Director Hal Ashby's birthday is on Saturday, although he died in 1988. At first I thought I ought to feature a photo from Harold and Maude, then remembered that I already did that earlier this week. So I found a fitting photo from The Last Detail instead. The 1973 film stars Jack Nicholson and Otis Young as two Navy men who are required to escort a young sailor to prison -- and the kid is played by Randy Quaid. The older sailors decide to show the lad a good time before he's locked up, and the above photo shows Nicholson approaching prostitute Carol Kane as part of this plan. Nicholson and Young curse like, well, sailors the entire time, but the film is oddly touching as well as raucous fun. Robert Towne adapted the script from a novel -- and he also wrote the script for a film made year later that starred Nicholson, Chinatown.
I thought of The Last Detail because I'd read some news related to the film, via MTV: Richard Linklater wants to direct a sequel. He's adapted the novel Last Flag Flying, which takes place years after the events of The Last Detail, but with the same (older) characters. I like Linklater a lot, but while I enjoyed A Scanner Darkly, I thought the remake of The Bad News Bears was inferior to the original and entirely unnecessary. Mr. Linklater, please stop messing with cynical Seventies films. You've got so manyother projects you can focus on instead.