IMDb > The Last Detail (1973)
The Last Detail
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The Last Detail (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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The Last Detail -- Jack Nicholson stars as a Navy Chaser who decides to show his callow young prisoner (Randy Quaid) one last good time before delivering him to the brig. Screenplay by Robert Towne (Chinatown).
The Last Detail -- Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   15,514 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Robert Towne (screenplay)
Darryl Ponicsan (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Last Detail on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 February 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
What's "The Last Detail"? 300 beers and a barrel of laughs! (re-release) See more »
Plot:
Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(117 articles)
User Reviews:
The Real Deal, Ship-Over Music and All See more (111 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nicholson ... Buddusky
Otis Young ... Mulhall

Randy Quaid ... Meadows

Clifton James ... M.A.A.

Carol Kane ... Young Whore

Michael Moriarty ... Marine O.D.

Luana Anders ... Donna
Kathleen Miller ... Annette

Nancy Allen ... Nancy
Gerry Salsberg ... Henry
Don McGovern ... Bartender (as Don McGovern)
Pat Hamilton ... Madame
Michael Chapman ... Taxi Driver
Jim Henshaw ... Sweek

Derek McGrath ... Nichiren Shoshu Member

Gilda Radner ... Nichiren Shoshu Member
Jim Horn ... Nichiren Shoshu Member
John Castellano ... Nichiren Shoshu Member
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Hal Ashby ... Bearded Man at Bar in Darts Scene (uncredited)
Gerald Ayres ... Skater at Ice Rink (uncredited)
Henry Calvert ... Pawnbroker (uncredited)
Peter Foldy ... Hippie at Train Station (uncredited)
Donald Warnock ... Combat Zone Patron (uncredited)

Directed by
Hal Ashby 
 
Writing credits
Robert Towne (screenplay)

Darryl Ponicsan (novel "The Last Detail")

Produced by
Gerald Ayres .... producer
Charles Mulvehill .... associate producer
Joel Chernoff .... co-producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Johnny Mandel 
 
Cinematography by
Michael Chapman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert C. Jones (film editor)
Ken Zemke (uncredited)
 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Sylvia Fay (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Michael D. Haller  (as Michael Haller)
 
Costume Design by
Theodore R. Parvin (costumes) (as Ted Parvin)
 
Makeup Department
Maureen Sweeney .... makeup
 
Production Management
Daniel McCauley .... unit production manager (as Dan McCauley)
Marvin Miller .... unit production manager
Phillip M. Goldfarb .... unit manager: New York (uncredited)
Larry Kostroff .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alan Hopkins .... second assistant director (as Al Hopkins)
Wesley J. McAfee .... assistant director (as Wes McAfee)
Gordon Robinson .... second assistant director
Samuel C. Jephcott .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
George Dunkel .... scenic
Sidney H. Greenwood .... properties (as Sid Greenwood)
Benjamin Duffy .... laborer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Tom Overton .... sound
Richard Portman .... re-recordist
Joe Kenworthy .... sound (uncredited)
Sharron Miller .... sound editor (uncredited)
Karl Scherer .... sound mixer standby (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Beer .... generator operator (uncredited)
Anthony Bliss .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Michel Bénard .... camera operator (uncredited)
Richard Falk .... electrician (uncredited)
Glen Goodchild .... second grip (uncredited)
David Kelly .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Charles Moore .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bill Reinhart .... grip (uncredited)
Tibor Sands .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Robert M. Volpe .... grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Karen Hazzard .... casting: Canada (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joyce Liggett .... costumes (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Robert Barrere .... assistant film editor
Pieter Bergema .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
George Brand .... music editor
Dan Wallin .... score mixer (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Gary Flanagan .... driver (uncredited)
Bob Holburn .... driver (uncredited)
Jim Kennedy .... driver (uncredited)
Wayne Thurston .... driver (uncredited)
Rick Young .... driver captain (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Bob Forrest .... script supervisor
Nicholas Kudla III .... assistant to the producer (as Nicholas Kudla II)
Velda Reimer .... production secretary
Sheila Woodland .... production secretary
Bruce Bahrenburg .... publicist (uncredited)
Elinor Bolton .... script supervisor standby (uncredited)
Lillian Borden .... production secretary (uncredited)
Samuel C. Jephcott .... production assistant: Toronto (uncredited)
Fiona Mitchell .... publicist (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
104 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 (original rating) | Argentina:16 (re-rating) | Australia:R | Canada:R | Canada:14A (TV rating) | Finland:K-16 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:16 | Netherlands:12 (re-rating) (2002) | New Zealand:R18 (original rating) | New Zealand:R16 (re-rating) (1988) | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Singapore:M18 (cut) | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
When the film failed at the box office, the studio re-released it, marketing it as a hilarious comedy with the tagline "What's 'The Last Detail'? 300 beers and a barrel of laughs!"See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: An exterior shot of the their train traveling eastbound from New York to Boston in actuality is passing a water tower in Secaucus, New Jersey which is west of New York and not en route.See more »
Quotes:
Buddusky:Take it easy, Meadows, you're makin' Mulhouse hungry.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Columbia, the Gem of the OceanSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
The Real Deal, Ship-Over Music and All, 30 April 2003
Author: Piafredux from United States

