Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Last Detail (1973)


mikeovswinton said...

Oh yes. As Kanye West put it "This is the real one." Or as Homer Simpson put it - "Nine thumbs up." Nicholson's best film by a country mile. And the inspiration for a fine instrumental by the Blue Ox Babes.

PS Was Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution any cop?

Darren said...

Took me a while to warm to it, but by the end of the film I really liked the characters and cared about them.

I haven't seen Five Easy Pieces or the King of Marvin Gardens yet, so I'll reserve judgement on whether or not it's my favourite Nicholson film. (I always had a soft spot for Terms of Endearment, but it's not really his film, is it?)

Did you know that The Last Detail is adapted from a novel and that the author - Darryl Ponicsan - wrote a sequel to the book about five years ago? I might hunt out both books.

Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution? Cop? Is that a Stasi joke? Bit of a disappointment. I wasn't expecting any great shakes but it didn't know if it was a comedy or a drama. (And it certainly wasn't a comedy drama.)

Some of the acting was awful. Especially from some of the secondary characters.

I should have feared the worst when I spotted the words, 'funded by the National Lottery' in the opening credits.

mikeovswinton said...

"Any cop" a Stasi joke? No, a bida Manc, are kid.
Between your post and my scramblings round the internet I'm not a lot a clearer about Mrs Ratcliffe's. I may search out just to be awkward.
Discussed Nicholson with a film buff at lunch and the other films you mentioned (along with Cuckoo's Nest) got mentioned. I may chase the books as well.
Then we got onto Praise Marx and Pass the Ammunition. Its on the list next time I go to the lock up.....

mikeovswinton said...

Not all lottery funded films are wack.

Howsabout "Happy go lucky" ? Or "And when did you last see your father?", or as I prefer to call it after watching it on New year's Day 2009 in Oslo in a cinema that was the only place open in the whole city; "Tilback til Yorkshire". Some of the American reviews noted on Wikipedia seem to miss the point quite spectacularly.
En Ra Ha!

Darren said...

I agree I was being a bit harsh with the lottery fund gibe - I love Happy-Go-Lucky - but I do wonder how else the film could have got the funding.

It just seemed to fall between too many stools. Maybe because it was based on a true story, and they didn't really know how to run with the basic storyline. Or maybe the 'heid-yins' thought they could piggyback on the success of Goodbye Lenin?

I guess I'm just irritated by it because it could have been so much better.

However, I did forget to mention that I liked the look of the film. I don't have the film knowledge to know if that's down to the cinematographer or the director.

I've decided that I have to stop thinking about 'Praise Marx . . . '. It's become so elevated as a film and cultural artefact in my mind's eye that of course I'm going to be disappointed by it if and when I get the chance to see it.

mikeovswinton said...

Don't think you will be disappointed. The look of disgust on the cadre's face as he returned it lives to this day. And the sequence about marching songs with Carl (the other Carl Davis) Davis also lives on. (That explains the title by the way.)
Just remember the words of the immortal Chuck Woods - "Good things come to those who wait." (Seven Days Too Long).