In a New England town, aging Frank Skeffington, descended from poor Irish immigrants, is conducting his fifth and last political campaign for Mayor - he thus far being undefeated - before he serves his last term leading into retirement from politics, he surrounded by his longtime campaign team. Despite his success rate largely from support of the Irish immigrant population in seeing one of their own doing good, Frank does have his detractors, not only the blue bloods of the town, but those that see him operating under an old boys network of doing favors for friends and every one of his actions having a self-serving political motivation. And there are others, including Frank's son, Frank Skeffington, Jr., who couldn't care less about politics, Jr. absorbed with his own fun-loving existence. A microcosm of the political division can be seen by the Caulfield household: non-political Adam Caulfield, a sportswriter for the Morning News newspaper and Frank's nephew, supports his uncle in ...Written by
Orson Welles long claimed (including in "This is Orson Welles," a 1992 book by Peter Bogdanovich) that the real reason he did not do the film was because his agent turned down the role for him while Welles was out of town, claiming that the compensation and/or the billing was not good enough. See more »
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 »
Here is the end of a political career and of an era.
"The Last Hurrah" is about the end of a political career and also the end of an era in American local government. I first saw the film when I was ready to launch a career in public administration, and I didn't like the sympathy Spencer Tracy gave the role of big city boss. Over the subsequent years, I have enjoyed the film more each time. Now, I thoroughly enjoy and am amused by the way Frank Skeffington manipulates the powerful to champion the underdog.
The film is more drama and comedy than history. Yet, men like James Michael Curley, Richard J. Daley, and David L. Lawrence combined ambition for power with a desire to achieve municipal progress as they saw it. They used their understanding of human nature and the ignorance of the body politic effectively. Skeffington shows how. Today, their successors use other methods for similar purpose.
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