SPENCER TRACY PORTRAYS A DOWN-TO-EARTH BIG-CITY MAYOR RUTHLESSLYTHWARTED BY POLITICAL ENEMIES IN THIS STAR-STUDDED CLASSIC. SPECIAL FEATURES: FULL SCREEN AND WIDESCREEN VERSIONS, SUBTITLESIN ENGLISH, SPANISH, PORTUGUESE, C... more »HINESE, KOREAN AND THAI,THEATRICAL TRAILERS AND MONO SOUND.« less
""The Last Hurrah" follows the exploits of mayor, Frank Skeffington (Spencer Tracy). He?s running for a third term but meets with great opposition from the city council, who don't appreciate his strong-arm tactics and chronic meddling in their affairs. The pack of detractors is led by Norman Cass Sr. (Basil Rathbone), whose youthful incumbent for the post of mayor, Kevin McCluskey (Charles B. Fitzsimmons) seems an impossible long shot. But Skeffington is not above dishing a little dirt of his own on the side. He uses incriminating photos of Cass?s simpleton son, Norman Jr. (O.Z. Whitehead) to blackmail Cass Sr. into relative submission. Skeffington also gingerly berates the elements of city council opposing him, including news paper editor, Amos Force (John Carradine) to whom Skeffington?s nephew, Adam Caufield (Jeffrey Hunter) is an employee and sometimes unwilling observer. As Skeffington, Tracy is pure dynamite, delving out equal portions of brutality and kindness in a tour de force performance that quite easily might be his best! There are plenty of finely wrought cameos to go around, including Jane Darwell?s crotchety spinster, Anna Lee?s subtle and tender performance as the widow and Donald Crisp?s stoic turn as His Eminence, Cardinal Burke. This is one heck of a good show!
Instituted into the pipeline before Columbia's penny-pinching regime kicked in, "The Last Hurrah" has had admirable work done on its transfer before being minted to DVD. The gray scale is excellent and the anamorphic widescreen version of the movie is very nicely rendered with fine detail, solid blacks and contrast levels. There is a definite grain structure to this film but it will not distract from the performances. There are no compression related artifacts. The audio is MONO and nicely rendered.
There are, unfortunately, NO EXTRAS!"
Still great despite a few weak points
magellan | Santa Clara, CA | 06/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Political dramas are not my favorite type of movie, but I still enjoyed this film, if for no other reason than I'm a big Tracy fan and this is certainly one of his greatest roles, and Tracy turns in one of his best performances. The rest of the cast is also excellent, especially Jeffrey Hunter as Tracy's newspaperman nephew, and Edward Brophy as one of Tracy's cronies, both of whom get extensive play in the movie. Unfortunately, Donald Crisp as the Cardinal and Basil Rathbone don't have that much on-screen time, and Rathbone really only has one big scene and a couple of other pieces of dialogue here and there, as does Crisp, but they're still excellent in their roles.A few scenes seem a little weak, such as when Tracy tricks Basil Rathbone's idiot son to accept the Fire Marshall job so he can blackmail Rathbone into ponying up the housing loan money. The TV interview with Tracy's young opponent was pretty silly, and I didn't think John Carradine was especially well cast as a former KKK member, magazine publisher, and Tracy's long-time nemesis.Other than that, the film's portrayal of Tracy as a tough, smart, down-to-earth, old-time political boss (or as Donald Crisp refers to him--"an engaging scoundrel") is itself engagingly and humorously done. It provides a fascinating and perhaps nostalgic look at a vanished era of grass-roots politicians back when they stumped in the inner-city wards, shaking hands and kissing babies and vying for votes one-by-one the hard way before the advent of TV changed the political campaigning process forever. Overall, still a great flick and especially worth seeing if you're a Spencer Tracy fan."
Hollywood's Irish Mafia's Grand Finale
J. Merritt | 01/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A must see for Spencer Tracy & John Ford fans! A first rate cast of the finest character actors of Hollywood's Golden Era. Basil Rathbone, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, Donald Crisp, Jane Darwell and many others magnificently support Tracy as a cagey Boston politician in what proves to be his final run for office. A great political film, a great film for Irish-Americans, and a grand going away party for a group of artisans whose combined work in cinema will never be equaled."
J. Merritt | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Ford's 1958 classic is one of the finest film testaments to Spencer Tracy, one of cinema history's most charismatic, talented, and scene-dominating actors. Tracy is perfectly cast as Frank Skeffington, the Irish-bred mayor of a vaguely New Englandy town, a man who learned to play the political game the old-fashioned way and manages to look righteous even when he's breaking the rules. There are a wealth of scene-stealers along for the ride, including Pat O'Brien, James Gleason, Basil Rathbone, and John Carradine, but Tracy never loses a single battle to any of them. Gable once called him "the best we've got." If you wanna know why, just watch this film."
GREAT FORD POLITICAL FILM!
Kenneth Kapel | Chicago,Il, USA | 06/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Ford's,"The Last Hurrah",based on a novel by Edwin O'Connor,tells of the last campaign of Frank Skeffington(based on Mayor Michael Curley of Boston)for Mayor of an unnamed New England City.But it is SO MUCH MORE than that,it is the story of Irish Catholics in American,a very romaniticized view of them and big city politics,but a VERY WARM AND LOVING POTRAIT of times gone by,told by THE GREATEST STORY TELLER in U.S. film history,John Ford. Spencer Tracy(as skeffington) leads an unbeatable cast Basil Rathbone,John Carradine,Jeffery Hunter(as the Mayor's nephew),Jane Darwell,Anna Lee,Frank McHugh,Wally Ford,Pat O'Brien,and on,an on.A GREAT FILM,that NEVER fails to move me(i've seen it at least 40 times)One drawback==NO AUDIO COMMENTARY.The DVD=4 stars.The MOVIE=5 stars."