Last Embrace

1979

Action / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

23
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 36%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 2029

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Mandy Patinkin as First Commuter
Roy Scheider as Harry Hannan
Jonathan Demme as Man on Train
720p.BLU
809.11 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by darrenmurray84 8 / 10

Great Hitchcockian thriller

Last Embrace is unlike most Jonathan Demme films. Although made as somewhat of an homage to Hitchcock, you would be forgiven in thinking Last Embrace is a Brian De Palma movie. The look and feel of the film put me in mind of De Palma's movie Obsession, which itself was a homage to Hitchcock's Vertigo.

Roy Scheider is excellent as the shell shocked spy who uncovers what he thinks is a Jewish conspiracy but runs much deeper. Janet Margolin is equally good as a character that is more than she appears to be. Charles Napier, Christoper Walken and John Glover also put in good turns in smaller roles. Also look out for an early appearance from Mandy Patinkin.

There are some excellent scenes of tension, where at first you are not sure if Scheider is just going mad, or if someone is really trying to kill him. The finale of the film is especially good, taking place at Niagara Falls.

The plot can be overly complicated at first, but is actually quite simple when the whole film is played out. Some reviews have complained that the film is anti-semitic. The only reason for this is that they mention that in the past some Jewish people were evil. I don't see how this is being anti-semitic. The film shows that any one is capable of evil acts.

The UK Blu-Ray release has this as an 18 certificate, which in my opinion is over the top. Other than some brief nudity there is nothing in the film that would suggest that it should be an 18. I don't even remember any swearing in the film.

If you are a fan of the films of Hitchcock, Demme or even De Palma you should give Last Embrace a go. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 7 / 10

Even "poor mans' Hitchcock" is worth watching in this case.

"Last Embrace" is one of the better suspense-thrillers to be made in the mold established by The Master. The plot could be seen as a little convoluted, but Jonathan Demmes' direction is masterful, the use of locations is excellent, the cast is amazing, and the finale is quite gripping. Even if the viewer figures out where the story is headed, getting to the conclusion is an enjoyable journey.

Making a difference is the ever personable Roy Scheider, playing Harry Hannan, a CIA agent who has to watch while his wife is assassinated in a cantina. (One of the goons is played by Joe Spinell in a very brief cameo.) He becomes paranoid, and spends the balance of the film wondering if he will die next. Certainly it seems that somebody has marked him, as he is receiving cryptic death streets printed in Aramaic.

Scheider is extremely well supported by a lovely young actress, Janet Margolin, who plays the role of Ellie Fabian. Ellie is an anthropologist who through circumstance comes to stay in Harry's residence. Watching her, one will likely regret the fact that she didn't have a more visible film career, and mourn her untimely passing. John Glover as always is a real hoot as the uppity professor who is dating Ellie. The endearing Sam Levene makes the most of his screen time as private investigator Sam Urdell. Demme regular Charles Napier is good as Dave Quittle, the brother of Harry's late wife. Christopher Walken, like Glover, is typically fun in an amusing turn as Harry's weaselly young superior. Other familiar faces appear in the supporting cast: Jacqueline Brookes, David Margulies (the mayor from "Ghost Busters"), Andrew Duncan, and Marcia Rodd. Look for Mandy Patinkin and Max Wright in bits as commuters, and for Demme himself in an uncredited blink-and-you-might-miss-it part as a man on a train. Scheider has one particularly fine monologue scene.

The score by Miklos Rozsa is absolutely perfect, and the story (based on a novel by Murray Teigh Bloom) is well told and reasonably absorbing. Niagara Falls provides a stunning backdrop for the climactic action. While there's no epilogue, one feels a certain sadness at the outcome.

This is a good film to check out, so it's appreciated that Kino Lorber finally released it to Blu- ray.

Seven out of 10.

Reviewed by Coventry 6 / 10

Who wouldn't want to kill Harry Hannan?

Like so many other great directors, Jonathan Demme (world famous for his superior thriller "Silence of the Lambs" but originally started as an exploitation filmmaker) is a huge fan of the almighty master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock and made the ultimate homage in the shape of a full-length tribute thriller. "Last Embrace" is chock-full of references, obvious ones as well as subtle ones, towards Hitchock's repertoire but also stands on itself as a convoluted and intensely paranoid conspiracy thriller. The screenplay is often quite flawed and none of the main characters are identifiable and/or likable, but the basic plot is definitely compelling and the film contains a few impressively staged moments of suspense. CIA agent Harry Hannan spent a few months in a mental institution because he tragically lost his wife in a work related incident. When he returns to New York with the intention to carry on with his life, he immediately suspects that he's targeted for assassination. Harry's former employers seemingly want to get rid of him, but there's also a mysterious Hebraic organization after him for some unknown reason. Ellie, a cute laboratory assistant who occupied Harry apartment while he was away, offers her help. The primary plot involving the Jewish murders is terrific, but sadly unfolds slow and often tediously. Just when the all the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit into their place, Demme sadly too soon reveals an essential aspect of the denouement. The sub plot with Harry's agency stalking him is rather inferior, with a meaningless cameo appearance by Christopher Walken and a couple of over-the-top ludicrous sequences with an incompetent Charles Napier clumsily following Harry around in the cemetery and a bell tower. Roy Scheider's performance as Harry Hannan is admirably bitter and integer, but his character is repellent and I'm pretty sure I would also want to kill him. Spotting the Hitchcock references is the most fun part of "Last Embrace", whether it's in the plot elements, the genius camera-work of Demme's regular cinematographer Tak Fujimoto or the impeccable soundtrack by Miklós Rózsa. The grand finale at Niagara Falls is excellent as well.

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