The Last Hurrah (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Hurrah1958

The Last Hurrah (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Last Hurrah Photos

Movie Info

Spencer Tracy stars in John Ford's sentimental adaptation of Edwin O'Connor's novel about the final campaign of a big city mayor, loosely based upon the life of Boston politician James Curley. Tracy is Frank Skeffington, the political boss of an Eastern city dominated by Irish-Americans. Skeffington tries to assist the people of the city and avoids cutting political deals with the power elite. But despite his concern for the people, Skeffington has no friends, just flunkies. The Mayor is greatly admired by his idealistic nephew Adam Caulfield (Jeffrey Hunter), who writes for an opposition newspaper run by Amos Force (John Carradine). When Skeffington needs money for a loan, he asks the powerful banker Norman Cass (Basil Rathbone), but Cass steadfastly refuses. In retaliation, Skeffington appoints Cass's retarded son as an interim fire commissioner. To prevent his son from disgracing the family, Cass agrees to the bank loan. But Cass uses his deep pockets to finance the opposition's candidate for mayor.

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Spencer Tracy
as Mayor Frank Skeffington
Jeffrey Hunter
as Adam Caulfield
Dianne Foster
as Maeve Caulfield
Pat O'Brien
as John Gorman
Basil Rathbone
as Norman Cass Sr.
Donald Crisp
as The Cardinal
James Gleason
as Duke Gillen
Edward S. Brophy
as Ditto Boland
John Carradine
as Amos Force
Willis Bouchey
as Roger Sugrue
Basil Ruysdael
as Bishop Gardner
Ricardo Cortez
as Sam Weinberg
Wallace Ford
as Charles J. Hennessey
Frank McHugh
as Festus Garvey
Anna Lee
as Gert Minihan
Jane Darwell
as Delia Boylan
Frank Albertson
as Jack Mangan
Charles FitzSimons
as Kevin McCluskey
Carleton Young
as Mr. Winslow
Bob Sweeney
as Johnny Degnan
Edmund Lowe
as Johnny Byrne
William Leslie
as Dan Herlihy
Ken Curtis
as Monsignor Killian
O.Z. Whitehead
as Norman Cass Jr.
Arthur J. Walsh
as Frank Skeffington Jr.
Helen Westcott
as Mrs. McCluskey
Ruth Warren
as Ellen Davin
Mimi Doyle
as Mamie Burns
James Flavin
as Police Captain
Frank Sully
as Fire Chief
Jack Pennick
as Policeman
Richard Deacon
as Plymouth Club Director
Eve March
as Young Politician
William Henry
as Young Politician
James Waters
as Young Politician
Rand Brooks
as Young Politician
Harry Lauter
as Young Politician
Harry Tyler
as Retainer
Robert Levin
as Jules Kowalsky
Julius Tannen
as Mr. Kowalsky
Tom Neal
as Tom (Funeral Mourner)
Hal K. Dawson
as Managing Editor
Clete Roberts
as News Commentator
Tommy Earwood
as Gregory McCluskey
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Critic Reviews for The Last Hurrah

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

Ford has done all this once... But the poetry is gone.

March 18, 2020 | Full Review…

Full of eccentric characters, many of whom appear exaggerated but are likely quite abundant in the world of politics.

August 22, 2020 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

The extreme sensitivity in these last moments of the movie is of an astonishing delicacy. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 20, 2019 | Full Review…

A rare John Ford political drama in which Spencer Tracy shines as an over-the-hill pol who chases one more term as mayor.

June 3, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Terrific entertainment until it's stopped dead in its tracks by a painfully protracted finale.

April 22, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The Last Hurrah is an ignored classic.

May 25, 2016 | Rating: 5.0/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Last Hurrah

John Ford (ever a slightly drunk barroom poet at around closing time - and proud of it) poetically ruminates about a) changing times, b) and being passed by, all while being particularly aware of both and not wanting either, in this excellent piece about an aging mayor's (Spencer Tracy) last campaign. Although viewed as an anachronistic scoundrel and crook by most, Ford takes deliberate care that we are shown his doppelganger's true good intentions and motives. As with most Ford efforts the supporting cast is both capable and familiar. The work of an accomplished artist here, sure in his abilities and skill.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Good movie featuring a great understated performance by Tracy.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


A good political film about a mayor running for his 5th and last election. This is not a great political film, but Tracy gives a good performance. It could have been better if they would have focused more on the political change that TV was inflicting on modern politics. The film does address it but doesn't really show how much it had changed. It's a good film and well directed by John Ford, but I wish Tracy's character was a little more shrewed and less a great man. I would of liked to see more faults that a man receives after a life in politics. Worth a watch, but it needed to be less wholesome.

cody franklin
cody franklin

Super Reviewer

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