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LAST MOVIE, THE 1971

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THE LAST MOVIE 1971
U.S. film. Excellent quality. Are movies the root of all evil? "The Last Movie" was supposed to be Dennis Hopper's first film as director. He had the idea in 1966 and secured financial backing from Phil Spector. When Spector changed his mind, the project stopped. Then, in 1969, after Hopper's phenomenally successful "Easy Rider," which cost $400K to make and grossed $60M, the powers-that-were at Universal Studios agreed to bankroll the film.

By all accounts the production was a non-stop, drug-taking orgy. Fueled by cocaine, LSD and grass, the film is half satire of the Hollywood movie industry, half traditional western and half drug crazed social statement. If there aren't three halves in a whole then you're getting the idea. There is such an incredible cast and so much going on that the film can't accurately be described—you have to see to believe it.

Much of the film was improvised based on Hopper's original treatment. The basic story is of a stuntman named "Kansas" (Hopper), who's working on a western being filmed in Peru. After the film company returns to America, he stays behind and takes up with a prostitute.

The local Peruvians were intrigued watching the filmmaking process and decided they too want to make a film. They concoct cameras and lighting equipment out of wood and bamboo…but use real guns and bullets for the shoot-outs. Hopper is asked to stop the insanity and explain to the locals the difference between movies and reality.

The film runs a half-hour before any credits roll. There's a fifteen minute gap between the first title card," A Film By Dennis Hopper" and the next title card, "The Last Movie." Some scenes are interrupted by title cards saying, "scene missing." The film was such a commercial disaster that Hopper was unofficially blacklisted in Hollywood and didn't direct again until "Out of the Blue," in 1980.

Having said all this, the film is entertaining and visually interesting to watch. You can project your own interpretation of events upon the film and maybe that was the intention because after all, in the late 60s there was a whole lot of trippy, "do your own thing!" kinda stuff going on!

Kris Kristofferson sings, "Me And Bobby McGee." Dennis Hopper, Stella Garcia, Julie Adams, Tomas Milian, Michelle Phillips, Peter Fonda, Don Gordon, Roy Engel, Donna Baccala, Toni Basil, Rod Cameron, Kris Kristofferson, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Jim Mitchum, John Phillip Law, Sylvia Miles. The Last Movie!


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