Though the film's storyline diverges from the more existential theme of the Darryl Ponicsan novel from which it was adapted, 'The Last Detail' was, is, and remains the only real deal film about navy enlisted men. Hollywood never did sailors so well as it does them here.

If you don't care for testosterone-impelled behavior, parochial esprit de corps, scatology, and profanity - well, never mind: the dialogue here is true-to-life sailorese, and the hi- and low-jinks antics are too. If you can't take the heat, get the hell out of the galley.

Gritty cinematography of the earthy, low-rent world of enlisted sailors (for example, watching the "decent peoples' world" pass by the filth-streaked windows of a worn, smelly railway car) communicates much of the characters' experience of life in the margins and their ethos and how they came by them. The Johnny Mandel score is often oddly, and too-cheerfully irrelevant, though one suspects its breezy take on nautical marches and ditties was meant to be satirical; but it's often discordant with the serious themes - 'the individual versus society', existential choice and haplessness - of 'The Last Detail'.

In a role that could have been tailor-made for him Jack Nicholson's acting is perhaps the best of his career - a superior foreshadowing of his later turn in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. But without Otis Young as his fellow seasoned petty officer and Randy Quaid as the naive young, brig-bound seaman, Nicholson's tour de force would have fallen as flat as a flathat (for all you landlubbers: the navy blue "Donald Duck" US NAVY-ribbon bound winter sailors' hats, which sailors hated intensely, that were abolished in the early 60's).

Politically correct left-leaning folks should discover in Gunners Mate 1st Class "Mule" Mulhall a perfect example of an African American professional sailor: serious yet fun-loving; jocular but no-nonsense; competent and quietly self-assured: in short, a sailor among sailors, a man among men. I know because I served, and when the chips were up or down no sailor cared about color, and each of us cared only that he or she could rely, or not, on our shipmates. Though it has its arcane rules, written and unwritten, the naval service is remarkably egalitarian in opportunity - and it is so without all the hue and cry of civilian "social consciousness".

Though it's a marvel of a film, 'The Last Detail' could not cram into its running time all the humor and pathos of the eponymous, tough-tender Ponicsan novel (in which petty officer Mulhall's character looms quite a bit larger than he does in the movie, and Billy Buddusky's reflexive resorting to signalling with his Signalman's semaphoring hands spells out apt clues to his worldview); and the novel (which, incidentally, I read while on active duty, before the film had been made) turns out with a dramatically different ending - with a true denouement absent from the screenplay's conclusion that left me wanting, and which is the film's only grave, if quibbling, flaw. But the screenplay incorporates characters, scenes (Carol Kane as the careworn young whore providing Quaid's Seaman Meadows his first experience of coupling), and dialogue that might also have helped the novel to better flesh out and plumb the characters and their experience. Small matter, really: the book and the film contrast and complement each other perfectly.

Anyone considering enlistment should see 'The Last Detail' because it tells enlisted sailors' life like it is. If you can take life like it is, with or without the occasional fix ('An Officer and a Gentleman' anyone?) of kitschy, unrealizable romantic fantasy, then 'The Last Detail' is your meat.

The Real Deal. Chow Call, Chow Call - All hands lay to the messdeck! Take all you want - Eat all you take. Down to 'The Last Detail'.

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