Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

George C. Scott gives potboiler some class

Cleveland Press July 22, 1971

"The Last Run" is about a Hemingway character who has been misplaced in a potboiler.

The character is played by George C. Scott who makes the man believable and human. Scott is a man once involved in crime but who has been retired for nine years hiding away in a Portuguese fishing village.

Now he is taking on a job to see if he can still do it, to cut the boredom, to admit that he doesn't blend with the scenery

There are all kinds of deaths and sometimes you're dead and don't know it and he feels that he is dying just sitting around.

THE STORY is familiar and the ending is not unexpected -- even the title tips you off. If the moviemakers had opted to keep the whole thing clean and simple they might have carried it off.

But, in the tradition of complicated melodramatic movies, a simple chase becomes involved and enemies lie in wait who have no earthly reason to be in those particular spots.

The assignment is an easy one -- pick up an escaped convict and smuggle him over the border into Spain. The ex-prisoner (Tony Musante) turns out to be a bragging punk who longs for the old days pictured in 1930's gangster movies. He also has a girl friend who isn't in the plan but is in the plot of every formula movie.

AS MATTERS get stickier the old pro proves to the younger man what a cool expert he is. But there's that inevitable ending and it's the expert who gets done in.

The problem with Scott at the moment is to find a movie as big as he is. The role is right for him and maybe he should play a real Hemingway part instead of an imitation one. This one comes close -- the man who does a job, prides himself in doing it well, continues with it fatalistically even when he knows it will finish him.

SCOTT CAN SAY the words and make them sound as though he thought of them Musante , a bargain basement Peter Falk, says his as though they were scribbled on a blackboard just out of camera range, Trish Van Devere is merely pretty.

The scenery is breathtaking and the mountain road chases better than average.