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The Last Tycoon (1976)

F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Red Ridingwood
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F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He has the power to make anyone's dream come true... except his own.


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último magnate  »

Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sam Spiegel had wanted Jack Nicholson for the part of Monroe Stahr, but Elia Kazan had opted for Robert De Niro. See more »


Ingrid Boulting's hairstyle changes between the scene with the performing seal and the scene at Monroe's uncompleted beach house. See more »


Monroe: I don't think I have more brains than a writer, I just think that his brains belong to me
See more »


Version of The Last Tycoon (2016) See more »


Mi par d'udire ancora
from "I pescatori di perle"
Music by Georges Bizet
Performed by Beniamino Gigli
[heard during pre-credits sequence]
See more »

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User Reviews

Two Swan Songs in One
24 March 2011 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Filmmaking has always been a business, an industry, and movie companies showed a profit by working under the studio system. The foremost studios kept thousands of people on salary, actors, producers, directors, writers, stunt men, designers, technicians. And they possessed hundreds of theaters across America that played their films and were forever reliant on new ones. MPAA President Will Hays also instituted a Code he named after himself, which adhered to censorship rules and went into effect after government coercion expanded by 1930. However it took awhile for the code to be imposed, after the Legion of Decency threatened a boycott of picture shows if it didn't go into effect, and those that didn't get a seal of approval had to pay a $25,000 fine and could not make money in the theaters, as the MPAA owned every theater in the country through the Big Five.

Enemies of organizing---in the case of The Last Tycoon the labor union of the Writers' Guild---largely in administration and big business, did and will frequently disseminate horror stories about plant closures and vindictive firings to hinder union action and uptake among the workers.

This masterfully lateral succession of dramatic character-driven events in an intriguing time and place features a kind of hero, Monroe Stahr, a character thick with overtones of Irving Thalberg, MGM production chief between the late '20s and 30s. The backdrop is Golden Age Hollywood, when studios churned out 30 to 40 productions a year and every backlot could at the same time control pictures set in New York, Africa, the South Pole and Montmartre. The film's setting has a marked tie to stories of Hollywood in the era, over and above to Fitzgerald's own life and career. Thalberg, a wunderkind until his death at 37, was revered within and outside Hollywood, as he seemed capable of discovering successful material ceaselessly. Seeing in his mind's eye how much a particular sort of picture would total, which then told him how much could be gainfully spent on it. Stahr, played with restrained enthusiasm by Robert De Niro, whose sinewy, swarthy looks look like an admiration of Thalberg's, has the same mysterious talent, but ultimately becomes a victim of the "new" Hollywood of shareholders that Fitzgerald could see forthcoming. Thalberg died before being engulfed by loss, while in the film, Stahr doesn't.

The theme of uncompleted aspirations and the unrequited love of the youthful and gorgeous in Hollywood, personified by the beach house, have huge importance for both the novelist and director at the end of their astounding careers.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
I don't see what's so bad about The Last Tycoon? IngmarTheBergman
a very underrated film karl-bourseguin
This movie is weak swinginglowbeatmaster
De Niro and Nicholson--Only Film Together? chuckfrench
The Review on the Front Page awfootball34
Nor I, you... texas_phil
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