Dead End: “The Last Run” (1971)

  lastrun1        “The Last Run”  (1971)

    Richard Fleischer’s “The Last Run” is composed, by Alan Sharp, in that spare style of writing that is meant to invest a greater chimerical meaning to every utterance, and by extension of its obvious pretensions (as reflected in the marketing campaign), to conjurelastrunOS2 the mythic brand of faded machismo popularized in the writings of Hemingway. That it succeeds at all in this somewhat foolhardy aspiration is entirely due to the presence (if not entirely the performance) of George C. Scott.

    Harry Garmes (Scott), an American expatriate living in Portugal, has been retired as an underworld getaway driver for nine years, and is suffering through the kind of psychic malaise that seems prevalent among movie criminals who brace themselves for “one last score”. When he is contacted to drive an escaped convict into France, he accepts the job, but it proves to be an unexpectedly dangerous assignment fraught with double crosses which are never adequately explained, but are probably meant to be more representative of the inescapable but enigmatic forces of fate which dog the popular existential gangster figures emerging from the Nouvelle Vague. Sharp’s script clearly wishes to celebrate the world weary manliness of 1940’s noir infused American cinema mixed with Melville inspired minimalism, but the film never gets its bearings, as the narrative is paralyzed; continually muddled with a surfeit of stylistic mutism.


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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1970's movies, crime, film noir, George C. Scott, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Dead End: “The Last Run” (1971)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Scott married Trish the following year, so they were probably an item at the time this film was made.
    I never rated her as an actress, and suspect her roles alongside Scott were as a result of their relationship, rather than anyone wanting to cast her. That made me think of Clint Eastwood doing the same with Sondra Locke, another poor actress, in my opinion.
    I haven’t seen this film. I try to avoid those ‘Euro/US’ films where possible.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • I cringe every time a “star” gets a new flame, as it’s all of us will have to suffer through a series of films stained with inappropriate casting or outright poor acting abilities simply because they want to keep their pillows warm. Is that a polite way of putting it?

  2. I actually watched about half of this and they I think I fell asleep. Scott could be brilliant, but he wasn’t always. I always thought he was better in “big” rolls. He didn’t do “sensitive” very well. He never struck me as particularly sensitive, though for all I know he really was and how would I know anyway? Garry and I often comment on how many movies were made using very expensive stars and settings — everything was perfect, but the movie stunk. We’ve tried to watch a bunch of them recently. We get 10 minutes in. I ask him “Are you enjoying this?” and he say, “No. Are you?”

    Then, we change the channel.

    • How about just watching the last ten minutes of the movies, that way at least you know how they end? I agree about Scott. Somehow he always seemed to be looking for those large roles like Patton, but they are few in number. I understand he was quite a dissatisfied man in his career. John Huston was the original director but quit because he couldn’t take any more of Scott. That probably says something.

  3. johnrieber says:

    I’m a 70’s film fan, but not familiar with tis one – based on your review, I may have to give it a pass…

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