7.6/10
18,192
125 user 59 critic

The Last Detail (1973)

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)

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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:
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Donna
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Annette
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Nancy
Gerry Salsberg ...
Henry
Don McGovern ...
Bartender
Pat Hamilton ...
Madame
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Jim Henshaw ...
Sweek
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Nichiren Shoshu Member
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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:

What's "The Last Detail"? 300 beers and a barrel of laughs! (re-release) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último deber  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,000,000, 31 December 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

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

In 2017, Richard Linklater announced a sequel "Last Flag Flying" which would have Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, and Steve Carell playing the parts previously done by Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, and Randy Quaid. See more »

Goofs

Many of the actors playing Marines wear their hair too long. Additionaly, many sport sideburns. According to Marine Corps grooming regulations, sideburns will not extend below the top of the orifice of the ear. See more »

Quotes

Buddusky: Welcome to the wonderful world of pussy, kid.
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Connections

Referenced in Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Music by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
Played often in the score
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User Reviews

A masterfully written and directed film
20 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

I read somebody's comment that this film isn't "deep." I think that viewer missed a whole layer of the story. you have to keep in mind that this was written and produced during the vietnam war and released during the early months of Watergate.

The story is about these two working class sailors, who are completely disenfranchised, just "doing their job." They're good guys but in the end, don't lift a finger to stop a massive injustice. They don't even take the time to think about it, because they feel there's nothing they can do about it. They pay lip services to how wrong things are about the situation, but in the end they do what "the man" says and they're just as much to blame for the problem as the commanding officers above them.

Through the course of the film, the sailors meet a lot of "chatting class" folks who are mad at Nixon and discussing politics, and they meet Hari Krishnas who are chanting to change things, but nobody is really taking any ACTION. Everyone is pissed off at the injustice of the world but nobody does anything about it. It's about inaction. And that inaction slowly boils up in the main characters and turns into anger that brings the film to a sad end. (It's one of those great stories that gets you pissed off at the injustice in the world...)

Having said all that, on a more tangible level, the performances and scripting are full of emotion and Nicholson's and Quaid's performance are amazing and hilarious to watch. But this isn't really a comedy in the end...more tragic really (with some good laughs along the way).

Check it out!


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