The Last Detail (1973)


“[after about a case of beer] I would like to drink a toast to Batman… Shuperman… and the Human Torch. AH-HA-HA! ” – Buddusky

Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Dec 2009 and 14 May 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Two soldiers are tasked with delivering a prisoner to a military jail a few states away and instead of going straight there, they decide to show him a good time along the way.

My Take on it – This film has an interesting story which has its moments, but overall, I felt that the film was slightly lacking especially since it drags a bit too much along the way.

They do a nice job of making a political statement about the military and the Vietnam War in general which is quite interesting since when it was written, the US was still very much ensconced in that war.

The characters are all written well and Jack Nicholson stands out among them.

Both Nicholson and Randy Quaid for nominated for Oscars for this film (Best Actor/ Best Supporting Actor respectively) for their roles.

I’m still a bit baffled how the recent film Last Flag Flying (2017) is meant to be a sequel to this film since the characters are very different in both films.

Great seeing small roles for Carol Kane, Nancy Allen and Gilda Radner before they were known actresses.

Bottom Line – Interesting story that is fun to watch yet the story feels as if it drags along too much. The way that they try to make a political statement about the military especially during the Vietnam War comes across really well. The characters are all fine with Nicholson doing the best job. Both Nicholson and Quaid got Oscar nominations for this film. Still not sure how Last Flag Flying (2017) is a sequel to this film tho since it doesn’t seem as if the characters are the same ones in both films.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The script was completed in 1970, but contained too much profanity to be shot as written. Columbia Pictures waited for two years trying to get writer Robert Towne to tone down the language. Instead, by 1972, the standards for foul language relaxed so much, that all the profanity was left in. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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9 thoughts on “The Last Detail (1973)

  1. I AM the fucking shore patrol!!!

    That being said – good catch on “Last Flag Flying”. It actually started out as a sequel (a buddy of mine – one of the producers on the film – pitched a sequel to the author of the original book – Daryl Ponicsan – who wrote a SEQUEL – which my friend published. The rights were then sold as a joint production – I think Fox and Paramount – and Jack Nicholson signed on to reprise the character of Buduski. Morgan Freeman was going to replace the black actor who had died and I think Randy Quaid was on board as well. But Nicholson did not approve of the director the studios wanted and dropped out. Freeman followed. At that point – since the connection was tenuous (it was supposed to be Nicholson’s grown son who died in the war) – the script was rewritten and the characters all changed – while trying to retain some similarities to the originals. That’s why the picture was not promoted as a “sequel” to a 45 year old movie that most of a young audience hadn’t seen anyway).

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  2. Interesting trivia – my friend was originally supposed to be a producer on Last Flag – but when the budget was cut and the studios dropped it and it went to Amazon – he was bumped UP to an Executive Producer – which would’ve made him ineligible for an Oscar if the film received a Best Picture nom. It got NO nominations at all. But my friend Tom ended up nominated for his own Oscar – for Best Documentary Short.

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  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1973 |

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1973 |

  5. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1973 |

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