Author Topic: Worst last films  (Read 2985 times)

AlkyBastard

  • Made of cancer and despair
    • My blog and Twitter
Worst last films
« on: May 30, 2011, 02:54:06 PM »
I was always annoyed that Sean Connery retired from acting after The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, not because I thought he had any good performances left in him, but because that piece of shite will forever be known as his last film. Maybe if he'd called it a day after Finding Forrester (which was at least halfway decent, if schmaltzy) then he'd have gone out on a respectable note.

The same is true of the mighty Gene Hackman, whose last film is Welcome To Mooseport in which he plays second fiddle to Ray "Everybody Loves Raymond" Romano. I've not seen it myself, but it's at 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Peter Sellers' last film is either that Fu Manchu flop, or technically the cobbled together Trial of the Pink Panther. Orson Welles' final performance was a voice for the animated Transformers Movie. And so forth. Shame.

What other sour last notes can you think of, be it actors, directors, etc?

Jake Thingray

  • Chacun a son gout, that is yer actual French.
    • Journalisted
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 03:14:22 PM »
The Wicked Stepmother, supposedly written specifically for Bette Davis by schlockmeister Larry Cohen, was painful, she looked like a melted skeleton and was hardly in it. I know he was a character actor rather than a star, but what a shame that lovely Richard Wattis' credits conclude with Confessions of a Window Cleaner. Noticed the Cook tag below, Yellowbeard was not his last film, but was an unfortunate full stop for so many of its cast.

Johnny Textface

  • Film grain is a choice.
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 03:45:43 PM »
Probably an obvious choice but 'Eyes Wide Shut'.
Problems:
The casting of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman was a baaaad idea (I can't sit through that 'stoned' scene without just cringing at the horror).
Attempting to recreate the streets of Manhattan in Hertfordshire or wherever it was filmed - just didn't work - it looks and feels nothing like it.
Its over-long, has a lack of interesting or likeable characters and the third acts just dull.
Oh and there's a distinct lack of cocks (not that I particularly want to see them - but it was supposedly edgy!  So stop doing the Austin Powers cover up's).

I like the music and the lighting though.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 06:54:53 PM »
Raul Julia, not the greatest of actors, but deserved a better send-off than "Street Fighter".

And, I suppose, Bela Lugosi in "Plan Nine From Outer Space".

Subtle Mocking

  • fuck off
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 07:03:40 PM »
Manos: The Hands of Fate

Didn't star any particularly big names, but 3 of the people starring in the film (Diane Mahree, Joyce Molleur, John Reynolds) committed suicide after the film had been released. It stands at #3 of IMDB's bottom 100.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 07:39:35 PM »
And the director never made another film, as well.

As Joel Hodgson said about it "every frame of this film looks like someone's last known photo".

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 07:40:31 PM »
Raul Julia, not the greatest of actors, but deserved a better send-off than "Street Fighter".

He was by far the best thing in it though.  Just pure ham and cheese.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 07:46:57 PM »
I'd say that was a legitimately great performance, of it's ilk. I'd say Hackman's got the current record; it wasn't just a bland, nothing film, it was also a character absolutely anybody over 50 could have played.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 07:54:08 PM »
I'd say that was a legitimately great performance, of it's ilk. I'd say Hackman's got the current record; it wasn't just a bland, nothing film, it was also a character absolutely anybody over 50 could have played.
I didn't hate it either (I've seen it more than once and it's knowing in its rubbishness) but he's forever the punchline to these sort of discussions.

The Transformers movie was, according to people who know these things, not bad at all. Better than the new versions, certainly.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 08:20:14 PM »
The Transformers movie was, according to people who know these things, not bad at all. Better than the new versions, certainly.

Praise so faint, you'd need an electron microscope to see it.

Anyway, Gene Kelly star of my favourite film 'Singin' In The Rain' and owner of the most rock hard bum in Hollywood, saw his film career end with 'Xanadu'. A sorry end for Don Lockwood.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 08:34:36 PM »
Manos: The Hands of Fate

Didn't star any particularly big names, but 3 of the people starring in the film (Diane Mahree, Joyce Molleur, John Reynolds) committed suicide after the film had been released. It stands at #3 of IMDB's bottom 100.

