Film Series : Spotlight: Hal Ashby

The Last Detail

1973, Hal Ashby, USA, 104 min. With Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid

Show Times

  • Fri, Nov 9th 4:00pm
  • Mon, Nov 12th 6:00pm

"One of the finest works of '70s American cinema." - Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

THE LAST DETAIL is Ashby's magnum opus, perfectly pitched between raucous humor and underlying melancholy, and directed with an engaged precision that recalls such unshowy masters as Howard Hawks and Budd Boetticher. Two veteran sailors, Buddusky (Nicholson in perhaps his finest performance) and Mulhall (Young) are assigned to a seemingly simple detail: transporting a hapless shlub (Quaid) from Norfolk, Virginia, to a naval prison in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he will serve a harsh eight-year sentence. En route, these two "lifers" take it upon themselves to teach the young man a few things about life, but they end up learning more about how limited their own options are. The film caused an uproar when first released for its unprecedentedly raw language; although it has since been surpassed in that department, few films have used those words as essentially or effectively. 4K DCP digital restoration. (MR)

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