6.2/10
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38 user 35 critic

Last Embrace (1979)

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

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jacqueline Brookes ...
Dr. Coopersmith
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Rabbi Josh Drexel
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Bernie Meckler
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Tour Guide (as Gary Getzman)
Lou Gilbert ...
Rabbi Jacobs
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Sandy McLeod ...
Dorothy Hannan
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Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It begins with an ancient warning. It ends at the edge of Niagara Falls. In between there are 5 murders. Solve the mystery. Or die trying. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det sjette offer  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,537,125
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's director Jonathan Demme described the film as "a dark romance". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sam Urdell: [to Harry when part of the old facade of the building is crow-barred off] This was the prime whorehouse of the East Side. A moment of reverence, please: fifty years ago, this was the very place I lost my cherry.
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Connections

References Saboteur (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

The Forties
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Arranged by Joe Reisman
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User Reviews

 
Niagara Falls
4 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

Having watched an interesting documentary recently, "Dial H for Hitchcock", it's clear to see how Jonathan Demme was influenced by the master himself. His admiration for the master is evident, yet, in spite of everything, Mr. Demme's "Last Embrace" was a surprise nonetheless. "Last Embrace" was one of his first films and it sort of showed the trajectory of Jonathan Demme as a film director would follow. If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading here.

When Harry Hannan's wife is tragically killed, his life begins to unravel. Harry spends some time in a sanatorium trying to get himself together. Unfortunately, whoever wanted him put away is still much in evidence as his presence is felt right at the station where Harry is trying to board the train back home to Manhattan.

Harry is taken aback to find Ellie living in his apartment, something he had no idea was happening. It's only fitting with films of this genre that Harry will fall for the beautiful young woman who apparently seems to be trying to help him solve the puzzle about a cryptic death threat he has received at home.

Harry with the help of Sam Urdell, starts investigating about the meaning of the strange message he got. Urdell's connection within the Jewish community also unravels another conspiracy that Harry knew nothing about. The final episode involves going through the tunnels where visitors must enter in order to see real close the Falls at Niagara. Even before that there's also a great scene involving Harry's former brother-in-law in a tower at Princeton, which kept reminding us of "Vertigo".

Roy Scheider makes an intense Harry. In fact, Mr. Scheider at the time this film was made, was at the height of his career and he clearly shows why he was an excellent actor. The beautiful Janet Margolin plays Ellie, a woman who is too good to be true when we first meet her, but we have no clue as to what she is capable of doing. The great Sam Levene is seen as Sam Urdell, who befriends Harry and is instrumental in getting to the bottom of this mystery. In supporting roles some familiar faces who went to do much better work later. Christopher Walken, Mandy Patinkin, Jacqueline Brookes, Marcia Rodd, Charles Napier, among others are seen in the film.

Jonathan Demme proved he was a talent that would go to bigger and better things even then.


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