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USA 1973
Directed by
Hal Ashby
105 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

The Last Detail

Yet another archetypal Jack Nicholson performance in this road movie about a couple of military sailors (Nicholson and Otis Young) who are escorting a young and hickish fellow sailor (Randy Quaid) to the hoosegow to serve eight years for a petty crime.

Scripted by Robert Towne, based on a novel by Darryl Ponicsan, the film has a slim premise and runs through the usual antics that sailors are known for: getting drunk, brawling and chasing tail. Nicholson is in his element as Buddusky, the classic American wise guy – a charmingly insolent cynic who doesn’t really give a f%%k about anything except having a good time, that is, eating, drinking and f%%king,

At its best the film achieves a certain poignancy as it depicts the matter-of-fact reality of the ordinary schlub's feeble and ultimately futile rebellion against authority, although the whole shebang would be much more powerfully done two years later in Milos Forman's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.




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