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The Last Hurrah (1958) - movie overview

The Last Hurrah (1958)

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Plot Description

DVD Release Date
 R1: Oct 26, 1999

MPAA Rating

Running Time
2 hours, 1 minute

Country USA

Studio Columbia Pictures

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Other Titles
• The Last Hurrah
• Das Letzte Hurra (1959)

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Genre: Drama, Political, Suspense

Tagline: Big book! big cast! big picture!

Plot: John Ford's gripping portrait of the twilight of politician Frank Skeffington--adapted from the Edwin O'Connor novel based on the life of celebrated Boston mayor James Curley--reflects the director's abiding pessimism about the fate of American cities. Skeffington (Spencer Tracy) is about to begin his fifth and likely last campaign for mayor of a city in New England. A champion of the poor and downtrodden (especially if they happen to be Irish), the mayor is not above a bit of corruption if it will bring them comfort, a policy that has earned the enmity of both the city's WASP faction and the clergy. The mayor's journalist nephew, Adam Caulfield (Jeffrey Hunter), accompanies him to a wake and observes the dual nature of the politician: He shamelessly works the crowd for support but later pressures grasping undertaker Johnny Degnan (Bob Sweeney) into reducing the exorbitant funeral costs. Upon hearing that some bankers have reneged on providing a loan for a slum clearance project, Skeffington bursts into their elitist private club and gives them hell. Tracy and an excellent supporting cast, including Pat O'Brien, John Carradine, Frank McHugh, Donald Crisp, and Basil Rathbone, enliven Ford's nostalgic tribute. Curley, who considered the film an invasion of privacy, sued the

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 Directed by
John Ford
The Searchers, The Grapes of Wrath, The Quiet Man
 Written by
Frank S. Nugent
The Searchers, The Quiet Man, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
Spencer Tracy
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Inherit the Wind, Adam's Rib
Jeffrey Hunter
The Searchers, Star Trek: The Cage, King of Kings
Dianne Foster
The Kentuckian, Night Passage, The Violent Men
Pat O'Brien
Some Like It Hot, Angels with Dirty Faces, Ragtime
Basil Rathbone
The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Court Jester, Captain Blood
Donald Crisp
The Birth of a Nation, How Green Was My Valley, Mutiny on the Bounty
James Gleason
Arsenic and Old Lace, The Night of the Hunter, The Bishop's Wife
 Music By

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