The Last Sunset (1961)

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

    There is 1 reply in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • The Last Sunset (1961)




      Plot Summary
      Brendan O'Malley arrives at the Mexican home of old flame Belle Breckenridge
      to find her married to a drunkard getting ready for a cattle drive to Texas.
      Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman Dana Stribling who has a personal reason
      for getting him back into his jurisdiction.
      Both men join Breckenridge and his wife on the drive.
      As they near Texas tensions mount, not least because Stribling
      is starting to court Belle and O'Malley
      is increasingly drawn by her daughter Missy.
      Written by Jeremy Perkins

      Rock Hudson ... Dana Stribling
      Kirk Douglas ... Brendan 'Bren' O'Malley
      Dorothy Malone ... Belle Breckenridge
      Joseph Cotten ... John Breckenridge
      Carol Lynley Carol Lynley ... Melissa 'Missy' Breckenridge
      Neville Brand ...
      Frank Hobbs
      Regis Toomey ... Milton Wing
      James Westmoreland ... Julesburg Kid (as Rad Fulton)
      Adam Williams ... Calverton
      Jack Elam ... Ed Hobbs
      John Shay ... Bowman
      and many more...

      Robert Aldrich

      Writing Credits
      Howard Rigsby ... (novel)
      Dalton Trumbo ... (screenplay)

      Eugene Frenke ... producer
      Edward Lewis ... producer
      Kirk Douglas ... executive producer (uncredited)

      Ernest Gold

      Ernest Laszlo ... director of photography

      Lauren Bacall was offered the role of Belle Breckinridge
      but found the subject matter to be rather offensive.

      Filming of the cattle drive proved problematic as the bulls would frequently be seen mounting the cows.

      Although Joseph Cotten brought all his own food and water from the States to the shoot in Mexico,
      it was to no avail. He was the first of the film crew to get sick.

      Robert Aldrich did not enjoy his experience making the film as he felt that the screenplay
      wasn't in the best shape it could be.
      Unfortunately, they had to run with what they had as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo
      was busy working on Otto Preminger's Exodus (1960) at the time.

      Rock Hudson drew unstinting praise from Robert Aldrich who was enormously impressed
      with his lack of ego and sheer professionalism.

      Kirk Douglas optioned the property for his production company Byrna
      and was in the midst of supervising the editing of _Spartacus_
      when he got an impassioned letter from Robert Aldrich, lobbying for the job of director.

      Kirk Douglas' relationship with Robert Aldrich got off to a rocky start
      as the director arrived in Mexico with five other writers
      who were all working on his upcoming projects.
      Douglas was incensed that Aldrich's full attention was not directed towards The Last Sunset (1961)
      so insisted that the writers be dispatched back to Hollywood.
      The relationship between the two men remained cool after that.

      Among some of the more ludicrous titles that Universal proposed for the film were
      "The Magnificent Two", "The Majestic Brutes", "Seething Guns",
      "The Fuel and the Fire", "Two to Make Hate", "Death is My Middle Name"
      and "Appointment with a Dead Sun".

      This movie had a major influence on Sergio Leone, who worked with Aldrich the following year
      on " Sodom & Gomorrah"

      Kirk Douglas and Robert Aldrich originally wanted Ava Gardner for the Dorothy Malone part.

      Carol Lynley's next project which premiered a couple of weeks later
      was as Alison McKenzie in 'Return to Peyton Place'.
      Dorothy Malone signed up for 'Peyton Place' the TV series (1964)
      as Constance McKenzie but this time her daughter Alison was played by Mia Farrow.

      Two of the dresses worn by Missy (the yellow one and the floral one in town) have zippers up the back.

      The depth of of the quicksand on Stribling's horse varies between shots.

      The final gunfight is supposed to take place near sunset,
      but the shadows indicate an actual time of near noon.

      During the final shoot-out, not only do the shadows change from long to short to non-existent,
      the cloud cover varies from full cover, to a few clouds and then to not a cloud in the sky.

      Errors in geography
      This film takes place from Mexico to Texas. There are Joshua trees in the film
      and Joshua trees are indigenous to the Mohave Desert region
      of California, Arizona and Nevada only. There are none in Texas.

      When the Yaqui Indians turn up the second time, as the first Yaqui rider pulls his horse up,
      arrows can be seen falling from his quiver onto the the ground to his right (screen left).

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico
      Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • The Last Sunset is a 1961 American Western film directed by
      Robert Aldrich starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, and Dorothy Malone.

      The film was released by Universal Studios, shot in Eastman color.
      The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was adapted from Howard Rigsby's novel Sundown at Crazy Horse.

      The supporting cast includes Joseph Cotten, Carol Lynley, Neville Brand and Jack Elam.

      Apart from Duke's, 'Pals' Kirk Douglas,Rock Hudson
      look out for Neville Brand, Jack Elam

      User Review

      The Girl In the Yellow Dress
      16 August 2006 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)

      bko wrote:

      The one and only teaming of Kirk Douglas and Rock Hudson in The Last Sunset was a fortunate one. Kirk's production company Bryna put this film together and the wise Kirk knew what he was doing when he took the flashier and meatier part of the villain.

      In that regard The Last Sunset is similar to Gunfight at the OK Corral where the straight arrow hero of Wyatt Earp played by Burt Lancaster took a definite second place to Douglas's Doc Holiday. As Brendan O'Malley, Douglas is one devilishly charming one with the ladies and fast on the draw as all get out.

      In fact Douglas's libido seems to get him in a whole lot of trouble. It's the reason that sheriff Dana Stribling played by Rock Hudson is down and out of his jurisdiction in Mexico chasing O'Malley. It's more than a job with Stribling as you'll see in the film.

      While in Mexico Douglas meets an old flame of his, Dorothy Malone there with her husband Joseph Cotten and daughter Carol Lynley. Both he and Hudson strike an unusual bargain with the family. They'll aid them in their cattle drive to the American side of the Rio Grande, but then Douglas and Hudson will have it out.

      Sounds crazy, but all will be revealed to the viewer before the film is over, although I'm sure some will guess.

      Hudson got the far less glamorous part of a straight law and order sheriff. He has his moments, but the film really turns on the personality and charm and considerable talent of Kirk Douglas. This is definitely one of his top ten performances on film. Sad it isn't shown more often.

      Dorothy Malone was doing very well around this time as a portrayer of western women. Her career really took off after that Oscar in Written on the Wind. She's the epitome of a strong willed pioneer woman who had to bend a few conventions to survive.

      The Last Sunset is a great western, the usual amount of traditional western activity with some very adult themes in this which I just can't reveal lest it ruin one's viewing.
      Best Wishes
      London- England