Best Movies by Farr
The Last Detail Poster
Released Runtime Category
1973 103 Drama
Director Language
Hal Ashby English
Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Carol Kane, Michael Moriarty, Gilda Radner

The Last Detail

Watch it on:

What's it About

Hal Ashby's seminal '70s film has career sailors Buddusky (Nicholson) and Mulhall (Young) escorting a younger convicted enlistee named Meadows (Quaid) from Virginia to New Hampshire for an eight year sentence in the stockade. Taking pity on the painfully naïve, benumbed young man, the two older men resolve to show Meadows a wild time en-route, in the hopes of making his upcoming incarceration bearable. But are they really doing it for Meadows, or is to ward off their own feelings of imprisonment?

Why we love it

This gritty, wildly profane movie is equal parts funny and tragic, a tricky balance director Ashby sustains throughout. The Academy Award-nominated Quaid is wonderfully dim and pathetic as perennial loser Meadows, but Nicholson's performance as Buddusky is a revelation, easily up to his better-known work in "Carnal Knowledge" and "Chinatown" (it earned him his third Oscar nod in four years). This "Detail" is definitely worth enlisting for.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"