6.4/10
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15 user 15 critic

The Last American Hero (1973)

A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south has ever seen.

Director:

Lamont Johnson

Writers:

Tom Wolfe (articles), William Roberts
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jeff Bridges ... Elroy Jackson Jr.
Valerie Perrine ... Marge
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Mrs. Jackson
Ned Beatty ... Hackel
Gary Busey ... Wayne Jackson
Art Lund ... Elroy Jackson Sr.
Ed Lauter ... Burton Colt
William Smith ... Kyle Kingman (as William Smith II)
Gregory Walcott ... Cleve Morley
Tom Ligon ... Lamar
Ernie F. Orsatti ... Davie Baer (as Ernie Orsatti)
Erica Hagen Erica Hagen ... Trina Kingman
Jimmy Murphy Jimmy Murphy ... Spud (as James Murphy)
Lane Smith ... Rick Penny
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Storyline

A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south has ever seen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It took him 20 years to find out who he was and 2 laps to let the world know. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 July 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Driver See more »

Filming Locations:

Concord, North Carolina, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the deputy lights the liquid behind the truck on fire, if it were alcohol it would burn with a blue flame. But since the blue flame is very hard to photograph they used a petroleum-based substance that burned with a red orange flame. See more »

Goofs

When the movie starts, Junior is driving a Mustang with a police band radio but there is no antenna on the car that would work on police band frequencies. See more »

Quotes

TV Reporter: How do you see your chances, Kyle?
Kyle Kingman, Driver: You don't think I got the gall to answer a question like that, do ya, in front of famous drivers like Tex Zimmerman, Rick Penny, Davie Baer? So why don't we wait 'til this race is over and the best man's won and I'm standing there kissing the trophy girl? Then you ask me that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got A Name
Sung by Jim Croce
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Music by Charles Fox
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good Bridges performance
24 June 2005 | by jmorrison-2See all my reviews

Very good acting performance by Jeff Bridges. He hit just the right note as the naive, in-over-his-head, but determined and aggressive stock car driver, Junior Jackson.

His performance as a young country kid, trying to break into the big time, with small-time resources, is memorable.

Valerie Perrine is equally good as Marge, the man-starved woman who takes a liking to Junior. She senses he's someone who may be on the way up, while her current beau, successful driver Kyle Kingman, is probably on the way down. To hedge her bets, she makes sure to warm both their beds, to ensure she will be with the guy in the winners circle.

The movie looks, feels and sounds woefully dated, and the production and direction leave something to be desired. There are decent stars in this movie, but it looks like it was made on a shoe-string budget.

Bridges, Perrine, William Smith (as Kingman) and Ed Lauter (as Burton Colt, Junior's car owner) make this work with excellent performances.

A simply made movie, with outstanding characters.


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