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The Last Detail (1973)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  February 1974 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 14,816 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 41 critic

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Last Detail (1973)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Otis Young ...
Mulhall
...
Meadows
...
M.A.A.
...
Young Whore
...
Marine O.D.
...
Donna
Kathleen Miller ...
Annette
...
Nancy
Gerry Salsberg ...
Henry
Don McGovern ...
Bartender (as Don McGovern)
Pat Hamilton ...
Madame
Michael Chapman ...
Taxi Driver
Jim Henshaw ...
Sweek
...
Nichiren Shoshu Member
Edit

Storyline

Two bawdy, tough looking navy lifers - "Bad-Ass" Buddusky, and "Mule" Mulhall - are commissioned to escort a young pilferer named Meadows to the brig in Portsmouth. Meadows is not much of a thief. Indeed, in his late teens, he is not much of a man at all. His great crime was to try to steal forty dollars from the admiral's wife's pet charity. For this, he's been sentenced to eight years behind bars. At first, Buddusky and Mulhall view the journey as a paid vacation, but their holiday spirits are quickly depressed by the prisoner, who looks prepared to break into tears at any moment. And he has the lowest self-image imaginable. Buddusky gets it into his head to give Meadows a good time and teach him a bit about getting on in the world. Lesson one: Don't take every card life deals you. Next, he teaches Meadows to drink, and, as a coup de grace, finds a nice young whore to instruct him in lovemaking. Mule, who worries aloud about his own position with military authority, seems pleased ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No *#@!!* Navy's going to give some poor **!!@* kid eight years in the #@!* brig without me taking him out for the time of his *#@!!* life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Kommando  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nicholson turned down the role of Johnny Hooker in The Sting (1973) (ultimately played by Robert Redford), to appear in this film, which was written by his good friend Robert Towne. Nicholson thought that The Sting was too commercial. Both he and Redford were nominated as Best Actor of 1973 at the Academy Awards, losing out to 'Jack Lemmon' in Save the Tiger (1973). See more »

Goofs

Badass & Mule take off their SP bands and white utility belts before brawling with the Marines in Penn Station NYC, and afterwards run off without them. Much later when leaving the Boston Hotel, they're wearing them again. See more »

Quotes

Meadows: After... after... well maybe it was an act for her. I mean I know she was a whore. But I think she liked me.
Buddusky: They got feelings just like everybody else, kid; she probably did.
Meadows: Well, it was real for me. That's what counts.
See more »

Connections

Features Castle Keep (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Let The Left Hand Know
by Jack Goga
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User Reviews

 
Beautifully Crafted Piece of Character
17 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nicholson's "Bad Ass" is a beautifully crafted piece of character. He cusses. He fights. He drinks. He's loud. No one else speaks Robert Towne's words better than Nicholson. In this film he overwhelms at every turn. In the bar scene, he shows brute anger and a desire for dominance. The scenes with a young Nancy Allen are delightfully witty because of Nicholson's schoolboy antics of getting a woman into bed.

It is the scenes with Randy Quaid (also wonderful) where Nicholson shines brightest. "Bad Ass" represents a paternal figure lacking in Meadows' life. He makes him a man by demanding he send back a hamburger if it's not cooked the way he likes it. He demands Meadows to stop crying and be a man. He demands Meadows to stand up for himself and fight when someone pushes his buttons. He demands Meadows to want to have sex, like other men his age. Nicholson's father figure image here is played off perfectly as Meadows sort of imitates things "Bad Ass" does. If Bad Ass has a beer, Meadows has a beer. If Bad Ass wants a woman, Meadows wants a woman. There's a secret trust between the two. It's unspoken, but it's there. That trust is broken in the end when Meadows tries to escape. It wasn't all a lie, Meadows just felt that it was time to stop learning and start moving.


18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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