The Last American Hero Film Details
Overview: A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south has ever seen.
Review: Jeff Bridges gives a typically splendid, boyishly affable and charming performance as Elroy “Bobcat” Jackson, Jr., a cocky, rebellious, recalcitrant, trouble-making hot dog hillbilly moonshine runner who becomes a professional stock car racer and demolition derby driver in order to raise enough cash to get his dear ol’ crusty, mule-headed pappy (a marvelously gruff Art Lund) out of jail. Assisted by his loyal, but hot-tempered brother Wayne (the always fine Gary Busey) and against the wishes of his staunch, worrisome mother (a wonderfully indomitable Geraldine Page), Elroy aspires to achieve champion driver status in the ferociously competitive world of professional stock car racing, thus having both his stubborn pride and homespun integrity put to the ultimate test in the process. Inspired by a Tom Wolfe “Esquire” article on flamboyant real life racing legend Junior Johnson (who worked as a consultant and technical adviser on the film), this spunky little number offers both a glorious celebration and a compelling exploration of rugged individualism and that great quintessentially all-American desire to be somebody in life. Lamont Johnson’s sharply perceptive direction, ably complimented by George Silano’s lively, breathtaking cinematography and Charles Fox’s twangy country score (Jim Croce’s blustery “I Got A Name” makes for a fantastic life-affirming theme song), astutely pegs the rowdy, boisterous, danger-ridden, and testosterone-soaked macho atmosphere of the racetrack milieu (the race scenes are suitably wild and thrilling) and delivers a rich, flavorsome evocation of humble, dirt poor, strongly family-oriented Southern backwoods America. William Roberts’ acidulous script affects a cynically barbed and askew point of view in its penetrating portrait of America’s love for do your own thing outlaw nonconformists and how winning inevitably comes with substantial unavoidable attachments. The stand-out supporting cast includes Valerie Perrine as a sweetheart racetrack groupie, William Smith as a formidable rival driver, Ed Lauter as a sleazy corporate sponsor, Ned Beatty as an oily demolition derby manager, and Lane Smith as an antsy, burnt-out driver. A terrifically tart’n’smart slice of pure Americana story of the guts and stamina it takes to actively pursue making your dreams come true.
Country: United States
Duration: 95 min
Genre: Drama, Sport
Also known as: Ostatni amerykański bohater,Hardkjør,O Importante é Vencer,Amerikas sidste helt,The Last American Hero,Der letzte Held Amerikas,Hard Driver,Racerbanans hjälte,Il diavolo del volante,O Último Herói Americano,O teleftaios apo tous iroes,Последний американский герой,Poslednji junak,Racerbanens helt,Kilparatojen sankari,Last American Hero,Ryzykant,Le dernier héros,ラスト・アメリカン・ヒーロー,El último héroe americano,Последният американски герой,Le Dernier héros,Farts-rivaler