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The Last Detail (1973)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  15 February 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 15,116 users  
Reviews: 110 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.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Otis Young ...
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Don McGovern ...
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Pat Hamilton ...
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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


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 »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Kommando  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The word "fuck" and all permutations of it are said 65 times. This was a record up to that time. See more »


When Meadows is in the office waiting to leave for prison, the camera is focused on his shoes, which are all scuffed, but in later scenes his shoes are shined. See more »


Meadows: If you're Catholic, do you think it's, uh, sacrilegious to chant?
Buddusky: Did it get you laid?
Meadows: No.
Buddusky: Then Meadows, what the fuck do you want to go on chanting for?
Mulhall: Chant your ass off, kid. But any pussy you get in this world, you gonna have to pay for, one way or another.
Buddusky: Hallelujah!
See more »


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by Ron Nagle (as Ron Nagel)
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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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