George C. Scott is an actor I have a huge
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Some may know him best for his roles in such classics as DR. STRANGELOVE, PATTON & THE HUSTLER. Others may only know him from his famous “football to the groin” moment on The Simpsons. I really enjoy a lot of his lesser-seen 70s’ work myself. From THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS to THE NEW CENTURIONS to HARDCORE, he never disappoints. His film THE CHANGELING (which came out in 1980) was a longtime ‘scariest movie’ recommendation from me during my video store days. He’s got an everyman quality about him whilst still bringing an enormous amount of gravitas to everything he does.
THE LAST RUN came out in 1971 (along with THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS). Scott had done PATTON in 1970 and won (and refused) the Oscar for Best Actor, so both this film and GIANTS were very interesting choices that I really respect a great deal. In THE LAST RUN, he plays aging getaway driver Harry Garmes. Formerly from Chicago, he’s now retired, living in a small Portuguese fishing village. He found solace, but an unbearable ennui stirs within. He decides to purposefully interrupt his peace by doing one last job – transporting a criminal couple across the border to France.
The movie was directed by Richard Fleischer (who apparently replaced John Huston), who is gritty filmmaker that I adore. Cinematographer on the film was the legendary Sven Nykvist. You just can’t beat that combo. Add into the mix the screenplay written by Alan Sharp, who also penned NIGHT MOVES (one of my favorites), and you’ve got an existential piece that really stands out. One can feel the influence of a filmmaker like Jean Pierre Melville.
Recent films like THE AMERICAN and DRIVE would seem to draw some influence from THE LAST RUN (had their directors been able to see it). It is certainly in the wheelhouse of those films.
THE LAST RUN makes its debut on Home Video here, thanks to Warner Archive. It languished in obscurity prior to this, seeing only a few rare TV broadcasts and an occasional theatrical revival. It’s an excellent film for fans of 70s’ crime or George C. Scott, and is finally available for cinephiles to embrace.
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