6.3/10
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53 user 29 critic

The Last Tycoon (1976)

F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel is brought to life in this story of a movie producer slowly working himself to death.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Monroe Stahr
Tony Curtis ... Rodriguez
Robert Mitchum ... Pat Brady
Jeanne Moreau ... Didi
Jack Nicholson ... Brimmer
Donald Pleasence ... Boxley
Ray Milland ... Fleishacker
Dana Andrews ... Red Ridingwood
Ingrid Boulting ... Kathleen Moore
Peter Strauss ... Wylie
Theresa Russell ... Cecilia Brady
Tige Andrews ... Popolos
Morgan Farley ... Marcus
John Carradine ... Tour Guide
Jeff Corey ... Doctor
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Storyline

Young film producer, Monroe Stahr, is a rising star in 1930's Hollywood due to his ability to get anything he envisions done even if it means breaking a few rules. The latest film he's working on stars two popular actors, Rodriguez and Didi, and everyone is sure it'll be a smashing hit when it's done. The times are changing however, since the first guilds and unions are being formed in Hollywood, but Stahr is still sticking to his old ways of doing things in spite of that. His main opponent becomes a union organizer, Brimmer, but Stahr finds ways to deal with him as well. However, in his hubris, Stahr crosses one red line too many when he falls for a young troubled engaged woman called Kathleen Moore and neglects Cecilia Brady, the young daughter of studio executive and Stahr's boss, Pat Brady. Pat becomes furious over this as well as Stahr's other misbehavings and makes it his mission to take Stahr down. Due to all the pressure, Stahr's health starts failing as well. The film is ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He has the power to make anyone's dream come true... except his own.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der letzte Tycoon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,819,912

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,819,912
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Theresa Russell. See more »

Goofs

Ingrid Boulting's hairstyle changes between the scene with the performing seal and the scene at Monroe's uncompleted beach house. See more »

Quotes

Popolos: This is the greatest country in the world. Everybody stands a chance in this country. There's not going to be a revolution. The only people who want a revolution are the Communists.
Pat Brady: And the fairies.
Fleishacker: What kind of a revolution do the fairies want?
Popolos: A Communist one.
Pat Brady: What else?
Fleishacker: Do you think Stalin likes homosexuals?
Popolos: Homosexuals, eh? Let me tell you something. You know "homo" is a Greek word. I come from Europe, I'm Greek.
Pat Brady: That's why he knows so much about Stalin.
Fleishacker: But Stalin ain't Greek.
Popolos: You're damn ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in American Cinema: The Studio System See more »

Soundtracks

Out of Nowhere
Music by Johnny Green (as John Green)
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Most Overlooked Films in History For Good and For Bad...
24 June 1999 | by Don-102See all my reviews

What a mystery THE LAST TYCOON has been. This is a large-scale film with perhaps the greatest cast of male actors in history and nary a mention is made of it. Most critics bash it, the common viewer may dismiss it, but you cannot deny its place in history. It is not often you will find such a pool of talent AND a movie with both Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson on screen together. They even FIGHT! By the way, THE LAST TYCOON also happens to be an excellent, if flawed, work of art.

Director Elia Kazan (GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT, ON THE WATERFRONT) and company have taken F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel about the politics and personal conflicts of 1930's Hollywood and put forth an off-beat, unusual picture. Kazan is one of only three directors to successfully direct motion pictures between the 1940's on through the 1970's (the other 2 being Hitchcock and Huston). A staggeringly legendary cast play their parts effectively instead of just calling in their performances, which easily could have happened. Perhaps there was some competition between the old school actors and their methods (Mitchum, Milland, Andrews, Curtis, Pleasence to name a few) and the "method" actors like De Niro or Nicholson who symbolically take the torch in this film. This is especially true of De Niro's extraordinary lead as "Monroe Stahr" (based on Irving Thalberg). Kazan helped to create the "method" acting concept, so who better to direct such a crossroad of talent.

"Monroe Stahr" is a no nonsense "Studio Chief" who I'm sure Fitzgerald encountered while a hack writer in Hollywood during his final years. De Niro as "Stahr" orders cuts here and fires directors there and caters to what he thinks audiences want. He is actually a noble character, something Fitzgerald may not have meant to express. He must deal with Robert Mitchum and Ray Milland, who represent the corporate, artless side of the picture business and later the writer's wing (represented by Mr. Nicholson). As expected, there are many conflicts of interest but the movie's magic lies in the amazing contrast Kazan and company make between the dream world of an old black and white movie and what happened when the director yelled "CUT".

I love classic black and white films and one of the aspects that made them so great was the world you were thrust into. Fake backdrops, miniatures, and grand sets surrounded the actors in most of them, but the dream-like quality of a black and white film kept you involved. With this film, some curiously familiar "fictional" film clips are used for screening purposes where the studio executives would clap or claw at what was projected (They were filmed specifically for this film). Kazan and co. create scenes from supposed films (one was CASABLANCA turned inside out) to add some realism to it all. We get to see an actor from the movies-within-the-movie "on" and "off-screen". Tony Curtis has some good early scenes as a perfect screen presence, but an awfully inept star "off-screen" when he meets with De Niro to confess his sexual confusion in real life. You'll know what I mean if you see the flick for yourself.

LAST TYCOON is a love story more than anything. Many people may dismiss the love angle as a distraction. I found it slightly hypnotic and mysterious. The love interest, played by a beautiful actress named Ingrid Boulting, is great at exuding an elusive quality, something the De Niro character can't put his finger on. It all leads up to a somewhat vague climax and ending, but perhaps the filmmakers were unable to come up with the final stamp Fitzgerald failed to accomplish himself.

This is a film for discerning and patient film-goers only. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. That is why I see movies. Why the film has been so looked over is bizarre. Even if you consider it a complete flop, it deserves recognition, if only for the great cast. If you like classic films and know a thing or two about film history, you may know why THE LAST TYCOON is so captivating.

RATING: 8 1/2 of 10


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