IMDb > The Last Hurrah (1977) (TV)

The Last Hurrah (1977) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Carroll O'Connor (writer)
Edwin O'Connor (novel)
View company contact information for The Last Hurrah on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1977 (USA) See more »
The longtime head of a powerful political machine is determined to win a fourth election and stay in power... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more »
User Reviews:
Spencer Tracy did it better. See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Carroll O'Connor ... Frank Skeffington

Leslie Ackerman ... Prudy Cass

John Anderson ... Amos Force

Dana Andrews ... Roger Shanley

Robert Brown ... Nat Gardiner

Jack Carter ... Sam Weinberg
Tom Clancy ... Ditto Boland
Brendan Dillon ... John Gorman

Arthur Franz ... Hack Wiles
Alan Hamel ... George Sherrard

Mariette Hartley ... Clare Gardiner

Burgess Meredith ... Cardinal Burke
Stewart Moss ... Winslow

Patrick O'Neal ... Norman Cass

Paul Picerni ... Dr. Mike Santangelo

Patrick Wayne ... Robert 'Bobby' Skeffington

Kitty Winn ... Maeve Skeffington

Mel Stewart ... Herb Ripley
Katharine Bard ... Grace Minihan

Bill Quinn ... Jimmy Minihan

Sandy Kenyon ... Kane

James Sikking ... Monsignor Killian
Arthur Batanides ... Ben Morrow

William 'Billy' Benedict ... Willie Degman

Harry Basch ... Editor

Lane Allan ... Maj. O'Sullivan

George Barrows ... Tomasino
Jack Griffin ... Walsh
Sal Vecchio ... Narone
Paul Napier ... Collins
Ricki Williams ... Elaine
Mike Walden ... TV announcer
Dennis McMullen ... Sgt. Sullivan
Larry McCormick ... Election announcer
Barbara Schillaci ... Ms. Stone
Paul L. Ehrmann ... Restaurant captain (as Paul Laurence)
Elise O'Connor ... Mrs. Cusack

Directed by
Vincent Sherman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Carroll O'Connor  writer
Edwin O'Connor  novel

Produced by
Terry Becker .... executive producer
Franklin R. Levy .... producer
Carroll O'Connor .... executive producer
Mike Wise .... producer
Original Music by
Peter Matz 
Cinematography by
Gerald Perry Finnerman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bernard Balmuth 
Les Green 
Casting by
Sally Powers 
Art Direction by
Ross Bellah 
Robert Purcell 
Set Decoration by
John H. Anderson 
Audrey A. Blasdel 
Costume Design by
Grady Hunt 
Makeup Department
Ben Lane .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Ray DeCamp .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray DeCamp .... assistant director
Art Department
Irving Goldfarb .... property master
Sound Department
Lee Chaney .... sound editor
Doug Grindstaff .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Bergdahl .... camera operator
Don Cady .... gaffer
John Englert .... key grip
Casting Department
Al Onorato .... casting supervisor
Location Management
Louis H. Goldstein .... location coordinator
Music Department
Sam E. Levin .... music editor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Last Hurrah (#27.1)" - USA (anthology series)
See more »
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Edited into "Hallmark Hall of Fame" (1951)See more »


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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Spencer Tracy did it better., 19 February 2005
Author: F Gwynplaine MacIntyre from Minffordd, North Wales

'The Last Hurrah' was originally a best-selling novel by Edwin O'Connor ... who is not (to my knowledge) related to actor Carroll O'Connor, but their common surname may have drawn Carroll O'Connor to this material. Edwin O'Connor's novel is a very thinly disguised account of the shenanigans of James Curley, the mayor of Boston who was openly dishonest, but who got away with his graft because the Boston working-class people (most especially the Irish of the South Side) got a taste of the gravy. Mayor Curley went to prison during his mayoralty, actually standing for re-election from his prison cell! 'The Last Hurrah' was a memorable film, starring Spencer Tracy and directed by John Ford ... with much of that director's usual Irish blarney. Tracy gives a solid and reliable performance, and Ford makes only a few missteps. (For one thing, it seems unlikely that a candidate named Skeffington would win the Irish vote against a rival named Hennessey.)

The TV version of 'The Last Hurrah' is an example of something that was fairly common on American television before VCRs became available: a video remake of a classic film that isn't readily available. Now that the Spencer Tracy film is available at Blockbuster, there's no need for anyone to seek out this video version ... which in every way (except one) is inferior to the movie version.

The actor Carroll O'Connor has never impressed me. I've never seen him give a truly convincing performance, and he has given some howlingly bad ones. (Such as a guest shot on 'The Outer Limits'.) Archie Bunker broke new ground in television, but for reasons that had little to do with O'Connor's performance in the role. No matter what role O'Connor plays, I'm always aware of him as an actor speaking dialogue. He never disappears into a role ... least of all when he wore his pinkie rings on-camera while playing Archie Bunker, probably the last man on Earth who would wear pinkie rings.

O'Connor is no better here as Frank Skeffington, the genially corrupt Irish-American mayor of an unnamed New England city, who is hoping to get re-elected one last time before his health fails. The script has too much talk and too little action. We're meant to admire Skeffington as a lovable rogue who knows how to play the system, but as O'Connor portrays him he's just a cheap crook.

On the plus side, there are some welcome supporting performances from several splendid character actors ... notably Burgess Meredith, John Anderson, Arthur Batanides and the very memorable Sandy Kenyon: a distinctively gaunt man who had the most prominent cheekbones I've ever seen on any male actor this side of Frank Lackteen. As good as they are, none of this veteran cast quite manage to surpass their counterparts in John Ford's film.

The only way in which this telefilm surpasses its predecessor is in the casting of Ditto Boland, the dog-like political stooge who is intensely loyal to Skeffington. In John Ford's film, Ditto was played by Edward Brophy, one of my favourite character actors. But Brophy usually played befuddled men of limited intelligence: in 'The Last Hurrah', Brophy played Ditto as a man who was so brainless that I seriously wondered if this character was meant to be a mental retardate. A very rare bad performance from this wonderful actor. In the television remake, folksinger Tom Clancy gives a much more subtle and realistic performance in the role. His scenes in this telefilm -- especially at Skeffington's deathbed -- are worth watching.

Now that DVDs are here, skip this TV remake and view the Spencer Tracy movie. I'll rate this TV version only 4 out of 10.

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