway (uncredited)
Leslie McConnell ... Merle (uncredited)
Laurens Moore ... Wendel Terman (uncredited)

Mike Muscat ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Darlene Parker ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Lamont Johnson 
Writing credits
Tom Wolfe (articles)

William Roberts (written by)

Bill Kerby  additional writer (uncredited)

Produced by
John Cutts .... producer
William Roberts .... producer
Joe Wizan .... executive producer
Original Music by
Charles Fox 
Cinematography by
George Silano 
Film Editing by
Robbe Roberts 
Tom Rolf 
Casting by
Marion Dougherty 
Joyce Selznick 
Art Direction by
Lawrence G. Paull  (as Larry Paull)
Set Decoration by
James L. Berkey  (as James Berkey)
Makeup Department
John Alese .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Colleen Callaghan .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Colleen Callaghan .... key hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
John W. Rogers .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frederic W. Brost .... assistant director (as Fred Brost)
Barry Stern .... assistant director
Jerry Grandey .... assistant director trainee (uncredited)
Art Department
Russell Goble .... property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bud Alper .... sound mixer
Don J. Bassman .... sound re-recording mixer (as Don Bassman)
Gene Ashbrook .... boom operator (uncredited)
Jerry Whittington .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Everett Creach .... stunt coordinator
Ted Duncan .... stunts (uncredited)
Greg Walker .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Brooker .... key grip (as Art Brooker)
George Holmes .... gaffer
Louis Goldman .... still photographer (uncredited)
Ronald M. Lautore .... camera operator (uncredited)
Steve Pellant .... chief electrician (uncredited)
Don Shapiro .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Alan Levine .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Tom Rolf .... supervising editor
Transportation Department
James Thornsberry .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Junior Johnson .... consultant
Junior Johnson .... technical advisor
Ray Quiroz .... script supervisor
Tom Miller .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Jerry Whittington .... location projectionist: dailies (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hard Driver" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
95 min | 91 min (FMC Library Print)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1974) | Sweden:15 | USA:PG

Did You Know?

Director Lamont Johnson played the motel desk clerk who discounts Junior's room.See more »
TV Reporter:How do you see your chances, Kyle?
Kyle Kingman, Driver:You don't think I got the gall to answer a question like that, do ya, in front of famous drivers like Tex Zimmerman, Rick Penny, Davie Baer? So why don't we wait 'til this race is over and the best man's won and I'm standing there kissing the trophy girl? Then you ask me that.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Django Unchained (2012)See more »
I Got A NameSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Americana at its best and most nostalgic, 29 March 2002
Author: Jeff Hill ( from Sapporo, Japan

Why is it that the only people commenting on "Last American Hero" do not live in America? Even when the film was first released in 1973, the panoramic view of Jeff Bridges' fast moving car swirling up the autumn leaves of the American wooded hills accented by Jim Croce's engrossing song of "I've Got a Name" gave "Last American Hero" an overwhelming nostalgic and "American" feel, at least to those of us who saw it in theaters overseas. And for both sheer physical appearance and charisma of the human personification of "American", nothing could beat Jeff Bridges and Valerie Perrine, especially when they stood out against the secondary American characters played by Gary Busey, Ned Beatty, and William Smith. For me one of the most inspiring piece of movie banter of all time is presented in the film when Jeff Bridges as Elroy meets his father in jail and in reference to Elroy's somewhat whiny note of "What are we going to do now?", the father angrily yells at him, "What's your name?!" "Elroy Jackson Junior!" Jeff Bridges yells back. "You'll find a way," the father responds in a confident, reassuring, American tone.

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