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Last Man Standing (1996)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 39,111 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 52 critic

A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

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Title: Last Man Standing (1996)

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Cast

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Ted Markland ...
Deputy Bob
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Luis Contreras ...
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you lived in this town, you'd be dead by now. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gundown  »

Box Office

Budget:

$67,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 462,620,000 (Italy) (15 November 1996)

Gross:

$18,127,448 (USA) (20 December 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie, like A Fistful of Dollars (1964), is a retelling of the story in Yojimbo (1961), which is itself based on Dashiell Hammett's 1927 novel "Red Harvest". See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, after ordering a whiskey, John Smith (Bruce Willis) is eating from a bowl. The bowl was not visible before hand on the bar, and Joe Monday (William Sanderson) did not fill a bowl from the stove behind the bar. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Smith: 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.
See more »

Connections

Remake of Yojimbo (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Fiesta Yaqui
Performed by Kashwa-Nacza
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User Reviews

 
Unfairly trashed actioner from a master director
17 August 2005 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Plot summary: In a prohibition era update of Yojimbo, Bruce Willis shoots a load of gangsters.

First off I will never understand why Walter Hill does not have a better reputation. He's probably best known for his commercial success with the 48 Hrs films, and his other brilliant features get criminally overlooked. He scored a cult hit with "The Warriors", he delivered one of the best westerns ever with "The Long Riders", and put all other car chase movies to shame with the ultra cool "The Driver." As anyone who has seen these films should realise, Hill should be mentioned in the same breath as Peckinpah, Woo and Rodriguez when it comes to slow-mo gunplay.

"Last Man Standing" doesn't rival these earlier works, but it is a tough, gritty film with some fantastic shootouts. It doesn't hold itself back in terms of blood and violence, something current US films of the genre are guilty of doing. It has everything an action film needs; tough antihero, loath able bad guys, a creepy main villain and plenty of cannon fodder. As long as you don't get hung up on technicalities (ie the guns fire ten times more ammo than they hold) you should be entertained.

It doesn't feel like any effort went into the screenplay, but Hill adds some nice touches to the film in terms of nods towards the source material. I particularly like the opening where Bruce spins his empty whisky bottle on the ground to decide which road to take; a clear reference to Toshiro Mifune throwing a stick into the air to decide on his path. There is also an interesting cast; there's earlier Hill collaborator Bruce Dern (The memorable villain from The Driver), William Sanderson (Blade Runner) and of course Christopher Walken, who chews the scenery talking tough with his hoarse accent and threatening people with a Tommy gun. His performance is really the most memorable thing about the film. Willis is not Mifune or Eastwood, but he does suit the mysterious drifter character well and this is one of his better action man roles.

All things said, the film certainly doesn't come close to "Yojimbo", but it does give the more rough hewn "Fistful of Dollars" a run for its money. By no means a masterpiece, "Last Man Standing" should still provide enough for any action fans tired of watered down mainstream Hollywood nonsense that currently dilutes cinemas. It is certainly a lot better than its reputation makes out.


65 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is it so expensive? seren775
Barring John Smith, who is your favorite character from the movie? jasperparker
Bruce Willis HAIRCUT?? humberto_hm43
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