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The Last Hurrah

U.S. movie poster
Directed by John Ford
Produced by John Ford
Written by Edwin O'Connor (novel)
Frank S. Nugent
Starring Spencer Tracy
Cinematography Charles Lawton Jr.
Editing by Jack Murray
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) October 24, 1958
Running time 121 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

The Last Hurrah is a 1958 film adaptation of the novel The Last Hurrah by Edwin O'Connor. It was directed by John Ford and starred Spencer Tracy as a veteran mayor preparing for yet another election campaign. Tracy was nominated as Best Foreign Actor by BAFTA and won the Best Actor Award from the National Board of Review, which also presented Ford the award for Best Director.

The film tells the story of Frank Skeffington, a sentimental but iron-fisted Irish-American who is the powerful mayor of an unnamed American city. As his nephew, Adam Caulfield, follows one last no-holds-barred mayoral campaign, Skeffington and his top strategist, John Gorman, use whatever means necessary to defeat a candidate backed by civic leaders such as banker Norman Cass and newspaper editor Amos Force, the mayor's dedicated foes.


The role of Mayor Frank Skeffington was first offered to Orson Welles, as Welles recounts in Peter Bogdanovich's 1992 book This Is Orson Welles. However, "When the contracts were to be settled, I was away on location, and some lawyer -- if you can conceive of such a thing -- turned it down. He told Ford that the money wasn't right or the billing wasn't good enough, something idiotic like that, and when I came back to town the part had gone to Tracy."

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