When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
John Smith is an amoral gunslinger in the days of Prohibition. On the lam from his latest (unspecified) exploits, he happens upon the town of Jericho, Texas. Actually, calling Jericho a town would be too generous--it has become more like a ghost town, since two warring gangs have 'driven off all the decent folk.' Smith sees this as an opportunity to play both sides off against each other, earning himself a nice piece of change as a hired gun. Despite his strictly avowed mercenary intentions, he finds himself risking his life for his, albeit skewed, sense of honor.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Elmer Bernstein was originally hired to compose the music but he was fired by director Walter Hill, after writing half of the score, on the basis that it wasn't what he was looking for. See more »
At the very beginning of the movie there is a shot of Smith driving towards town and there is nothing but desert. In the next scene we see power poles following the road into town. See more »
It's a funny thing. No matter how low you sink there's still a right and wrong. You always end up choosing. You go one way so you can try to live with yourself. You go the other, you'd still be walkin' around, but you're dead and you don't even know it.
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This movie is a Gangster remake of Clint East Wood's A Fistful of Dollars which is a Western remake of Yojimbo which is a samurai adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's The Red Harvest. When adapting the first time Akira Kurosawa changed the amount of gangs involved from 4 to 2. Every version since then has had only 2. The Continental Op, The Man With No Name, Mifune's Samurai, and Bruce Willis's John Smith. All Nameless. All working all sides to their own end.
As this is the only gangster version of this story, I like this movie very much, though I would like to see a more accurate version of the Red Harvest. When deciding who should play the Continental Op, none come to mind more than Bruce Willis, which of course brings me back to liking Last Man Standing. Not as pretty as those that came before, but pretty cool.
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