May 8 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter
"I've been fortunate to do what I consider three landmark films. "The French Connection" (1971) spawned a whole era of the relationship between two policemen, based on an enormous amount of truth about working on the job. "Jaws" (1975) was the first big, blockbuster outdoor-adventure film. And certainly "All That Jazz" (1979) is not like any old MGM musical. Each one of these films is unique, and I consider myself fortunate to be associated with them." Actor Roy Scheider
The 1970s was the decade of the unconventional leading man in American cinema. Scheider, who was an amateur boxer, had the grace of an athlete but also the battle-scarred face of someone who spent time in the ring. Although he had a long career, all of Scheider's best roles came in the decade when the studios loosened their grip and allowed young filmmakers the room to experiment.
Michael Taylor, who was a producer on "Last Embrace", stated that United Artists gave the producers, and director Jonathan Demme, complete autonomy on the film. UA did not look at dailies and did not see any footage until shooting was complete. Although the film did virtually no business at the box office, it has been given new life on DVD. While "Last Embrace" is not one of Demme's top films, it still is worth watching due to Scheider's performance and the use of New York City as a shooting location. It is also useful to compare this film with "Marathon Man" (1976). In both movies, Scheider plays a CIA agent/spy. In "Last Embrace", his character is shaky and paranoid while recovering from a nervous breakdown. In "Marathon Man", as Dustin Hoffman's older brother, his character is confident to the point of arrogance, a trait which ultimately leads to his demise.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
Last Embrace Film Review
When Jonathan Demme died on April 26th, 2017, most of the headlines referenced his 1991 film “Silence of the Lambs”. “Last Embrace” (1979) does not have a character with the shock value of flesh-eating Hannibal Lecter, but is worth a second look.
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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor
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