Watch The Last Hurrah
- 1 hr 45 min
The Last Hurrah is a political drama film from 1977 directed by John Ford and starring Carroll O'Connor, Leslie Ackerman, and John Anderson. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Edwin O'Connor and centers around the final mayoral campaign of long-time politician Frank Skeffington (O'Connor). As the movie begins, Skeffington is running for re-election as the mayor of an unnamed city in the northeast United States. After decades of service, he is beloved by many in the city but also faces opposition from newer and younger politicians who seek to modernize the city and its politics. Skeffington is not a perfect man, and the movie acknowledges his faults, particularly his tendency to engage in backroom dealings and his increasingly failing health.
Throughout the movie, we see Skeffington campaign tirelessly, despite his fatigue and the attempts of his rivals to expose his shortcomings. He is fueled by his deep connection to the city and its people, particularly the working-class Irish-Americans who make up his base of support. His campaign is further complicated by the involvement of his nephew, Adam Caulfield (Anderson), who is working for one of Skeffington's opponents, and Skeffington's daughter, Maisie (Ackerman), who is struggling with her own doubts about her father's political legacy.
The Last Hurrah is a classic political drama that explores themes of legacy, loyalty, and the changing face of American politics. At its heart, the movie is a character study of Skeffington, a flawed but deeply committed politician who believes in the power of politics to make a difference. O'Connor's performance as Skeffington is nuanced and compelling, and he is greatly supported by an excellent cast of character actors.
The movie is also notable for its depiction of the Irish-American community in northeastern cities like Boston, which had long been a significant force in American politics. Although the movie is set in an unnamed city, it is clearly inspired by the political landscape of Boston, where O'Connor himself was from. The Last Hurrah captures the strong sense of community and tradition that was integral to Irish-American identity at the time, as well as the tensions that arose as Irish-Americans began to assimilate into broader American culture.
The Last Hurrah is also notable for being one of John Ford's final films. Ford, who had directed classic movies like The Searchers and The Grapes of Wrath, was in failing health at the time of the movie's production and would pass away just a few years later. The Last Hurrah can be seen as a fitting end to Ford's career, as it revisits many of the themes and motifs that he explored throughout his films, including the importance of tradition, the value of community, and the power of the individual to effect change.
The movie has been praised for its finely drawn characters, its attention to detail in capturing the look and feel of mid-century American politics, and its strong performances. Although it may be considered somewhat slow-paced by modern standards, The Last Hurrah will still appeal to fans of classic political dramas, as well as those interested in the history of American politics and Irish-American culture.
The Last Hurrah is a 1977 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.