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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars QUITE EASILY SPENCER TRACY'S GREATEST PERFORMANCE!
"The Last Hurrah" follows the exploits of mayor, Frank Skeffington (Spencer Tracy). He?s running for a third term but meets with great opposition from the city council, who don't appreciate his strong-arm tactics and chronic meddling in their affairs. The pack of detractors is led by Norman Cass Sr. (Basil Rathbone), whose youthful incumbent for the post of...
Published on October 25, 2003 by Nix Pix

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Voices not clear
Poor sound quality. Could hardly understand much of the dialogue. Disappointed because I think it was basically a very good movie.
Published 15 months ago by J. Sparaco


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars QUITE EASILY SPENCER TRACY'S GREATEST PERFORMANCE!, October 25, 2003
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
"The Last Hurrah" follows the exploits of mayor, Frank Skeffington (Spencer Tracy). He?s running for a third term but meets with great opposition from the city council, who don't appreciate his strong-arm tactics and chronic meddling in their affairs. The pack of detractors is led by Norman Cass Sr. (Basil Rathbone), whose youthful incumbent for the post of mayor, Kevin McCluskey (Charles B. Fitzsimmons) seems an impossible long shot. But Skeffington is not above dishing a little dirt of his own on the side. He uses incriminating photos of Cass?s simpleton son, Norman Jr. (O.Z. Whitehead) to blackmail Cass Sr. into relative submission. Skeffington also gingerly berates the elements of city council opposing him, including news paper editor, Amos Force (John Carradine) to whom Skeffington?s nephew, Adam Caufield (Jeffrey Hunter) is an employee and sometimes unwilling observer. As Skeffington, Tracy is pure dynamite, delving out equal portions of brutality and kindness in a tour de force performance that quite easily might be his best! There are plenty of finely wrought cameos to go around, including Jane Darwell?s crotchety spinster, Anna Lee?s subtle and tender performance as the widow and Donald Crisp?s stoic turn as His Eminence, Cardinal Burke. This is one heck of a good show!
Instituted into the pipeline before Columbia's penny-pinching regime kicked in, "The Last Hurrah" has had admirable work done on its transfer before being minted to DVD. The gray scale is excellent and the anamorphic widescreen version of the movie is very nicely rendered with fine detail, solid blacks and contrast levels. There is a definite grain structure to this film but it will not distract from the performances. There are no compression related artifacts. The audio is MONO and nicely rendered.
There are, unfortunately, NO EXTRAS!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spence, August 18, 2006
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
John Ford's 1958 classic is one of the finest film testaments to Spencer Tracy, one of cinema history's most charismatic, talented, and scene-dominating actors. Tracy is perfectly cast as Frank Skeffington, the Irish-bred mayor of a vaguely New Englandy town, a man who learned to play the political game the old-fashioned way and manages to look righteous even when he's breaking the rules. There are a wealth of scene-stealers along for the ride, including Pat O'Brien, James Gleason, Basil Rathbone, and John Carradine, but Tracy never loses a single battle to any of them. Gable once called him "the best we've got." If you wanna know why, just watch this film.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great despite a few weak points, June 15, 2002
This review is from: Last Hurrah [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Political dramas are not my favorite type of movie, but I still enjoyed this film, if for no other reason than I'm a big Tracy fan and this is certainly one of his greatest roles, and Tracy turns in one of his best performances.
The rest of the cast is also excellent, especially Jeffrey Hunter as Tracy's newspaperman nephew, and Edward Brophy as one of Tracy's cronies, both of whom get extensive play in the movie. Unfortunately, Donald Crisp as the Cardinal and Basil Rathbone don't have that much on-screen time, and Rathbone really only has one big scene and a couple of other pieces of dialogue here and there, as does Crisp, but they're still excellent in their roles.
A few scenes seem a little weak, such as when Tracy tricks Basil Rathbone's idiot son to accept the Fire Marshall job so he can blackmail Rathbone into ponying up the housing loan money. The TV interview with Tracy's young opponent was pretty silly, and I didn't think John Carradine was especially well cast as a former KKK member, magazine publisher, and Tracy's long-time nemesis.
Other than that, the film's portrayal of Tracy as a tough, smart, down-to-earth, old-time political boss (or as Donald Crisp refers to him--"an engaging scoundrel") is itself engagingly and humorously done. It provides a fascinating and perhaps nostalgic look at a vanished era of grass-roots politicians back when they stumped in the inner-city wards, shaking hands and kissing babies and vying for votes one-by-one the hard way before the advent of TV changed the political campaigning process forever.
Overall, still a great flick and especially worth seeing if you're a Spencer Tracy fan.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood's Irish Mafia's Grand Finale, January 17, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Last Hurrah [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A must see for Spencer Tracy & John Ford fans! A first rate cast of the finest character actors of Hollywood's Golden Era. Basil Rathbone, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, Donald Crisp, Jane Darwell and many others magnificently support Tracy as a cagey Boston politician in what proves to be his final run for office. A great political film, a great film for Irish-Americans, and a grand going away party for a group of artisans whose combined work in cinema will never be equaled.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FORD POLITICAL FILM!, June 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
John Ford's,"The Last Hurrah",based on a novel by Edwin O'Connor,tells of the last campaign of Frank Skeffington(based on Mayor Michael Curley of Boston)for Mayor of an unnamed New England City.But it is SO MUCH MORE than that,it is the story of Irish Catholics in American,a very romaniticized view of them and big city politics,but a VERY WARM AND LOVING POTRAIT of times gone by,told by THE GREATEST STORY TELLER in U.S. film history,John Ford.

