The Last Sunset (film)

The Last Sunset (film)

The Last Sunset
Theatrical poster
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Produced by Eugene Frenke, Edward Lewis
Written by Howard Rigsby (novel Sundown at Crazy Horse), Dalton Trumbo
Starring Rock Hudson
Kirk Douglas
Dorothy Malone
Joseph Cotten
Carol Lynley
Music by Ernest Gold, Tomás Méndez (song "Cu Cu Ru Cu Paloma")
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Edited by Michael Luciano
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates USA: June 7, 1961
Running time 112 min.
Language English
Budget $3 million[1]

The Last Sunset is a 1961 western movie starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, and Dorothy Malone, and was directed by Robert Aldrich.

The film was released by Universal Studios, shot in Eastman color. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was adapted from Howard Rigsby's novel "Sundown at Crazy Horse".

The supporting cast includes Joseph Cotten, Carol Lynley, Neville Brand, and Jack Elam.

Plot summary

Brendan O'Malley (Douglas) crosses the border into Mexico to escape justice for a murder. He arrives at the ranch of a former lover, Belle Breckenridge (Malone) and her husband, the drunkard and coward John Breckenridge (Joseph Cotten).

O'Malley meets her daughter Melissa (Carol Lynley). He is immediately attracted to Missy, who reminds him of Belle when they were lovers years ago. Breckenridge, meanwhile, hires O'Malley to drive his herd to Texas.

Sheriff Dana Stribling (Hudson) is pursuing O'Malley. He arrives at the ranchero to serve a warrant for the murder of his brother-in-law.

Stribling does not have jurisdiction to arrest O'Malley in Mexico so he also agrees to join the cattle drive to Texas. He promises to deliver O'Malley to the law upon their arrival.

During the cattle drive some former Confederates confront Breckenridge in a bar and accuse him of cowardice during a battle in the Civil War. Although Stribling and O'Malley team up to try and save Breckenridge's life, he is shot and killed trying to leave the bar. Stribling and O'Malley respond by shooting the men who killed him, and then they bury his remains.

Along the journey, Stribling and Belle become attracted to each other and plan to marry, and O'Malley and Missy fall in love, increasing the tension between the sheriff and the outlaw.

On the eve of the showdown between the two men, Belle discloses the secret that Missy is the daughter of O'Malley and their incestuous love cannot continue. At the gunfight, O'Malley faces the sheriff with an unloaded gun, effectively committing suicide.



  1. ^ Alain Silver and James Ursini, Whatever Happened to Robert Aldrich?, Limelight, 1995 p 255

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