Twilight's Last Gleaming Reviews
The film has been in limbo for nigh on 30 years ,but thanks to a Bavarian film company this lost film had finally surfaced on region1 DVD.
Burt Lancaster plays Lawrence Dell a disgraced army general who seizes control of a nuclear weapons silo based in Montana,Dells demands are simple Money for his two acomplices ,the disclosure of hidden documents on the Vietnam war and lastly the President of the United States as a hostage.
Charles Durning plays President Stevens who is placed in a tricky situation by the demands and calls on his inner sanctum to come up with ideas .
The film is outstanding due to the fact the cast is great in every shape and form ,Lancaster is good as the disgruntled Dell and Durning really gets his teeth into the role of President and his cabinet contains some acting greats too including Melvyn Douglas as the defense sec Guthrie,Richard Widmark as the ruthless General Mackenzie and a brilliant turn from Gerals S O'Loughlin as Durnings long term friend and advisor who play out a fantastic two handed scene after the President realises he will have to give in to Dells demands.
Aldrich directs in his usual sharp manner and the film contains one of the best uses of split screen during a thrilling threatened nucclear missle launch.
The film is also very forward in its approach to American foreign policy at the time with the War in Vietnam very much seen as a wasted war in terms of lives at a time when the country wasstill struggling with the effects of that war.
The film deserves its rediscovery and i rate it as one of the directors best works and one which maybe now will be seen as a grade A thriller
Twilight's Last Gleaming starts out like a conventional nuclear terroist drama movie to evolve inte something bigger.
The first half is stiff terror drama with out of place but still so good Burt Lancaster and always enjoyable Richard Widmark shouting at each other over the telephone.
The second half is more philosofical eventhough the drama stills plays out. Deep discussions about the US actions after the world war II and what the Vietnam war was really all about.
This movie also makes use of the split screen effect in a amount I've never seen in any 70īs movie, although this was a very popular effect in those days. Great stuff!