Best Movies by Farr
The Last Hurrah Poster
Released Runtime Category
1958 121 Drama
Director Language
John Ford English
Spencer Tracy, Dianne Foster, Pat O’Brien, Jeffrey Hunter, Basil Rathbone, John Carradine

The Last Hurrah

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What's it About

Aging Irish-Catholic politico Frank Skeffington (Tracy) is running for re-election one last time as mayor of an unnamed New England town. He still has a large following, but his chief political foes, wealthy banker Norman Cass, Sr. (Rathbone) and conservative newspaper editor Amos Force (Carradine), paint him as a relic standing in the way of progress. Skeffington’s nephew Adam (Hunter) happens to work for Force and covers the lead-up to the election. He grows close to his roguish uncle as Skeffington campaigns in the dawning age of television. Will the old warrior prevail one last time?

Why we love it

Adapted from Edwin O’Connor’s popular novel, John Ford’s solidly old-fashioned drama is a thinly veiled biography of the long-serving Boston mayor James Michael Curley. Tracy is at the peak of his powers here. Surrounded by a colorful cast, he gives a commanding performance as the ruthless, rule-breaking politician, whose time may be past. Tracy was Oscar-nominated for “The Old Man and the Sea” the same year, which may have overshadowed his great work here.  Ford’s revealing film shows that not much has really changed in politics. “Hurrah” indeed!

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?"