Pauline Kael (review date 11 February 1974)
SOURCE: "Nicholson's High," in The New Yorker, Vol. XLIX, No. 51, February 11, 1974, pp. 95-6.
[Kael is one of the foremost film critics in the United States. In the following mixed review of The Last Detail, she argues that despite Towne's improvements on the novel by Darryl Ponicsan, the film remains calculatingly sentimental.]
In The Last Detail, you can see the kid who hasn't grown up in Nicholson's grin, and that grin has the same tickle it had when he played the giddy, drunken Southern lawyer in Easy Rider, but now it belongs to the ravaged face of an aging sailor. The role of Buddusky, the tattooed signalman, first class, is the best...
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