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The Last Hurrah (1958)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | November 1958 (USA)
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Frank Skeffington is an old Irish-American political boss, running for re-election as mayor of a U.S. town for the last time.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screen play) (as Frank Nugent), Edwin O'Connor (based upon the novel by)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Mayor Frank Skeffington
Jeffrey Hunter ... Adam Caulfield
Dianne Foster ... Maeve Caulfield
Pat O'Brien ... John Gorman
Basil Rathbone ... Norman Cass, Sr.
Donald Crisp ... Cardinal Martin Burke
James Gleason ... 'Cuke' Gillen
Edward Brophy ... 'Ditto' Boland
John Carradine ... Amos Force
Willis Bouchey ... Roger Sugrue
Basil Ruysdael ... Bishop Gardner
Ricardo Cortez ... Sam Weinberg
Wallace Ford ... Charles J. Hennessey
Frank McHugh ... Festus Garvey
Carleton Young ... Winslow
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Storyline

An aging politician tries to get re-elected one last time in the changing world of the 1950s when TV started to play a bigger part in politics. Based loosely on the career of multi-term Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, this film examines the good and evil inherent in politics and all the things that go into an election. Tracy's uphill battle to stay in office is set against the political machinery that preyed on ethnic hatred and old-time money. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ford's Finest! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Hurra See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In "Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford" by Scott Eyman, Pat O'Brien recalled that Ford "would never talk the part you were playing, he'd just tell you what he wanted. 'I hope you can get it,' he'd say, chewing on that handkerchief he always had. When you failed, he'd say, 'That wasn't what I wanted. Try to get what I wanted. We're going to take another whack at it and it better be good.' And after you finally got it he'd come over and put his arms around you. 'Why the hell didn't you get it in the first place?' he'd say. Ford was the genius of them all. He was an artist drawing a portrait in oil." See more »

Goofs

When Frank Jr. bursts into the bedroom to see his dying Father, the doorknob comes apart and the interior knob falls off. The Doctor immediately follows him into the room, and the doorknob is once again intact. See more »

Quotes

Roger Sugrue: [standing by Skeffington's bed] Well, at least he made his peace with God. There's one thing we all can be sure of - if he had it to do over again, there's no doubt in the world he would do it very, very differently.
Mayor Frank Skeffington: [opening his eyes] Like hell I would.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Ford (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

My Pony Boy
(uncredited)
Written by Bobby Heath and Charley O'Donnell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Somehow, Ford has managed to make a film that is BOTH cynical and sentimental
29 November 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

John Ford's version of the book, THE LAST HURRAH, is a behind the scenes look at one last election campaign for an aging mayor (Skeffington) of a town whose name is never mentioned in the film. In many ways, the film is a bit cynical as it showed the way that politicians wheel and deal and manipulate--but in this case, always for a good cause. While Skeffington is definitely not above using these questionable tactics, at the same time, he is shown as fundamentally decent and very, very sentimental--with a true love for his constituents. This is a very difficult balancing act for the film--combining gritty realism with sentimentality, but it manages to do so.

In many ways, this is highly reminiscent of the real life Ford, as he was by many accounts a highly manipulative son of a,.....well, you know what I was going to say. Yet, at the same time, sentimentality abounds in his films like no other film maker. You can see it here in his liberal use of old and almost forgotten supporting stars--such as Eddie Brophy, Frank McHugh and Jane Darwell.

Overall, the film is very interesting and manipulative (in a good way), as you find yourself pulling for Skeffington and feeling his pain as well--even though he is a fictional character AND a politician! The film is well worth seeing and the film is extremely well-acted and directed.


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