Movies – L

Last Detail, The (1973)

Jack Nicholson, in one of his best roles, plays “Bad-ass” Buddusky (pictured), a veteran naval petty officer detailed, along with his black colleague “Mule” Mulhall (Otis Young), to escort an offender by bus and train from their base in Virginia to the harsh naval prison at Portsmouth, NH. The miscreant is a naïve youngster, Meadows(…)

Last Emperor, The (1987)

The Last Emperor was a spectacular epic about China’s last emperor, Pu Yi,  who lived a cloistered life until the age of three, when he was taken from his mother’s arms, carried through the night to the Forbidden City and crowned ruler of half the world’s population. Pu Yi grew up the loneliest boy on earth,(…)

Last Exit To Brooklyn (1990)

Another harrowing detour to hell, not for the squeamish or prudish, this blistering adaptation of Hubert Selby’s shocking short-story collection about violence and suffering in the Brooklyn slums of the early 1950s is like watching a gang rape. You are horrified but unable to do anything about what you’re seeing. Here are frank and explicit themes(…)

Last House On The Left (1972)

Based on Ingmar Bergman’s Swedish film The Virgin Spring  (1959) starring Max von Sydow, Last House On The Left was promoted with the tagline “To avoid fainting, just keep repeating it’s only a movie … it’s only a movie!” This legendary graphic shocker, infused by a repellent Vietnam sensibility, put director Wes Craven on the road to horror(…)

Last Movie, The (1971)

After the huge success of Easy Rider (1969), director Dennis Hopper could have made any movie he wanted. Sadly he did just that, and the resulting fiasco is one of the all-time classics of pretentiously incomprehensible cinema. Outlining the hippy antics of a film crew in South America aiming to shoot a western, Hopper uses(…)

Last Night (1998)

Last Night is perhaps the quietest of all films about the end of the world, offering a naturalistic study of behaviour and relationships in place of bombastic special effects. We don’t know why the end is imminent, but we observe a group of characters spending their last night on Earth in various ways. Some people(…)

Last of the Secret Agents, The (1966)

Matt Helm, Derek Flint, Napoleon Solo – Hollywood tried but there was no one to touch 007 in the 1960s cloak-and-dagger stakes and this bumbling spy spoof was a particularly auspicious failure. US double act Marty Allen and Steve Rossi bungle their bid to be the new Abbott and Costello as recently recruited spies out to thwart(…)

Last Picture Show, The (1971)

Director Peter Bogdanovich and writer Larry McMurtry examine the passing of an American way of life in this artfully assured and elegiac film about the residents of a dying small town in Texas called Anarene, in 1951 (the movie was actually shot in Archer City, Texas, where McMurtry had grown up). Sam the Lion (Ben(…)

Last Remake of Beau Geste, The (1977)

How one responded to The Last Remake of Beau Geste depended largely on how one responded to its star, pop-eyed comic Marty Feldman (who also directed the film from a screenplay he wrote with Chris Allen, and a story he wrote with Sam Bobrick). As its title suggested, the film spoofed most Foreign Legion films, but particularly(…)

Last Starfighter, The (1984)

Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) is a bored teenager who lives with his mother and young brother in a trailer park. His prowess at video games is monitored by emissaries from the Star League of the future, who recruit him to defend the universe from evil invaders in this glossy, space-age fairy tale. It’s highly derivative(…)

Last Summer (1969)

Unheralded for the substantial talent he was, film-maker Frank Perry will probably be best remembered for the execrable Mommie Dearest (1981) instead of tender, emotive movies such as David and Lisa and this unnerving teenage odyssey. It contains some of the finest youth performances in American film. Barbara Hershey excels as the sadistic young tease, ultimately(…)

Last Tango In Paris (1972)

If movie audiences weren’t plonking down money in 1973 to see Linda Blair vomit pea soup in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, they were lining up to see Marlon Brando butter up Maria Schneider in Last Tango In Paris. If ever a film was born in controversy, this is the one. The sexual adventures of a middle-aged man(…)

Last Temptation Of Christ, The (1988)

Wherever it was shown, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ caused controversy and sometimes violent demonstrations, whether in Protestant America and Great Britain or Catholic Italy. In America there were pickets outside the cinemas where it was shown and militant religious groups threatened to use bombs. After similar protests at the Venice Film Festival and a condemnation(…)

Last Tycoon, The (1976)

This unloved film from a late-career Elia Kazan is about a young movie producer making his way up the ladder in the foundational years of the industry. Robert De Niro is Monroe Stahr, a fictionalised version of MGM’s own ‘boy genius’ Irving Thalberg. Adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished final novel, the resultant film is(…)

Last Valley, The (1970)

The story of a group of soldiers who occupy a town and then decide against plundering it in favour of settling there instead. Captain Michael Caine Vogel Omar Sharif Erica Florinda Bolkan Gruber Nigel Davenport Father Sebastian Per Oscarsson Hoffman Arthur O’Connell Inge Madeline Hinde Pirelli Giorgos Voyagis Julio Miguel Alejandro Andreas Christian Roberts Graf(…)

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