U.S, 1973, 103 min, 35mm, Dir. Hal Ashby, Rated R, Sony Pictures
"Nicholson's cigar-chomping, profanity-spouting grunt is one of the greatest incarnations of stunted machismo onscreen, and he's brilliantly complemented by Quaid's picture-perfect awkwardness and Young's bracing cynicism." – Keith Uhlich, Time Out
It's just not fair, 18-year-old sailor Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid) getting 8 years in the brig for pilfering $40 from the charity till. So think "Badass" Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and "Mule" Mulhall (Otis Young) entrusted with escorting Meadows - from Norfolk, Virginia to Portsmouth Naval Prison near Kittery, Maine. En route, the Navy lifers decide to show the kid the time of his life. Once he loses his virginity, will Meadows be stoic about spending some of the best years of his life behind bars? As befits a movie about freedom, The Last Detail single handedly liberated the use of profanity onscreen. The gawky Quaid was recognized by the Academy with a Supporting Actor nomination, as was Robert Towne for Screenplay Adaptation (he would cash in the following year with Chinatown). In a signature role, Nicholson gets free rein from counterculture director Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Shampoo, Bound For Glory, Coming Home) and lets loose with an inspired, unbridled performance that earned him a Best Actor prize at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. He was disappointed: "I like the idea of winning at Cannes with The Last Detail, but not getting our own Academy Award hurt real bad. I did it in that movie, that was my best role."
F for Friday is a globe-trotting series that spans decades with cutting-edge game-changing films, screened in their original format or digital restoration. Tickets are $7.00 and include a free popcorn and 2-for-1 beer and wine.