Columbia 1958 ~ Frank Skeffington (Spencer Tracy) is running for his fifth term as Mayor in a large unnamed city on the eastern seaboard of the United States (Boston). Frank invites his nephew Adam Caulfield (Jeffrey Hunter) a Sports Writer to a meeting asking him to follow him around on his last campaign his ‘Last Hurrah’. Frank asks Adam what is the greatest spectator sport; Baseball, basketball, football?
Uncle Frank explains: It’s Politics
The Last Hurrah is based on a book written by Edwin O’Connor and Directed by John Ford. It is a must see poignant end of Classic Hollywood era movie. It is also a relevant political movie that shows that though a different year the same issues apply today.
From the Publishing Editor’s one more time investigating Frank’s Income Tax Returns (‘you found nothing wrong the last two times you investigated him’).
The new way of campaigning; Frank visits the Wards meets the people, his opponent appears on Television.
Fat Cat bankers of the inclusive Plymouth Club hold up loans for a housing project to clear out the slums, till the next Mayor wins. The Fat Cat’s vow to spend two, three, four thousand dollars whatever it takes, cost is no object to elect the new young manipulative candidate that they back.
Lesser of Two Evils
Get out and vote is not just a new catch phrase.
In the last signature John Ford scene: the front door opens at Frank’s house (he has suffered a heart attack) we are on the outside looking in. Franks buddies ascend the stairs for their last goodbye. I feel the movie also has an underlying theme. It is as if we too the audience are saying a final goodbye to one of the greatest actors and the ensemble of character actors from the various Studio Systems or John Ford movie Alumni of the Classic Hollywood era.
Spencer Tracy, Jeffrey Hunter-Anna Lee, Basil Rathbone, Basil Ruysdael, Bob Sweeney, Carleton Young, Donald Crisp, Edward Brophy, Frank Albertson, James Gleason, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Ken Curtis, O.Z. Whitehead, Pat O’Brien, Ricardo Cortez, Wallace Ford, William Leslie, Willis Bouchey.