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Last Man Standing (1996)

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2:06 | Trailer

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A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writers:

Ryûzô Kikushima (story), Akira Kurosawa (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... John Smith
Bruce Dern ... Sheriff Ed Galt
William Sanderson ... Joe Monday
Christopher Walken ... Hickey
David Patrick Kelly ... Doyle
Karina Lombard ... Felina
Ned Eisenberg ... Fredo Strozzi
Alexandra Powers ... Lucy Kolinski
Michael Imperioli ... Giorgio Carmonte
Ken Jenkins ... Capt. Tom Pickett
R.D. Call ... Jack McCool
Ted Markland ... Deputy Bob
Leslie Mann ... Wanda
Patrick Kilpatrick ... Finn
Luis Contreras ... Comandante Ramirez
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Storyline

John Smith is an amoral gunslinger in the days of Prohibition. On the lam from his latest (unspecified) exploits, he happens upon the town of Jericho, Texas. Actually, calling Jericho a town would be too generous--it has become more like a ghost town, since two warring gangs have 'driven off all the decent folk.' Smith sees this as an opportunity to play both sides off against each other, earning himself a nice piece of change as a hired gun. Despite his strictly avowed mercenary intentions, he finds himself risking his life for his, albeit skewed, sense of honor.... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to every war. And John Smith is on both of them. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

20 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gundown See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$67,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,010,333, 22 September 1996

Gross USA:

$18,115,927

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,267,001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of the three big-budget, star-driven films that indie outfit New Line Cinema released in 1996. Like the other two films (The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)) the film underperformed at the box-office. See more »

Goofs

The first time John Smith puts on his holster and pistols, the grip frames are pointing behind him. This would make it very difficult for him to pull the weapons in a timely manner when needed. However, when the time comes minutes later for him to pull the weapons, the grips are facing in the appropriate position for a quick draw and shoot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
John Smith: It's a funny thing. No matter how low you sink there's still a right and wrong. You always end up choosing. You go one way so you can try to live with yourself. You go the other, you'd still be walkin' around, but you're dead and you don't even know it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Bumble Bee Blues
Written by Minnie McCoy
Performed by Ry Cooder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unfairly trashed actioner from a master director
17 August 2005 | by wierzbowskisteedmanSee all my reviews

Plot summary: In a prohibition era update of Yojimbo, Bruce Willis shoots a load of gangsters.

First off I will never understand why Walter Hill does not have a better reputation. He's probably best known for his commercial success with the 48 Hrs films, and his other brilliant features get criminally overlooked. He scored a cult hit with "The Warriors", he delivered one of the best westerns ever with "The Long Riders", and put all other car chase movies to shame with the ultra cool "The Driver." As anyone who has seen these films should realise, Hill should be mentioned in the same breath as Peckinpah, Woo and Rodriguez when it comes to slow-mo gunplay.

"Last Man Standing" doesn't rival these earlier works, but it is a tough, gritty film with some fantastic shootouts. It doesn't hold itself back in terms of blood and violence, something current US films of the genre are guilty of doing. It has everything an action film needs; tough antihero, loath able bad guys, a creepy main villain and plenty of cannon fodder. As long as you don't get hung up on technicalities (ie the guns fire ten times more ammo than they hold) you should be entertained.

It doesn't feel like any effort went into the screenplay, but Hill adds some nice touches to the film in terms of nods towards the source material. I particularly like the opening where Bruce spins his empty whisky bottle on the ground to decide which road to take; a clear reference to Toshiro Mifune throwing a stick into the air to decide on his path. There is also an interesting cast; there's earlier Hill collaborator Bruce Dern (The memorable villain from The Driver), William Sanderson (Blade Runner) and of course Christopher Walken, who chews the scenery talking tough with his hoarse accent and threatening people with a Tommy gun. His performance is really the most memorable thing about the film. Willis is not Mifune or Eastwood, but he does suit the mysterious drifter character well and this is one of his better action man roles.

All things said, the film certainly doesn't come close to "Yojimbo", but it does give the more rough hewn "Fistful of Dollars" a run for its money. By no means a masterpiece, "Last Man Standing" should still provide enough for any action fans tired of watered down mainstream Hollywood nonsense that currently dilutes cinemas. It is certainly a lot better than its reputation makes out.


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