Last Embrace (1979)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  4 May 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,675 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 28 critic

Harry breaks down and loses his job after his wife is assassinated - could it be his turn next ?



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Levene ...
Jacqueline Brookes ...
Andrew Duncan ...
Tour Guide (as Gary Getzman)
Lou Gilbert ...
Rabbi Jacobs
First Commuter
Second Commuter
Sandy McLeod ...
Dorothy Hannan


When his wife is killed in a restaurant shoot-out, intelligence man Harry Hannan (Roy Scheider) has a breakdown and finds that his department doesn't want him back. Someone's trying to kill him and it could be them, though a cryptic Jewish death-threat suggests there's something else going on. His only ally seems to be mousy Ellie Fabian (Janet Margolin) who has managed to move into his New York apartment. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It was his toughest case - and it could kill him! [Australia Video] See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det sjette offer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The quote read out by Rabbi Drexel (David Margulies) from the Hebrew Bible was from Deuteronomy, chapter 19, verse 12. It said: "Then the elders of the city shall send and fetch him thence and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood that he may die". See more »


In the scene in the synagogue, Harry appears to be going through a register book when he finds his grandfather's name. Actually, he's reading a tractate of the Talmud, which is entirely in Aramaica and Hebrew - and he's holding it upside down. See more »


Ellie Fabian: I'm afraid of what'll happen if I stay.
See more »


References Psycho (1960) See more »


Music by Miklós Rózsa (as Miklos Rozsa)
Arranged by Joe Reisman
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly Good,Cultish Hitchcockian Thriller
2 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A very decent effort from director Jonathan Demme before he went on to better things,LAST EMBRACE is inevitably compared to the works of Alfred Hitchcock,with many scenes derivative from many of the master's most famous works(VERTIGO,THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH,STRANGERS ON A TRAIN,etc.),but this is actually an effective suspenser in it's own right,with an intriguing plot,good performances and an exciting finale.Roy Scheider plays a Secret Agent just released from care after suffering a breakdown after his wife was killed in a shootout in a restaurant.After finding a woman(Janet Margolin)who has moved into his flat,he begins to suspect someone is trying to kill him after sinister messages in Amharic keep turning up.

The film would've been more superior with more humour and better pacing,but nevertheless this isn't at all a bad Hitch imitation,with the bird imagery(a motif Hitchcock used frequently in his films)and a fine musical score by Miklos Rozsa(who had himself worked with Hitchcock on SPELLBOUND)adding to the atmosphere.The performances are fine,especially Ms Margolin,an undervalued and lovely actress who never quite made it to the top,making her character quite pitiable despite her actions.Her early death at the age of 50 in 1993 was indeed a sad loss for a film performer who deserved better.

LAST EMBRACE was made shortly before Hitchcock's death in 1980;one wonders did he ever see this film? If so,I think he would have quite enjoyed the homage on view,not great,but fairly respectful and entertaining.

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