The stories about multiple suicides in the Manos cast seem to be something of an urban myth. As far as I'm aware, Reynolds was the only one who killed himself. He had serious drug problems, compounded by the fact that the leg braces he wore while filming "Manos" caused him permanent injuries. Pretty sad story. Of the other two, Diane Mahree died in a car crash, and Joyce Molleur was apparently still alive as of 2006.

mycroft

  • Mmmmm... *eyebrow*
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2011, 08:44:22 PM »
Poor old Terry-Thomas' last outing in Cook and Moore's Hound of the Baskervilles must rank up there. I thought it might have been the last one for Max Wall and Irene Handl as well, but it turns out they worked for a good while afterwards.

kidsick5000

  • Gotta be groovy for the moovy
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2011, 09:21:58 PM »
Poor old Terry-Thomas' last outing in Cook and Moore's Hound of the Baskervilles must rank up there. I thought it might have been the last one for Max Wall and Irene Handl as well, but it turns out they worked for a good while afterwards.

Was just about to write that. but thought better of it considering some of the really low rent shit he had to put himself through just before that. Have you seen Side by Side? Hound Of The Baskervilles is a triumphant last hurrah compared to that

mycroft

  • Mmmmm... *eyebrow*
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 09:37:48 PM »
I haven't seen that one, but I'll take your word for it and give it a wide berth.

As an aside, how do people generally feel about watching people's last films? Not necessarily things where a relatively-sprightly actor dies young afterwards, but those films where your heroes are ancient, grey and fading before you. Burton in 1984, that sort of thing. Personally I don't like it, but one of my friends says he weirdly enjoys them, especially when it's a stinker. In fact, his hero could qualify for this thread - Dennis Price in Son of Dracula, united on-screen at long last with Ringo Starr. I haven't seen it yet, but he does keep threatening to bring it round.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 09:58:36 PM »
Veronica Lake's last film was Herschell Gordon Lewis' grindhouse Flesh Feast, in which scientists reanimate Hitler's body. Pretty bad. I'd heard that Olivier's final film was The Wild Geese 2, but his small part in Jarman's War Requiem just saves him!

Joan Crawford's last film was Trog, about a deranged apeman. Oh dear. A lot of horror icons got bum deals - thank God Tim Burton came along for Vincent Price.

kidsick5000

  • Gotta be groovy for the moovy
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2011, 10:04:00 PM »
I haven't seen that one, but I'll take your word for it and give it a wide berth.
It stars Barry Humphries, directed by Bruce Beresford and features The Rubettes and Mud. IIRC it about a seedy strip club, T-T's, next door to a discotheque. The cheap awfulness of a 70s UK sex comedy

Anyway, the previously mentioned League Of extraordinary Gentlemen was almost David Hemmings last film too. (Only made two more the last one being Turkish).
I find his last films fascinating because I don't think any other actor has so gleefully let themselves go like Hemmings did.
Blow Up was his peak when he was a strong contender for Most Beautiful Man in the world. But his last films?
Unabashed bloater, revelling in a voice that recalled some gravelly, men's club colonel with eyebrows grown, almost defiantly, to resemble two Dali moustaches


Jemble Fred

  • ... And I ain't ashamed.
    • 100% BALLS
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2011, 10:05:13 PM »
Watching Son of Dracula is almost exactly the same as not watching Son of Dracula at all, for all the sense that strip of celluloid makes, and all the impression it made on me, at least. One of those desperately-sought-after rarities that you'd happily bury again after seeing it.

kidsick5000

  • Gotta be groovy for the moovy
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2011, 10:08:05 PM »
I'd heard that Olivier's final film was The Wild Geese 2

It's an odd thing but Barry Norman's review is a distinct childhood memory. Not the whole thing, just comment along the lines of  "never mind breaking out Rudolf Hess, it's Lawrence Olivier that needs rescuing".

thank God Tim Burton came along for Vincent Price.
On a similar note, Oliver Reed's last film sounded like a bum note to exit on (out of favour director, Sword and sandals film, also ran Australian star and being made in Malta of all places). But it turned out to be Gladiator and he was pretty fucking special in it.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2011, 11:45:26 PM »
I actually grew to love it, by many would argue that Eyes Wide Shut was a bad swan song for a master like Kubruck.

