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THE LAST DETAIL

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40TH ANNIVERSARY!

Starring JACK NICHOLSON - Best Actor, Cannes Film Festival, 1974

Directed by HAL ASHBY

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THE LAST DETAIL

(1973) “No *#@!!* Navy’s going to give some poor *!!@ kid eight years in the #@!* brig without me taking him out for the time of his *#@!!* life.” Jack Nicholson’s Billy “Badass” Buddusky and Otis Young’s “Mule” Mulhall decide to turn their TDY as shore patrol escort of a convict from Norfolk to the Portsmouth, NH, brig, into a raucous paid vacation. But when they befriend their prisoner, lumpishly naïve klepto Randy Quaid — given eight years for a $40 theft from the camp commandant’s wife’s favorite charity — it’s time for a little education in boozing, whoring and spine-growing en route, along with the American screen’s most sustained onslaught of profanity to date. From the director of The Landlord, Shampoo, and Harold and Maude. Approx. 104 min. DCP. 


A SONY PICTURES REPERTORY RELEASE

THE LAST DETAIL

REVIEWS

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*****!
[highest rating]

#1 CRITICS' PICK!
"ONE OF THE FINEST WORKS OF '70s AMERICAN CINEMA! The tough, salty script by Chinatown’s Robert Towne never pulls punches or succumbs to easy sentiment, while Hal Ashby’s boozily generous direction allows potentially shapeless scenes, like a drunken all-nighter or a brothel stopover, to breathe with instinctual, off-the-cuff potency. Nicholson’s cigar-chomping, profanity-spouting grunt is one of the greatest incarnations of stunted machismo onscreen, and he’s brilliantly complemented by Quaid’s picture-perfect awkwardness and Young’s bracing cynicism."
– Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

"Of all the great actors to emerge from the rich period of American films that kicked off in the late 1960s and unceremoniously concluded in the mid 1970s, Nicholson stood apart as the ideal embodiment of that era's weirdly sexy resignation. The Last Detail is so perfectly tailored to [Nicholson] it could've been mapped out from a Pythagorean theorem. The film has an engagingly profane, scruffy looseness, a hallmark of Ashby and Towne's careers."
– Chuck Bowen, Slant

"Jack Nicholson first proved he was a hell of an actor in this 1973 film, one of Hal Ashby's best pictures… I'll never forget seeing this in the seventies: Its boisterousness and wild profanity elated me, and its overriding melancholy packed a wallop."
– David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Nicholson can make his feelings come through his skin, the way Anthony Quinn can make you shore the emotion that’s making him sweat. Other actors might communicate a thought or an emotion with an economical gesture, but Nicholson does it with his whole body, as if he were electrically prodded… In The Last Detail, you can see the kid who hasn’t grown up in Nicholson’s grin, and that grin has the same tickle it had when he played the giddy, drunken Southern lawyer in Easy Rider, but now it belongs to the ravaged face of an aging sailor. Buddusky is the best full-scale part he’s had.” – Pauline Kael

“There is an unpretentious realism in Robert Towne’s script and Ashby handles his camera with a simplicity reminiscent of the way American directors treated lower-depths material in the ’30s... It is attention to authentic detail that gives The Last Detail its modest but genuine distinction.” 
– Richard Schickel, Time

“Towne’s script was so densely written that it allowed little space for a director’s ego to intrude, and the directorial restraint, in fact, feels just right... Whenever possible, Ashby let his actors go, guiding them only when necessary. The results were sensational.” 
– Nick Dawson, Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel