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The Last American Hero

4.2 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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(Feb 07, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

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

Special Features

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

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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BZISWQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,666 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last American Hero" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have not read the Tom Wolfe essay this story is apparently based on, but as a film it works quite well. Jeff Bridges, looking like a rougher member of the Beach Boys, is effective as a young guy from a small-town moonshining family, who decided he's going to take the world by storm as a champion driver. Great supporting cast includes Ned Beatty, Gary Busey, and Valerie Perrine. Kind of a cross between Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop and Rebel Without a Cause. And understand that you don't have to be a NASCAR enthusiast to enjoy the film - it's just a great drama.
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