Bad Ambassador

  • Sit down, Mario!
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2011, 11:53:45 PM »
I love Eyes Wide Shut too.

Donald Pleasance in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers and Christopher Reeve in the crappy remake of Village of the Damned are sad examples. A better and appropriately wierd one is Richard Pryor in Lost Highway. Also, going back to films with good Tom Cruise performances (what, someone has to die for him to pull his finger out?) Jason Robards in Magnolia.

Marty McFly

  • no, I said steamed HAMS
    • me dot com
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2011, 06:44:37 AM »
I've not seen it myself, but I almost wish I had seen Sextette, Mae West's last film..

Quote from: Wikipedia
In 1976, she appeared on The Dick Cavett Show and that same year began work on her final film, Sextette (1978). Adapted from a script written by West, daily revisions and disagreements hampered production from the beginning. Due to the numerous changes, West agreed to have her lines fed to her through a speaker concealed in her wig. Despite the daily problems, West was, according to Sextette director Ken Hughes, determined to see the film through. In spite of her determination, Hughes noted that West sometimes appeared disoriented and forgetful and found it difficult to follow his directions. Her now failing eyesight also made navigating around the set difficult. Hughes eventually began shooting her from the waist up to hide the out-of-shot production assistant crawling on the floor, guiding her around the set. Upon its release, Sextette was a critical and commercial failure.

The Roofdog

  • you look and are as fat as meat ball
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2011, 10:11:24 AM »
Orson Welles' final performance was a voice for the animated Transformers Movie.

The voice of a planet, which adds insult to injury given his girth at that point.

Similarly Dennis Hopper's last role was as the voice of a cartoon wolf in third-rate Dreamworks knock-off 'Alpha And Omega'.

mycroft

  • Mmmmm... *eyebrow*
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2011, 10:19:59 AM »
The voice of a planet, which adds insult to injury given his girth at that point.

His complete lack of interest in the role actually lends a lot to the character.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2011, 10:29:16 AM »
Richard Pryor in Lost Highway.

No way! I've seen that film a good few times and never noticed him in it. What a brilliantly odd piece of casting (not that I know what part he played).

momatt

  • PAPERCLIPS!
    • instagram.com/m0matt
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2011, 11:49:48 AM »
Orson Welles' final performance was a voice for the animated Transformers Movie. And so forth. Shame.

This is without irony, my favourite film of all time.  It is a masterpiece.

I still find it jolly amusing that it was Orson's final film though.  He hated it!

Welles was in declining health during production. Shortly before he died, he told his biographer, Barbara Leaming, "You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy." He elaborated, "I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen."
Welles' voice was apparently so weak by the time he made his recording that technicians needed to run it through a synthesizer to salvage it.


Orson's got a lot of the best lines that make me do little jigs of excitement still.

My top 3:
1.
Megatron: Why should I [help Unicron], what's in it for me? [he says, floating in deep space, falling to bits and dying]
Unicron: Your bargaining posture is highly dubious; But very well. I will provide you with a new body, and new troops to command.
Megatron: And?
Unicron: And nothing. You belong to me... now.
Megatron: I belong to nobody.
Unicron: Perhaps I misjudged you. Proceed - on your way to oblivion.

2.
Megatron: You have nothing to fear. I have already crushed Optimus Prime with my bare hands!
Unicron: You exaggerate.

3.
Unicron: I have summoned you here for a purpose.
Megatron: Nobody summons Megatron.
Unicron: Then it pleases me to be the first.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 12:06:04 PM by momatt »

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2011, 12:16:52 PM »
It stars Barry Humphries, directed by Bruce Beresford and features The Rubettes and Mud. IIRC it about a seedy strip club, T-T's, next door to a discotheque. The cheap awfulness of a 70s UK sex comedy…

Actually, I rather like the film. The scene where Terry-Thomas’ character believes his time is over and casts a mournful eye over the photos of the star acts that had appeared at his cabaret (not a strip club), mentioning them by name finishing with “Terry-Thomas… all the greats played here,” is one that I found rather poignant.

…I find his last films fascinating because I don't think any other actor has so gleefully let themselves go like Hemmings did…
Hemmings went to seed alarmingly quickly. That said, once he did, he didn’t really age – for example, I wouldn’t say that he looks fundamentally different in his later films than he did in Just a Gigolo, which he made in the late Seventies.
   
