The Last Tycoon (1976)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on an unfinished novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald adapted by the notable playwright Harold Pinter and brought to the screen by Elia Kazan, this movie explores the life and machinations of the troubled movie producer Monroe Stahr (Robert DeNiro). The real-life inspiration for the leading character was Irving Thalberg, a producer at MGM. The focus of this leisurely-paced movie is on the characters of these show-business people. This star-studded film was expected to be a more conventional drama, and was not well-received by the film-going public.
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures

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Robert De Niro
as Monroe Stahr
Tony Curtis
as Rodriguez
Robert Mitchum
as Pat Brady
Jack Nicholson
as Brimmer
Ingrid Boulting
as Kathleen Moore
Ray Milland
as Fleishacker
Dana Andrews
as Red Ridingwood
Theresa Russell
as Cecilia Brady
Tige Andrews
as Popolos
Morgan Farley
as Marcus
Jeff Corey
as Doctor
Diane Shalet
as Stahr's Secretary
Seymour Cassel
as Seal Trainer
Bonnie Bartlett
as Brady's Secretary
Sharon Masters
as Brady's Secretary
Leslie Curtis
as Mrs. Rodriguez
Lloyd Kino
as Butler
Brendan Burns
as Assistant Editor
Carrie Miller
as Lady in Restaurant
Peggy Feury
as Hairdresser
Patricia Singer
as Girl on Beach
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Critic Reviews for The Last Tycoon

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4)

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.

Full Review… | April 10, 2007
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Elia Kazan now admits that he directed this adaptation, his last Hollywood film, for the money. Unfortunately, it looks it.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The Last Tycoon is an intriguing entry to the period gangster genre that depicts the weight of triad influence in 1930s Shanghai at the cusp of war with an invading Japan.

Full Review… | July 11, 2016
The Film Stage

Kazan's rigid directing kills the spontaneity of nearly every cast member.

Full Review… | September 25, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for The Last Tycoon

While it’s not Elia Kazan’s usual style, it’s a very interesting story with a lot to offer. You can instantaneously feel that it’s incomplete and fragmented, but it works with Robert De Niro’s performance as Stahr. This has great performances from everyone and it’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.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer


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.

Mike T.
Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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