The Last Tycoon (1976)
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Elia Kazan's adaptation of the unfinished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel based on the life of MGM Chairman Irving Thalberg stars Robert DeNiro as a film producer whose lust for power is driving him to an early grave.
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Critic Reviews for The Last Tycoon
Producer Sam Spiegel's contribution is admirable, but Elia Kazan's direction of the Pinter plot seems unfocussed though craftsmanlike. Robert De Niro's performance as the inscrutable boy-wonder of films is mildly intriguing.
De Niro proves again how well he can carry a part, and is particularly good in scenes dealing with the day-to-day business of movie-making.
The movie is full of echoes. We watch it as if at a far remove from what's happening, but that too is appropriate: Fitzgerald was writing history as it happened.
Elia Kazan now admits that he directed this adaptation, his last Hollywood film, for the money. Unfortunately, it looks it.
Kazan's rigid directing kills the spontaneity of nearly every cast member.
It's a film that takes Hollywood too seriously and seems to worship with piety at its altar, but was too awkwardly presented to mean much.
Fitzgerald's unfinished novel transfers awkwardly to the screen but is saved from oblivion by that always-fascinating actor De Niro.
Out of place and not quite interesting enough to hold our attention, which is a disappointment, because it has many of the elements that can make for greatness.
Interessante na maior parte do tempo, o filme acaba sendo prejudicado pela fraca subtrama romântica e pelo final medíocre (adaptar um livro inacabado pode ser má idéia).
An exquisite screen interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished novel on Hollywood during the Thirties
De Niro is well cast and star-spotting is always fun, but Kazan's direction never truly elicits the audience's empathy and Pinter's script has too many silences.
Audience Reviews for The Last Tycoon
While itâ??s not Elia Kazanâ??s usual style, itâ??s a very interesting story with a lot to offer. You can instantaneously feel that itâ??s incomplete and fragmented, but it works with Robert De Niroâ??s performance as Stahr. This has great performances from everyone and itâ??s got a nice critique about Hollywood and movie making, but it never really answers any of the questions it asks. This is about as much as you can expect though, considering the circumstances, and nothing to be ashamed of.More
With a cast like this there is no way this should be the snoozefest it is. Moves at a glacial place to no real resolution.More
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Last Tycoon," Monroe Stahr(Robert De Niro) is the head of production at International World Films in the 1930's, making movies to keep people's minds off the Depression. He lives for his work, spending little time outside of it, since the tragic death of his lady love about a decade before. One night, an earthquake strikes the studio while he is sleeping in his office. Out to inspect the damage, he notices two women floating by on a prop; one of whom, Kathleen Moore(Ingrid Boulting), reminds him of his lost love. Now, he is obsessed with finding her again...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Last Tycoon" is a detailed and captivating movie with a breezy tone until the final minutes when it begins to drag. The movie takes place when the studio system was at its height in Hollywood.(The casting of Robert Mitchum, Ray Milland, John Carradine and Tony Curtis acknowledges the old studio system while Theresa Russell and Anjelica Huston point towards the future. And Jeanne Moreau represents the revolutionary French New Wave.) This was at a time when for better or worse the studio boss was king and directors, actors and writers were little more than craftsmen making movies on a production line. Thankfully the movie is not nostalgiac, simply showing one way of making films. [/font]
I've read a lot of reviews that complain about this film's "glacial pace", but if I may be so bold, I think a lot of people are misplacing their criticism. If anything, the film moves forward a little too quickly and sheds some crucial character insight in the process. However, I was pleased with the movie's tonal approach of distance, and the atmosphere of quiet sadness it established. This is a withdrawn piece that speaks very little at times and expects a lot from the audience. The direction, writing and performances all serve towards its languid essence and the result is a respectably executed movie that falls short of the greatness it could have achieved. Robert De Niro's lead performance is exciting to watch - a sketch of a character with a lot of texture that we never quite get a grasp of. His brief moments with Jack Nicholson make this film worth a watch alone. Watching those two screen legends feed off each other made me a happy viewer. This isn't a film I would recommend to many people, but I enjoyed it extensively and I presume it's something I'll revisit at least once.More
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