The Last Hunt (1956)

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    Plot Summary
    Set in the early 1880s, this is the story of one of the last buffalo hunts in the Northwest. Sandy McKinzie is tired of hunting buffalo, and tired of killing-Charley on the other hand relishes the hunt and enjoys killing buffalo and Indians. When Charley kills an Indian raiding party, and takes their squaw as his own, tension develops between the two hunters, and matters will only be settled in a showdown.
    Written by Buxx Banner

    Robert Taylor ... Charlie Gilson
    Stewart Granger ... Sandy McKenzie
    Lloyd Nolan ... Woodfoot
    Debra Paget ... Indian Girl
    Russ Tamblyn ... Jimmy O'Brien
    Constance Ford ... Peg
    Joe De Santis ... Ed Black
    Ainslie Pryor ... Buffalo Hunter #1
    Ralph Moody ... Indian Agent
    Fred Graham ... Bartender
    Ed Lonehill ... Spotted Hand
    Terry Wilson ... 2nd Buffalo Hunter (uncredited)
    and many more...

    Richard Brooks

    Writing Credits
    Richard Brooks ... (screenplay)
    Milton Lott ... (based on the novell)

    Dore Schary ... producer

    Daniele Amfitheatrof

    Russell Harlan

    US government marksmen actually shot and killed buffalo during production as part of a scheduled herd-thinning.

    The January 1997 issue of "Films in Review" carried a detailed reappraisal of the film.

    In August 1957, this film was being shown on a double bill with Pete Kelly's Blues (1955).

    The film's premiere was at the State Theatre in Sioux Falls, SD on February 16, 1956. Russ Tamblyn and his wife Venetia Stevenson (whom he'd married on February 14th) were in attendance.

    While filming a scene with Stewart Granger, Anne Bancroft was injured on her horse and was replaced by Debra Paget.

    Filmed with the working title "Operation Buffalo."

    Since the story takes place during the winter, Stewart Granger wore full winter clothing for his role. The movie was actually filmed during the summer months in Custer State Park in South Dakota. At one point, temperatures reached triple digits, Granger passed out from heat exhaustion and the crew had to cut away his clothes to revive him.

    Stewart Granger and Richard Brooks were reportedly not fond of one another. It stemmed from the fact that Brooks had married Granger's ex-wife, Jean Simmons.

    Anne Bancroft was originally cast in the role of the Indian Girl.

    This was the first motion picture for Lloyd Nolan in over a year and a half. He had been working on stage in The Caine Mutiny Court Trial.


    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA
    Custer State Park - 13329 U.S. Highway 16A, Custer, South Dakota, USA
    Sylvan Lake, South Dakota, USA

    Watch the Movie



    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Last Hunt is a 1956 MGM western film directed by
    Richard Brooks and produced by Dore Schary.
    The screenplay was by Richard Brooks from the novel The Last Hunt, by Milton Lott.
    The music score was by Daniele Amfitheatrof and the cinematography by Russell Harlan.

    The film stars Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger, with Lloyd Nolan, Debra Paget and Russ Tamblyn.

    Original novel
    The New York Times said "except for A.B. Guthrie's "The Big Sky" and "The Way West" I can think of no novel about the Old West published within the last fifteen years as good as "The Last Hunt," by Milton Lott. This is the real thing, a gritty, tough, exciting story reeking with the pungent smells of dead buffalo and of dirty men." W.R. Burnett called it an "undeniably able and interesting book."

    MGM bought the film rights and announced it as a vehicle for Stewart Granger in February 1955. "It's real Americana," said the star. Richard Brooks was assigned the job of adapting and directing. The film was the first of only three westerns directed by Brooks, and was his first film following the critically acclaimed Blackboard Jungle (1955).

    In March Robert Taylor was announced as co-star. Russ Tamblyn was then given the lead support part as a half Indian.

    Lloyd Nolan was also cast - his first film role in over a year and a half, during which time he had played
    The Caine Mutiny Court Martial on stage.
    Anne Bancroft was cast as the Indian girl.

    Eighty percent of the movie was shot on location over a seven-week period. This took place at the Badlands National Park and Custer State Park in South Dakota during the then-annual "thinning" of the buffalo herd.

    Actual footage of buffalo being shot and killed (by government marksmen) was used for the film. Harvey Lancaster of Custer was the main marksman for the filming.

    The story takes place during the winter but was actually filmed during the scorching summer months in Custer State Park. When temperatures reached triple digits, Stewart Granger, whose costume consisted of full winter clothing, passed out from heat exhaustion and the crew had to cut away his clothes to revive him.

    Granger and director Brooks were reportedly not fond of one another, especially after Brooks married Granger's ex-wife, Jean Simmons.

    After three weeks of filming, Anne Bancroft was injured during filming after falling from a horse. She was replaced by Debra Paget.

    During filming Dore Schary announced Taylor and Granger would be reteamed in another western, The Return of Johnny Burro with Granger playing a villain and Taylor a hero.However the film was not made.

    Box office
    The film earned $1,750,000 in North American rental during its first year of release. It recorded admissions of 1,201,326 in France.

    According to MGM records, the film earned $1,604,000 in the US and Canada and $1,379,000 overseas,
    resulting in a loss of $323,000.

    User Review

    Killing's like...err, like the only real proof you are alive.
    20 November 2012 | by Spikeopath (United Kingdom)

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().