VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the March 14, 2023 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here. You can read another take here.
Harry Garmes (George C. Scott) has left the world behind. His wife has left him after the death of their son. And after a life in organized crime, he’s content to be a nobody in a little fishing village somewhere in Portugal.
Then Harry gets a job.
It’s been nine years, but he still gets a job. Bring escaped killer Paul Rickard (Tony Musante) and his girlfriend Claudie Scherrer (Trish Van Devere) to France. Rickard is to kill French President DeGaulle under orders of the OAS.
Harry knows this will end bad.
He takes the job anyway.
Even the prostitute he sleeps with and gives all his money to, Monique (Colleen Dewhurst) turns on him.
Because Harry’s been dead a long time.
He just doesn’t know it.
Directed by Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, See No Evil, Mr. Majestyk, Mandingo, Conan the Destroyer and like, ten or more other movies I could mention) and written by Alan Sharp (The Osterman Weekend, Ulzana’s Raid, Damnation Alley), this was originally directed by John Huston, who went to war with a drunken Scott on set. Then again, Huston and his son Tony were rewriting the script over and over — Sharp also rewrote it six times — but after all that messing with the script, it wasn’t a movie anyone wanted to make. Huston left, Tina Aumont went with him and Fleischer was called in. He hated the script. That’s because it wasn’t the movie Sharp and Scott wanted to make.
The Last Run finished with a cost of a little over $2 million, only one week and $30,000 over the original schedule. Flesicher said, with no small pride, “I think it’s a miracle it got made. I’m the miracle.”
As for Scott, once his wife Dewhurst flew out with his kids, he fell in love with Van Devere, who he would later marry. So yeah. Scott is in this movie with two of his wives from three of his marriages (he was married to Dewhurst twice). In all, he was married five times, but he was with Van Devere from 1972 until his death in 1999.
Scott had just finished Patton, so he had some power on this film, and wanted to make a movie that reminded him of the ones he loved when he was young. I always liked that it seemed like he made every film personal.