Watch Now: THE LAST RUN
Coming from the workshop of filmmaker Richard O. Fleischer, whose prolific Hollywood career lasted for over four decades, The Last Run is a 1971 action film shot in Spain and Portugal with a cast led by George C. Scott, Tony Musante, Trish Van Devere and Colleen Dewhurst (in a small but pivotal role). Fleischer’s film was written by novelist Alan Sharpe, who called the screenplay “an attempt to use the melodramatic crime chase to deal with whatever the hero’s preoccupations might be”, and tells the story of an aging career criminal living a peaceful life as a fisherman in a tiny Portuguese village. Eager to prove to himself he can still work professionally, he accepts the gig of driving an escaped murderer and his girlfriend through Portugal and Spain all the way to France. With both the Spanish authorities and the French Secret Service on his heels, it seems unlikely his last criminal adventure will have a happy ending.
John Boorman was supposed to direct the film, but left dissatisfied with the script. John Huston then stepped in, but he abandoned the project mid-shooting because his vision of the film differed heavily from what Alan Sharp originally wanted and what the star, George C. Scott, pushed for. “It was a very simple story of an artistic disagreement,” Scott later explained. Fleischer flew in to complete the film, agreeing to do it only after Sharp showed him the original screenplay, before Huston rewrote it to death. All these production issues led the film to become a commercial and critical failure, even though its promotional tagline – “in the tradition of Hemingway and Bogart” – highlights its potential and the strength of Sharp’s story.