Three ordinary and disillusioned guys with no dreams whatsoever, spend few days together on the road. By coincidence they are marines, and one of them is on its way to 8 years prison sentence. Brilliant film study on alienation between people raising some important political questions. "A Deer Hunter" but maybe better.
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.
Another of those 70s films of which I was previously unaware and which provides further evidence of the heights Nicholson could achieve in his early prime. A road movie and a character piece that provides a snapshot of an America ill at ease with itself. Young and Quaid are also excellent and there's a lovely early cameo from the brilliant Carol Kane.
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.
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.
Good acting in parts but what on earth is this other than overstretched storytelling that a slightly boring uncle with a desire to share anecdotes would take people through over a family reunion. Adding one star to my original review for the reflection on violence and social/class justice
Jack Nicholson's raw energy and trademark threat of violence keeps us all on our toes. For all their bluster and larks on the town, the Detail don't really give a s*** for their hapless charge, whom they finally hand over to serve an unjust and likely bullying incarceration. All too real an indictment of the system.