The Last Run (1971)


(director: Richard Fleischer; screenwriter: Alan Sharp; cinematographer: Sven Nykvist; editor: Russell Lloyd; music: Jerry Goldsmith; cast: George C. Scott (Harry Garmes), Tony Musante (Paul Rickard), Trish Van Devere (Claudie Scherrer), Colleen Dewhurst (Monique), Aldo Sanbrell (Miguel), Antonio Tarruella (Motorcycle cop); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Carter de Haven; MGM; 1971)
“Downbeat but well-crafted crime thriller.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Richard Fleischer(“Soylent Green”/”The Jazz Singer”/”Conan the Destroyer“) takes over the directing chores from the boozy John Huston. Huston quit over his enmity for star George C. Scott. The screenwriter is Alan Sharp, whose labored script keeps things muddled.

This downbeat but well-crafted crime thriller is about that old chestnut of an aging world-weary gangster taking one last job to see if he still can do it after years of retirement as a fisherman. Scott is the embittered ex-Chicago mob getaway driver living in seclusion the last nine years as out of place fisherman in a Portuguese fishing village. His child dies and his wife abandons him. Bored to death, he agrees to drive the punky young convict Tony Musante from Spain to France, after he’s broken out of a prison van near the French border. The boastful Musante takes along his young lady friend Trish Van Devere, as they plan to live in France. The job turns out to be a double-cross, as the syndicate takes Tony and Trish hostage at their meeting spot and payoff Scott to split. Scott does the unexpected and comes back to rescue the unlikable escapee. In pursuit are both the mob and the cops.

Great looking Spanish landscapes, some good car chases, a dazzling character study performance by Scott and a haunting score by Jerry Goldsmith keep things hopping despite its lousy screenplay and predictable narrative. Colleen Dewhurst has an inconsequential role as the whore in the fishing village who is close to Scott.

Scott’s former wife Colleen Dewhurst and future wife Trish Van Devere are oddly enough featured in the film.