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The Last American Hero (1973)

Jeff Bridges , Valerie Perrine , Lamont Johnson  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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The Last American Hero
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DVD 1-Disc Version --  

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeff Bridges, Valerie Perrine, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ned Beatty, Gary Busey
  • Directors: Lamont Johnson
  • Writers: William Roberts, Bill Kerby, Tom Wolfe
  • Producers: Joe Wizan, John Cutts, William Roberts
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,186 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last American Hero" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Disk 1 Side A:
  • *Pan and Scan Feature
  • *Trailer
  • Disk 1 Side B:
  • *Widescreen Feature

Editorial Reviews

Based on Tom Wolfe's magazine article, this film follows the unlikely career of race car driver Junior Johnson. Jeff Bridges stars.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last American Hero June 28, 2003
By John E
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is 5 stars if you are a true race fan. Otherwise, it's still an interesting story. This film is loosely based on Tom Wolfe's essay about the younger days of Junior Johnson, although for some reason they changed his name for the film. (Notice, though, that Junior himself was a paid racing consultant on the film.) The race footage is very well done and there is some good footage from the old Southern 500. Bridges and Busey are a lot of fun to watch together as well.If you like stock car racing and wonder what the old days were like when the sport was still developing, you'll love this film. Only pity is it's not on DVD.
(Also another great film (although a little cheesy) about the old days is 43 The Petty Story starring Darren McGavin as Lee Petty and Richard Petty as himself AND Dale Inman AND Buddy Baker!!! It is a classic look at the old values that are still carried forward in the sport to some degree. It also has some insight to what NASCAR was and what it has become..Some really good vinatge racing footage is also included.) Also a pity it's not on DVD...We need to prolong the life of these smaller "special interest" films. Anyway have fun, great summmer stuff.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best behind the scenes look at early NASCAR March 14, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I absolutely loved this movie! If you have an interest in real life drama, getting over obstacles and above all RACING, then this movie is for you! It shows the everyday struggle one goes through in their personal life, as well as one's pursuit towards a dream. This inspirational story shows you the everyday obstacles someone in this sport may go through and increases your interest and excitement with the sport as it is in today's world. I recommend this to everyone who lives and breathe NASCAR and other forms of racing.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By mdn61
This is a very well-written film with strong performances by an excellent cast. If you are a racing fan, you will like the film all the more. The race track scenes have a very authentic feel to them and were clearly shot at real tracks with real crowds. It takes me back to my teen years when I spent a lot of time at race tracks. I love the big, bouffant hairdos of the ladies. You can almost smell the hairspray, racing fuel, and rubber! Pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy this DVD!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!!! March 22, 2006
This movie tells the story of a mountain boy who goes from runnin' moonshine to entering local demolition derbies and dirt races to earn money for his family. Eventually, our Hero, Elroy Jackson Jr. makes it to the heights of the sport, although that is not covered in the movie.

Jeff Bridges is one of my favorite actors of all time, and I was elated when this movie finally became available on DVD. Great story, great cast, great theme song ("I Got A Name" performed by Jim Croce).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was an ABC Friday night movie July 6, 2013
Way back in the seventies.I was probably 12 years old when I first saw this.Still is one of my favorite movies of all time.You dont need to be a fan of racing to get into this flick.
If you like White Lightning/Gator....McCluskey (I had to do it) you would like this flick too.
The cars are the stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By MadMacs
Recently got tagged pretty hard with a slew of unhelpfuls when I lodged my entry to the Steve McQueen film 'Le Mans'. Apparently having hit a nerve, aka The Emperor Has No Clothes Penalty, by zealous fans who don't appreciate pointing out the contrived and rather poor construction of the movie.

Included in my reply to those who protested or neg'd the review, I noted this film as a benchmark for car racing movies. And having done so, I should step up to the plate and execute one that supports my position. It's important to note that I'm not actually a race fan per se. As a cinephile I review movies, not necessarily the topics which are being presented. A good film is a good film irrespective of whether it's about racing cars or watching snow melt. Bottom line: Can the artists craft a compelling and interesting product?

'Hero' tells the true, but fictionally updated, story of Junior Johnson - one of the first stars that helped form the entertainment juggernaut that is today known as NASCAR.

Based on a series of fascinating in-depth articles written by Tom Wolfe of 'Right Stuff' fame, the film opens with a bootlegger and his two young sons. The older of which displays an exceptional skill at driving, learned while avoiding liquor enforcement authorities. As we're introduced to the character, first impressions are that he's callous, unrepentant and supremely arrogant. Interestingly, he's also an obedient and good son whose only goal in life is to support his family.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last American Hero February 12, 2009
Probably the best racing movie I have seen. Most of them start to bore me when they get to soapy with the love stories, but that isn't the case here. We watch one family that are moonshiners go through the father being arrested and the two sons trying to pay the bills and keep the farm running for the year he is away. Junior Johnson is an excellent driver and ends up racing cars at the track to keep the family afloat. Good acting by Jeff Bridges, Gary Busey, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, and the rest the cast. Fine directing by Lamont Johnson and good story and consulting by Tom Wolfe. Worth at least a rental, but if you enjoy NASCAR movies this probably should be added to your library. If you enjoyed this catch "Six Pack".

CA Luster
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 1-2 people who don't like this movie drive imports & are jealous or...
1-2 people who don't like this movie drive imports & are jealous or can't relate. Most of us love the sound & growl of big bad American mean-machine hot rods, even if we don't own... Read more
Published 12 days ago by mike
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible movie! Can't rate it without giving at least ...
Horrible movie! Can't rate it without giving at least one star but truly deserves none. A waste of your life you will never get back.
Published 15 days ago by kindofrandom
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 21 days ago by aida w.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good enough to watch it all.
Published 2 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars It ain't bragging when you are this good ! Jeff ain't bragging.
Jeff bridges at his best.
Published 3 months ago by Richard Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last American Hero
I really liked this movie. It was full of action and lots of fast cars. Also had very good music.
Published 4 months ago by Ruby Ogden
4.0 out of 5 stars The Raw Material for Ricky Bobby!
This is a great old flick with fast cars and the beginning of the Jeff Bridges we've come to know and love. Plus, this film had to be the inspiration for The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Published 5 months ago by David Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that great
I am a racing fan and thought it would be really good. Not so much The first part of the movie was ok then it started going down hill. Read more
Published 5 months ago by T. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars great
good movie for racing fans. If you like muscle cars, fast cars or racing then this is the movie for you.
Published 5 months ago by BRENDA WHITAKER
3.0 out of 5 stars Was not an accurate recollection
I was expecting an accurate record of Junior Johnson's younger years. I was disappointed that the cars used in the movie were 15 years newer than what Junior drove while delivering... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kent Anderson
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