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Last Man Standing (1996)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 39,693 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 54 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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

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 »

Goofs

In opening scenes we see "Mr. Smith" coming into town and obviously sweating from the south Texas heat. In subsequent scenes we see gang members in wool suits and wool overcoats. 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

Referenced in Lucky Number Slevin (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Torvaldo E Dorliska
Written by Gioachino Rossini
Performed by Swiss-Italian Radio-Television Orchestra and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brutal, masculine entertainment handicapped by one flawed sequence.
21 January 2006 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

This brutal Walter Hill pic has one of the best beatings ever burned to celluloid. It is so brutal, in fact, that the victim (Bruce Willis) looks like Jason from "Friday The 13th" once his attackers get done with him. Even better, he then lurches around like Rondo Hatten in "The Creep Man" plotting his revenge.

The film's final action scene is an awful, indescribable mess, and I have always wondered why Hill and usual editor Freeman Davies opted to construct it this way. It is a shootout presented in a series of dissolves, and it just doesn't work. Hill has always been an adroit director and editor of action, and his fine work has a precision to it that this sequence lacks. Perhaps the camera negatives were damaged or the studio ordered a truncation. Whatever the reasons are for this flawed sequence, it, unfortunately, turns a great movie into a good movie.

The opening sequence, replete with Ry Cooder's smooth scoring, is poetic and beautiful; Willis's arrival in town is directed with skill and energy; and cudos are also in order for the scene in which the first shot is fired and a stuntman is sent flying through a door into the dusty street outside.

Christopher Walken is fantastic as the violent enforcer Hickey, and it is great to see David Patrick Kelly back on the screen as the malicious Doyle.

There are many standout sequences and much to enjoy. Willis's solitary siege of a brothel, for example, is classic Hill stuff in terms of its staging, unapologetic brutality and superb cutting.

That the film is a remake of a remake is of no consequence to me. It is still a rousing, spare piece of masculine entertainment with a whiff of Peckinpah, a dash of Kurosawa, and a splatter of Corbucci.

That ain't no bad thing.


29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is it so expensive? seren775
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