After the success of EASY RIDER, Dennis Hopper was given $1 million by Universal to make a film, and came back with more than 40 hours worth of footage. His final cut, after more than a year of editing, was incomprehensible to the studio and to most of the people who saw the film, except
for those at the Venice Film Festival, who gave it an award. Take a look at the cast list and you'll see that Hopper called in many of his pals to do cameos, but all that talent couldn't help. The picture is supposedly based on some experiences Hopper had while filming THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER in
Mexico. He'd hoped to shoot this in Mexico but was refused, so he took the entire company to Peru. The movie begins at the end, flashes back to the beginning, and winds up somewhere in the middle. Hopper plays Kansas, a movie stunt man who stays behind on a film location after the company has
moved off. He takes up with a local whore (Stella Garcia) then goes off to find gold with his friend Neville (Don Gordon) who, inexplicably, commits suicide. The local priest (Tomas Milian), meanwhile, makes trouble by blaming movies for the introduction of death and destruction to his naive
villagers. Kansas is adopted by the local Peruvian Indians who have made some abandoned movie equipment part of their religion. In the end, the Indians plan to crucify Kansas, as they have cast him as Billy The Kid in their production.
THE LAST MOVIE is filled with such distancing devices as blank frames and inserts that read "Scene Missing." It is also overly pretentious. Cinematographer Kovacs can usually make anything look good, but he comes a cropper in this case. Hopper, to this day, thinks that his film is a masterpiece,
and while the film's self-conscious play with the medium of filmmaking does generate some interest, there probably aren't many people out there who agree with the director's evaluation.
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- Released: 1971
- Rating: R
- Review: After the success of EASY RIDER, Dennis Hopper was given $1 million by Universal to make a film, and came back with more than 40 hours worth of footage. His final cut, after more than a year of editing, was incomprehensible to the studio and to most of the… (more)