- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Not quite a winning ticket
- Oliver Cutshaw
One of John Ford's later films. A nostalgic film about a nostalgic era of American politics. Imagine a political campaign that was not mainly about talking heads on cable news, and gotcha journalism. It is interesting because the film shows that moment when old style ward healer politics gave way to TV dominated campaign. Tracy is excellent as always as is Jeffrey Hunter. The cast is also nostalgic: Basil and Pat Obrien. End of an era in more ways than one. Well worth a look.
- kevin sellers
A great performance wrapped around a mediocre film. Tracy captures all the charm and just enough of the ruthlessness of a Boston Irish pol to be believable. Unfortunately, Tracy is the only credible part of this film, as Ford's regrettable penchant of substituting caricature for character asserts itself repeatedly, hurting the story in the process. For example, making Tracy's opponent, McCluskey, a moron does nothing to heighten the dramatic effect when Tracy loses. It would have been better if McCluskey had been depicted as a skillful politician who is a sleaze, but has fooled the voters. That way, we could have sympathized with both Skeffington and the city of Boston as he takes that long, slow walk home, before suffering his fatal heart attack. The way Ford and screenwriter Frank Nugent ("The Searchers" team, really stumbling here) have it, you're just not buying it that a pol as clever as Skeffington would lose to an idiot like McCluskey. It's like Donald Trump besting Obama. The other big example of a botched opportunity for credible drama is Skeffington's playboy son, who is drawn in such broad strokes that he loses all believability. It's like sticking Kookie of "77 Sunset Strip" into the world of big city politics. Thus, when the son breaks down at his father's death bed, it's completely out of left field and a potentially powerful scene is ruined. And speaking of that death scene. It goes on. And on. And on. What happened to Ford's sense of pacing? Let's give it a C plus. P.S. I will say the last shot of Skeffington's cronies slowly, wearily ascending the stairs of the mayor's house for the last time has to be one of the saddest endings in film. It's even sadder than the door of society shutting on Ethan in "Searchers." A mark of a great director is that even in crappy films there's genius.
A solid performance by Tracy
John Ford's directs an ode to an aging Irish-American big city Mayor (Spencer Tracy) who has the advancement of his working class constituents at heart, fighting against the snooty, wealthy establishment who want him defeated. The film has serious, dramatic moments interspersed with some cartoonish attempts at comedy using a few old-fashioned "stage Irish" characters that Ford seemed to love so well. They quickly become tiresome. Ultimately, it is Spencer Tracy's dignified and sympathetic portrayal of a big city boss that carries the movie and makes it memorable and worth a watch.
The Last Hurrah
A sentimental adaptation of Edwin O'Connor's novel. Tracy gives a terrific performance as the Mayor of a small New England town who faces many changes during a re-election; fine supporting work. Director Ford creates a wholly authentic political environment, but the story drags too much in the middle. A good underrated, political film from Ford. I give it a 4/5.
for political junkies
- maria Ramos
As a political junkie I love this movie! not only is it intriguing politically, all my favorite actors are in it. That's entertainment.
Hurrah For The Last Hurrah
Good movie with some similarities to Mayor Curley.Good acting,sad demise of political stalwart.Adam more like a son to Skeffington than his own son was.Great reunion of the Irish mafia.
- Jarrod McDonald
I think what I like best is that we see many of John Ford's favorite character actors here. It's particularly fun to see Jane Darwell (THE GRAPES OF WRATH, MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, WAGON MASTER) as a woman at the funeral home and Anna Lee (HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY) as a friend of Tracy's character. This is a very good absorbing drama with some delightful bits of humor. Stays with you long after viewing.
- John Stump
This is the movie I recommend to young politicians and hope my foes have never seen. Makes me think of Purple Shamrocks and the number "576' All the best John Stump
The Last Hurrah (1958)
- James Higgins
Exceptional John Ford drama, helped immesurably by an incredible cast of veteran actors. Spencer Tracy is terrific as always. John Ford's direction is very subdued, giving the film a very interesting feel - it is never melodramatic. Nice black and white cinematography, well edited. Great pace.
Classic politics and vintage Tracy!!
- Lu Gronseth
The film begins with Mayor Frank Skeffington (Tracy) coming down the staircase of his large home and stopping to put a fresh flower in the vase under the picture of his deceased wife. He is soon joined in his large home office by his loyal staff who prepare him for the day's activities and getting ready to run for a fifth term. Soon he opens the door and one by one visits with the hundreds of people that have lined up outside his home to see him, a daily event. He's an old time politician, taking in every event in the city that concerns his people. He's got the people on his side but not the establishment whom he regularly 'blackmails' to get things done for 'his' people. They decide to go after him in this election and put up their own candidate backed by the local paper. It's a fresh, young man who knows how to use the 'new' medium called TV. What follows is classic Tracy with humor and drama as the contest turns into a horse race. The film is widely thought to be based on the life of Boston mayor James Curley. If you like Tracy, politics and a good story, this is worth the time. If, as they say, all politics is local, then this is a classic political film. Terrific acting by all involved and a heart wrenching ending. www.lusreviews.blogspot.com