I've not seen it myself, but I almost wish I had seen Sextette, Mae West's last film..
Sadly, those oft-repeated claims are very much disputed.

That Wikipedia information is taken from a contemporary Time article, which also says that other people on the set (e.g. Dom DeLuise) disagreed with such claims by Hughes (who didn’t get along with West) - i.e. the people responible for the Wikipedia haven't reflected what the source said.  Since that article, just everyone who worked on the film paints a different picture to the one that Hughes portrays - West’s co-star, Timothy Dalton, has always fiercely disputed what the director claimed.

Possibly all but Hughes are telling chivalrous falsehoods, butif they were, it doesn’t explain why the film’s so badly-directed in all other respects.

From what I remember, Simon Louvish’s biography of West (slightly on a tangent, he was the first West biographer to have access to her archive of papers) indicates that Hughes’ claims were rather exaggerated to put it mildly and had more to do with his relationship with the star than reality.

…I still find it jolly amusing that it was Orson's final film though.  He hated it!...
[/color]
I wouldn’t say Welles hated it – the film was just like so many that he did in order to finance his own work, something that he would had rather not done but lacked any bitterness towards it.

Serge

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • New Music, Night And Day
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2011, 01:30:45 PM »
I find his last films fascinating because I don't think any other actor has so gleefully let themselves go like Hemmings did.

It's true - I was watching 'Gangs Of New York' for at least the second time with a friend when he pointed out Hemmings in it, and I refused to believe it was him. I saw him in 'Last Orders' after that, where you have the very freaky experience of his son playing a younger version of his character and looking exactly like Hemmings did when he was young. Have you read his autobiography? An amazing read.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
    • Me Twitter
Re: Worst last films
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2011, 02:42:06 PM »
Hemmings also directed the notorious Just a Gigolo, which was Marlene Dietrich's cinema swansong. She even came out of retirement to do just a couple of days shooting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6ner_Gigolo,_armer_Gigolo

I've not actually seen the film, but I don't think anyone has ever had a good word to say about it.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2011, 03:07:35 PM »
Hemmings also directed the notorious Just a Gigolo, which was Marlene Dietrich's cinema swansong. She even came out of retirement to do just a couple of days shooting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6ner_Gigolo,_armer_Gigolo

I've not actually seen the film, but I don't think anyone has ever had a good word to say about it.
Yup - as I mentioned above. I was quite shocked to see what Hemmings looked like when I first saw it - but would have been even more so if  I had watched Deep Red beforehand, which he made only four or five years earlier but had aged terribly in the intervening time.

Going back to the film, as well as directing, Hemmings has a significant role in the film as a German officier that Bowie's character meets during WWI and who later recruits him to a freikorps.

It's a curious film and certainly a dog's dinner, but one that I feel is of interest - from what I remember, it's beautifully shot and parts of the story (in particular, the rise of paramilitary groups in Germany and the vacuum created in the country after its defeat). I suspect one of the main failings is that Hemmings wasn't quite sure what he was going for.

Re: Worst last films
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2011, 02:45:53 AM »
Largely forgotten now, Marlon Brando's last film appearance was in the mediocre Frank Oz heist caper The Score, opposite Bob De Niro and Ed Norton. Apparently due to extremely warm conditions at the time of filming. Brando found it too uncomfortable to wear trousers, and so most of his scenes were filmed entirely trouserless, with his bottom half obscured by a counter. Dignity, always dignity.

IMDB reveals some choice insights into the filming of this masterpiece:

Quote
Robert De Niro was reportedly the victim of several practical jokes pulled by Marlon Brando during filming, including a remote controlled electronic whoopee cushion.
Quote
Marlon Brando refused to smile in his last scene in the movie, so his ever-so-slight smile was added in post-production by a computer.
Quote
Marlon Brando took to calling director Frank Oz "Fozzy" and "Miss Piggy" during the movie. Oz is the voice of the Fozzy Bear and Miss Piggy characters in The Muppets. Brando's hazing of Oz over his work with the Muppets got so bad that Robert De Niro was forced to direct Brando instead, with Oz giving him instructions via headset.
Quote
During breaks, Marlon Brando would walk around the set naked because of the warm weather where the film was being shot.