Considering the talent involved, including former blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo and director Robert Aldrich, The Last Sunset should have been a better film. Nevertheless, the cast keeps it interesting and Kirk Douglas makes Bren one of the most poetic cowboys in American cinema, as evidenced by the passage below:
Find yourself a nice, big boulder with the waves breaking against it. Look deep. Dream of seahorses and they'll come. Not many people know of it. Not many people care. But the sea is a place where the seamen shoe the hooves of the wild sea mare. Not many men have seen it or caught the faintest gleam of the ice green cave in the deep green sea in the heart of the cold sea stream, but the sea mare hides her young sea colt wrapped in a shy sea dream. But probably all the people know and can absolutely say that the foam on the sea is the sign that you see the mare and her colt at play.
Carol Lynley, in one of her first major roles, has the best scenes as Malone's daughter. Ironically, the two actresses share a Peyton Place connection. Carol played Allison in the film Return to Peyton Place (1961), while Dorothy Malone later portrayed Allison's mother on the 1964-69 TV series.
Malone might have improved her performance in The Last Sunset by toning down the glamour. One can almost overlook the soft blonde curls, but her heavy pink lipstick and eye shadow seem inappropriate for a woman driving the chow wagon on the cattle trail.
Finally, one can't discuss The Last Sunset without mentioning a climatic revelation that may make some viewers cringe. It's not that the revelation is surprising--I suspected it from the beginning. It's that the screenwriters insert a scene that will convince many viewers that their suspicions cannot be correct. Thus, when the "truth" (assuming Malone's character isn't lying) is revealed, the realization of what happened (and what could have happened) is an "oh my" moment. If this paragraph doesn't make sense, read it someday after you've seen the movie.
|Chadwick talking with two girlfriends|
at the same time.
It turns out that Boullard is visiting New York City to spend time with his daughter--whom he hasn't seen in many years. He learns that she is a female psychiatrist (Leslie Caron) who completely dominates her fiance (a very funny Dick Shawn). Deciding that his daughter needs someone who can ignite her passion at least once, he calls in his very special favor with Chadwick.
It's still amusing to see Rock, who was a fine comedian, play a ladies' man masquerading as a sensitive guy who's afraid of the opposite sex. His performance, though, is just a variation of the role he played to perfection in Lover Come Back. And without Doris Day--the ying to his yang--A Very Special Favor falls flat too many times.