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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)
Reviews
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:

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! 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

John Ford considered Jack Lemmon for the lead. 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

Featured in Directed by John Ford (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Top of the Cork Road
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Arthur Morton and George Duning
See more »

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User Reviews

 
classic Spencer Tracy
20 January 2007 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Tracy plays Irish-American Frank Skeffington, an old hand re-seeking political office for one last time, with dreams of helping the slums along, and, along with his cronies, leading the victory parade on St Patrick's Day. Will he make it? 'The Last Hurrah' is a tour-de-force, with John Ford's sharp direction, and several old timers making an appearance, such as Basil Rathbone as one of Tracy's more vehement opponents. Tracy of course is as excellent as ever, and there are some nice scenes between him and Jeffrey Hunter (playing his nephew).

Whether showcasing the camaraderie between Skeffington and his supporters, or giving the viewer a masterclass in acting, 'The Last Hurrah' cannot really be faulted. Even if the last half-hour of the film is a bit cloying, Tracy's last line is on target and raises a smile as the end card comes up.

Incidentally, this film was made in 1958, a time when black and white films mixed with those in colour to no-one's detriment. It would be interesting to see if a similar subject would come across as well today, in colour. It makes one long for the return of black and white for some genres.


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