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Last Man Standing (1996)

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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

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Ted Markland ...
Deputy Bob
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Wanda
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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:

There are two sides to every war. And John Smith is on both of them. 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:

$7,010,331 (USA) (20 September 1996)

Gross:

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

Walter Hill later said that he and Bruce Willis "were not close when we did the film" but "I liked working with him. It was impersonal. Classic, 'I know what you mean. You want me to be a Bogart, Mitchum kind of guy' and I said 'Exactly. Let it happen.' He then took that and gave what I thought was a very good performance. I always sensed there was a kind of core resentment that Bruce felt he should be more appreciated for his talents. At the same time I think there is a limitation, that he does certain things better than others, and he hasn't always chosen so wisely." See more »

Goofs

When Jacko slams the double doors shut on the room where the captured and beaten John Smith is being held the locks are visible on the John Smith side of the doors. Later the locks are shown, properly, on the opposite side. 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.
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Connections

References A Fistful of Dollars (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

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


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