THE LAST DETAIL

Director Hal Ashby
Year 1973
Starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid
Rating R
Run Time 104min
More Info IMDb

Screening in 35mm as part of the series NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE: CRIME IN THE SEVENTIES.

 "No *#@!*! Navy's going to give some poor *#@!*! kid eight years in the *#@!*! brig without me taking him out for the time of his *#@!*! life." - Billy "Badass" Buddusky

Randy Quaid plays a misfit teenage sailor whose bungled swindle of $40 from a polio collection can has landed him in Navy prison. Jack Nicholson and Otis Young, awaiting new assignments at a military receiving station, draw escort duty. Taking pity on the young man, they decide to make his last days of freedom memorable ones. Screenwriter Robert Towne's adaptation of Darryl Ponicsan's novel accurately catches the flavor of peacetime military life; a navy lifer’s need to keep his head amid the oppressive pedantry of service life and the apparent apathy of the civilians he serves.

Hal Ashby, the quintessential filmmaker of the 1970s New Hollywood, directs three superlative, funny, uproariously intelligent performances in a film that is deeply aching and sad. Few movies have such a sense of time running out, an obsession with finitude that makes each moment unbearably poignant. From a decade overflowing with masterpieces, THE LAST DETAIL still stands out as one of the best.

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