The Last Detail (1973)

HAL ASHBY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1973.  , , .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1973.  Cannes Film Festival 1974.  Golden Globe Awards 1973.  

Jack Nicholson is marvelous as a marine who along with  is assigned to escort Randy Quaid from his court martial to the jail where he will serve a prison sentence. Getting to know him while on the road, the two supervising soldiers realize that Quaid is still fresh to many experiences of the world, so they decide to show him around a little before locking him behind bars. Terrific performances aren’t fully compensatory for a rather plodding narrative or Hal Ashby’s merely satisfactory direction, but it’s a great character study with plenty of enjoyable moments.

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