The core agenda of any Hal Ashby film is rebellion and the struggle for freedom. Randy Quaid's Meadows is a meek sailor: he is compliant and fearful of living. On the other end of the spectrum are Jack Nicholson and Otis Young, both seemingly 'strong' men: loud and suspicious of The Man, yet ironically also programed to follow orders. Like Meadows, they too are prisoners. And try as they might, none can break free.
The main draw of this amiable comedy-drama from director Hal Ashby and screenwriter Robert Towne is the great character performances from Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, and Randy Quaid. Beyond that, it's slow paced and just too long, never reaching the comedic or dramatic heights you expect it to. Often considered one of the classics of 70s American cinema, but it's really only a minor achievement.
My favorite Hal Ashby directed film and my favorite Nicholson performance of all time. Jack and Otis Young shine as Navy lifers who try to give Randy Quaid's unfortunate sailor (Meadows) a bit of life experience before he does an 8 year sentence for stealing 40 dollars. They drink, they gamble, they chase women and they rage at an unfair system that has imprisoned them all to one degree or another. Honest and angry.
A life without opportunity is a prison, and 'The Man' is its warden. Led by a superb Jack Nicholson, 'The Last Detail' proves a furlough for the ages. Drama with sense and sense of humour enough to make us laugh while we hopelessly await the inevitable conclusion.
Classic 70s American cinema; urban decay & complex men. Jack Nicholson as Buddusky is at his magnetic, slightly unhinged best. His charisma & infectious impulsiveness carries the tale of three sailors drifting across the country looking for a good time. At sea level its an enjoyable road movie, but below the surface there's valuable insight into what it is to be a man; camaraderie, masculinity & expectation.