Spencer Tracy(as skeffington) leads an unbeatable cast Basil Rathbone,John Carradine,Jeffery Hunter(as the Mayor's nephew),Jane Darwell,Anna Lee,Frank McHugh,Wally Ford,Pat O'Brien,and on,an on.A GREAT FILM,that NEVER fails to move me(i've seen it at least 40 times)One drawback==NO AUDIO COMMENTARY.The DVD=4 stars.The MOVIE=5 stars.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film with one "flaw", March 6, 2007
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
I write as a native of Boston old enough to remember, barely, James Michael Curly campaign signs ("Curly Gets Things Done"). This is a great movie with one flaw, and I don't mean to take anything at all away from the inestimable Spencer Tracy. But fidelity to the book and to the memory of Curly CRIED OUT for the move to be presented in that unique English called a Boston accent. Absent that accent, those cadences, that "music," the otherwise wonderful performances in the movie fall somewhat flat.

Still, the movie has many touching details. The Irish wake. The cops and firemen at Skeffington's beck and call. The towering, condescending Yankee-patrician rage of Amos Force toward Skeffington. Poor Force's digestion was surely challenged during that Plymouth Club dining scene. And the figure of Skeffington's faithful little, not-too-bright, hat-holding hanger-on and gofer, Ditto, was evocative. Especially at the end when Ditto, alone with his shadow, slowly climbs the stairs to bid farewell to his master who has just died.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL, THIS IS CLASSIC POLITICS, September 6, 2008
By 
Loves To Read "Lu" (Twin Cities, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
The films 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. [...]
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie Politics, July 1, 2001
By 
Timothy J. Kovacik (Hillside, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Last Hurrah [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is one of the best political genre films ever made. Spencer Tracey is at his very best as the down-to-earth mayor of small U.S. city. Corrupt city politics is displayed in a humorous fashion as Tracy's character seeks re-election, all the while being covered by a local newspaper reporter (his nephew portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter).
Tracy's acting ability shines here. The film is packed with Hollywood's best character actors, including Basil Rathbone and Pat O'Brian. This is a must see during election time.
I consider Spencer Tracy America's greatest actor, and I rate this in my top five of great Tracy films. This film, while dated, portrays old-time politics in a funny, yet truthful fashion. Also, Tracy's death-bed scene at the film's end, is one of Tracy's best acting moments. The movie is a pure joy to watch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ford's Most Underrate Film, February 11, 2011
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
I am surprised how many Ford fans dismiss this film and don't see its worth or its beauty. It is one of the rare Ford films in which we actually witness the hero die. The way Ford leads up to this and the way he portrays it is only one of the reasons that demand a second look by all who think the film does not hold up to other Ford. Ford distances himself from death in How Green was My Valley by making it part of a flashback. Tom Doniphon's death in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance takes place between the present story and the flashback. People praise Ford for his ambiguity. The Last Hurrah is more complex than detractors give it credit for and has a remarkable amount of depth. Ditto is probably the most lovingly portrayed sycophant in any film I can think of. Tracy's continually fixing Ditto's hat (which is the exact same type as Tracy-Skeffinton's) or commenting on the hat is one of the most touching portrayals of frienship in all of Ford, more like moments from Hawks. The fact that the film title says Directed and Produced by John Ford might also be Ford's tribute to his old friend, Howard Hawks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest movies ever made!, July 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Last Hurrah (DVD)
Spencer Tracey at his best. It lovingly portrays the rise and fall of the big city Irish politician. Just see it.
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The Last Hurrah
The Last Hurrah by John Ford (DVD - 1999)
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