The Last Detail

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USA | 1973 | 106 minutes | Hal Ashby

November 9, 2013

A pair of Navy officers show a young prisoner a good time on his way to the brig. Featuring Oscar®-nominated performances from Jack Nicholson and Randy Quaid.

Jack Nicholson plays foul-mouthed sailor "Bad Ass" Buddusky, who, along with his partner Mulhall (Otis Young), is ordered to transport a midshipman convicted of theft (Randy Quaid) to a distant prison. Buddusky feels sympathy for the naïve young prisoner and takes it upon himself to show his fellow seaman a good time via booze, girls, and rowdiness before being locked away in the brig.

Robert Towne's profane, heartbreaking script was one of the first screenplays to show how men really spoke to each other (the script featured over 300 uses of the f-word in the opening scene alone). Director Hal Ashby, fresh off of Harold & Maude, grounded the film in an authentic realism that embraced both the dour reality and the dark humor of the soldier's journey. Together, they made a film filled with colorful language, believable characters, and a real emotional wallop that earned Towne his first of many Academy Award® nominations.

  • Director: Hal Ashby
  • Principal Cast: Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Michael Moriarty, Carol Kane, Nancy Allen, Gilda Radner
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 1973
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Sony Repertory