6.7/10
2,517
39 user 20 critic

The Last Sunset (1961)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 8 June 1961 (USA)
At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Howard Rigsby (novel), Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rock Hudson ... Dana Stribling
Kirk Douglas ... Brendan 'Bren' O'Malley
Dorothy Malone ... Belle Breckenridge
Joseph Cotten ... John Breckenridge
Carol Lynley ... Melissa 'Missy' Breckenridge
Neville Brand ... Frank Hobbs
Regis Toomey ... Milton Wing
James Westmoreland ... Julesburg Kid (as Rad Fulton)
Adam Williams ... Calverton
Jack Elam ... Ed Hobbs
John Shay John Shay ... Bowman
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Storyline

Brendan O'Malley arrives at the Mexican home of old flame Belle Breckenridge to find her married to a drunkard getting ready for a cattle drive to Texas. Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman Dana Stribling who has a personal reason for getting him back into his jurisdiction. Both men join Breckenridge and his wife on the drive. As they near Texas tensions mount, not least because Stribling is starting to court Belle and O'Malley is increasingly drawn by her daughter Missy. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When giants clash, a woman trembles!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sundown at Crazy Horse See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brynaprod S.A. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas optioned the property for his production company Byrna, and was in the midst of supervising the editing of Spartacus (1960) when he got an impassioned letter from Robert Aldrich, lobbying for the job of director. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where you see the three Indians up on the bluff. As they ride to a stop you can see the middle Indian accidentally launch his arrow into the dirt. See more »

Quotes

Brendan 'Bren' O'Malley: Look, Belle, I know this hasn't been a good trip for you, but, well, we're gonna have smooth sailing from here on out.
Belle Breckenridge: You don't really want smooth sailing, Brendan. YOu carry your own storm wherever you go.
Brendan 'Bren' O'Malley: Only when I travel alone.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in We Are the Strange (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Little Girl In The Yellow Dress
Music - Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyric - Ned Washington
Performed by Kirk Douglas (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well, you see cowboys aren't very bright. They're always broke and generally they're drunk.
31 January 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Last Sunset is directed by Robert Aldrich and adapted by Dalton Trumbo from Howard Rigsby's novel Sundown at Crazy Horse. It stars Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotton and Carol Lynley. In support are Jack Elam, Neville Brand & James Westmoreland. The music score is by Ernest Gold, with contributions from Dimitri Tiomkin & Tomás Méndez, and Ernest Laszlo is the cinematographer. It's shot in Eastman Color by Pathe, with the locations for the shoot being Aguascalientes & Distrito Federal in Mexico.

Brendan O'Malley (Douglas) is on the run and drifts into Mexico where he arrives at the home of old flame Belle Breckenridge (Malone). She resides with her drunkard husband John (Cotton) and her daughter Melissa, they are in preparation for a cattle drive to Texas. Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman Dana Stribling (Hudson) who has a very personal reason for getting him back for justice to be served. Making an uneasy agreement, both men join the Breckenridge's on the drive. As they near Texas the tensions start to mount, not least because Stribling is starting to court Belle and O'Malley is increasingly drawn by her daughter Missy.

Lyrical, contemplative and evocative, three words you wouldn't readily associate with the director of Ulzana's Raid, The Longest Yard and The Dirty Dozen. Yet all three words are very fitting for this underseen Robert Aldrich movie. Although containing many of the basic elements that made up the American Western film's of the 50s, The Last Sunset has a very intriguing screenplay by Trumbo from which to flourish. The story is crammed full of sexual neurosis, yearnings, regret, hate, revenge and forbidden love. If that all sounds very "Greek Tragedy" then that's probably about right, as is the film being likened to a Western done by Douglas Sirk. It is melodramatic, but it does have moments of levity and up tempo action sequences, too. It's a very rounded picture, with very well formed characters, characters very well brought to life by the mostly on form cast. All played out amongst some gorgeous scenic panorama's that Aldrich and Laszlo have managed to make seem as poetic observers to the unfolding drama.

Some of it's odd, and the film is far from flawless (Cotten is poor, Elam & Brand underused), but the little irks are easily forgiven when judging the film as a whole. Lyrical, contemplative and evocative: indeed. 8/10


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