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The Last Movie

A legendary film maudit made in the wake of the smash success of Hopper’s directorial debut Easy Rider (1969), The Last Movie saw Hopper given carte blanche (and $1 million) by Universal to make the film he wanted to make. The result is a radical reinvention of hypermasculine genre tropes and a formally ambitious experiment with few parallels during the New Hollywood movement. Hopper went to Cuzco in the Peruvian Andes with a crew of pals, including Kris Kristofferson and Sam Fuller, to craft a film-about-filmmaking that ostensibly follows Kansas (Hopper), a horse wrangler for the movies. After a deadly accident on set, Kansas leaves the business and decides to stay in Peru to live out his days—with scathing effect. From a script by Hopper and Stewart Stern (Rebel Without a Cause), the film was a flop on release, leading Hopper to quit directing until 1980’s Out of the Blue, but it remains a fascinating, unpredictable document of an artist on his creative journey. Winner, Critics’ Prize for Best Film, Venice Film Festival. “A wasteland of cinematic wreckage.”—Roger Ebert. “An extravagant mess.”—Vincent Canby, The New York Times.

Genres: Drama, Western