Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Last Detail (1973)

Synopsis: Two US Navy lifers (Jack Nicholson and Otis Young) accompany a young seaman (Randy Quaid) to jail after he is convicted of petty theft. Much adventurous drunken hilarity ensues.

A funny, warm, profanity laden and intelligent film from one of Hollywood's golden ages. The 1970s saw a celluloid smorgasbord of incredible films come out of Hollywood and The Last Detail is firmly part of that creative period.

Based on a novel, the story is a classic 'journey' tale, with all three characters going through emotional catharsis alongside the geographical journey. We also see Jack Nicholson and Otis Young act as parents to young Quaid, with each respectively slipping easily into the Mom (Young) and Dad (Nicholson) roles. A bit like good cop/bad cop, the twosome display traits to emphasise their own growing emotional attachment to Quaid's character.

This angle of it reminded me of In Bruges (older know it all looking after a younger version of himself, and with a tonne of swearing).

With a feeling of a stage play, there's some great dialogue between the characters. There's a great scene on the train in which they discuss Quaid's crime in a laid back way. There's such a lovely naturalness to this scene it almost feels like improv.

Also reminded me how sexy US sailors can be, with their bell bottoms and flat hats. If you need any further reminding, take a look at Marie Cosindas' beautiful and iconic photograph.

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