The Last Hurrah (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
Classics , Documentary , Drama
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Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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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 B. 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
Charles Sullivan
as Chauffeur
Jack Pennick
as Policeman
Richard Deacon
as Plymouth Club Director
Harry Tenbrook
as Footsie
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
Hal K. Dawson
as Managing Editor
Tom Neal
as Tom (Funeral Mourner)
Clete Roberts
as News Commentator
Tommy Earwood
as Gregory McCluskey
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Critic Reviews for The Last Hurrah

All Critics (9)

The Last Hurrah is an ignored classic.

Full Review… | May 25, 2016

Enjoyable as crowd-pleasing nostalgia.

Full Review… | March 23, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Hilarious, richly inventive political satire targeting the rich's class war against the poor, is more timely than ever.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
Classic Film and Television


August 2, 2009

Quote not available.

September 23, 2005
International Press Academy

Quote not available.

June 25, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Last Hurrah

A quality picture, full of meaning, history, and famous faces. It details the fall of the old ways of politics -- like the good old-fashioned street-corner speech -- to the advances of television and the scripted plug. It follows the last campaign of Frank Skeffington (Spencer Tracy) in a well-suited role as an aging mayor. His nephew (Jeffrey Hunter), who cares for Skeffington more than the mayor's own son, follows the campaign, shenanigans, and magnanimity of Skeffington. The film was created from a successful novel, and the quality shows. We can see that there is backstory to the characters, a life beyond the plot. The honest emotions in the closing scenes are not to be missed. They touched me keenly.

Carmela "inhonoredglory"

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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