The Last Detail

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Released 1973

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Movie Summary

Director:
Hal Ashby
Released:
1973
Rating:
R
The Last Detail is a 1973 dramatic comedy about a naive young sailor, Meadows (Randy Quaid), who is being escorted to a naval prison to serve an eight year sentence for stealing $40. The two escorts are Signalman First Class Buddusky (Jack Nicholson), a 20-year Navy man, and Gunner's Mate First Class Mulhall (Otis Young). The journey to the brig is set to take a week and Buddusky makes it his mission to show Meadows a good time before his imprisonment. He throws a party in a Washington hotel where Meadows gets drunk for the first time, and pays the young man's tab at a seedy whorehouse. Through all this, Meadows seems to accept his fate without complaint and Buddusky seems to be the one most outraged at the extremely harsh punishment for such a minor offense. This look at the outmoded way of life of an old Navy man in the early 1970s is directed by Hal Ashby, and is based on a novel by Darryl Ponicsan.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Time Out New York Keith Uhlich

    There's a once-in-a-lifetime feeling to the trio's every interaction—not only as characters but as performers—that makes the film's casually tragic climax that much more devastating.

  • 100

    Indiewire

    There's a deep sense of melancholy and finality that runs through The Last Detail even when it's at its funniest, not just because of Meadows' fate, but because of Buddusky and Mul...

  • 88

    Slant Magazine Chuck Bowen

    The Last Detail is so perfectly tailored to the star that it could've been mapped out from a Pythagorean theorem.

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Comedy, Drama

Themes

Dark Comedy, Military & War, Classics