Last Man Standing

Synopsis: John Smith is an amoral gunslinger in the days of Prohibition. On the lam from his latest (unspecified) exploits, he happens upon the town of Jericho, Texas. Actually, calling Jericho a town would be too generous--it has become more like a ghost town, since two warring gangs have 'driven off all the decent folk.' Smith sees this as an opportunity to play both sides off against each other, earning himself a nice piece of change as a hired gun. Despite his strictly avowed mercenary intentions, he finds himself risking his life for his, albeit skewed, sense of honor....
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Director(s): Walter Hill
Production: New Line Cinema
Rotten Tomatoes:
101 min

It's a funny thing.

No matter how low you sink...

there's still

a right and a wrong...

and you always end up choosing.

You go one way so you can try

to live with yourself.

You can go the other

and still be walking around...

but you're dead

and you don't know it.

I was coming through Texas

on my way to Mexico.

I needed some time to hide out.

I had spent most of my life

on the dodge.

Drunk or sober,

I got no complaints...

even if I did

get my hands dirty on the way.

Jericho was a jerkwater town

maybe 50 miles from the border.

Dirt streets,

ramshackle buildings.

One thing for sure...

you couldn't find it

anywhere on the map.

For the most part,

I was a big-city guy.

I like pavement

under my feet...

and bright lights

after the sun goes down.

I figured this burg

was just the kind of place...

you gassed up the car,

got something to eat...

and if you got stuck,

maybe spent a night.

Then I got a look at her...

and that's

when all the fun started.

It's not a good idea

to be looking...

at Mr. Doyle's girl that way.

I remember a guy once told me

this is a free country.

Jocko, this guy thinks

it's a free country.

Now you're free to go.

Sheriff's office is over there

in case you want to complain.

Your light's out.

I seen it,

right outside the window.

You know what I'm going

to do about it?

Not a goddamn thing.

But I know what you ought to do.

You ought to get your spare,

put it on your car...

and drive out of town.

Ain't that right, Bob?

You got to forgive old Bob.

He ain't much for talk.

Hold it.

Let me tell you something.

If you're sticking around,

don't be coming to me for help.

You're on your own here.

We already got a fella

in the window of the undertaker.

Do yourself a favor...

first thing, get a firearm.

First customer I seen all week.

Want a whiskey or a beer?

Don't have much else to offer.


You under prohibition?

We don't pay much attention

to it here.

You got a phone in this place?

Who you want to call?

My mama.

We got phones,

but they ain't workin'...

since you need a switchboard

operator to run them.

You got electricity?

Got that.

Runs on gas generators.

Hope they stay working.

Nobody left to fix them

if they go bust.

Tell the truth...

most of what they call

decent folks have been run off.

Really ain't much left here

but a ghost town.

Some damn sheriff...

making a profit

staying in the middle...

grafting off both sides.

I think Mr. Doyle

bought him off first...

or maybe it was Strozzi.

Who's Strozzi?

That's the other gang here.

Strozzi and the Italian fellas.

Both gangs took over this town,

run off all the regular folks.

Come from the same big city...

but they don't

like each other much.


You got Strozzi

at the Sweetwater...

and Doyle's bunch

down at the Alamo.

They leave me be

because I stay to myself.

They think I'm crazy.

What the hell are you doing?

I'm going to go see the fellas

that wrecked my car...

have a little talk with them.

I hadn't gotten

a real warm reception...

but I started thinking

maybe this was my lucky day.

A crook for a sheriff...

and two bootlegger outfits

that hated each other.

If I played it right...

I could make some easy money

and move on.

I thought I made it clear...

who you can and can't be

looking at around here.

That's Mr. Doyle's property.

I came here to see you.

Did you get that car of yours

fixed yet?

I'm running a little low

on cash.

I was wondering if you could

help pay the damages.

I guess you'll have to kill me.

It'll hurt if I do.

Tell Mr. Doyle if

he'd have hired smarter guys...

none of this

would have happened.

It's all about booze.

Gets smuggled through here

from Mexico.

We're part of a family operation

in Chicago.

So what we got here is close

to a civil war...

except now we got a truce.

This truce ain't gonna last...

especially after Hickey

gets back.

That's why you're here.

Who's Hickey?


is Doyle's right-hand man.

He's a sweetheart.

Looks like somebody

carved him up for Sunday dinner.

Talks like this.

Forget it.

What about you?

You got a name?


Smith what?

You got a first name?


That's a good one.

You on the run?

Where are you from?

Back east.

John Smith from back east.

I heard you wanted to see me.

That's right.

What's the matter?

Did I interrupt something


She was doing her nails.

This is Lucy.

She a real nice girl.

She got a big mouth, but

she's going to keep it shut...

and act very friendly now,


Lucy, would you please

take Mr. Smith to his room?

I guess Strozzi hired himself

another bum.

Got it all figured out, do you?

Yeah. I'm a fortune-teller.

Working for Strozzi

has its advantages.

You're going to love your room.

The skirt was from

just outside of Cicero.

Strozzi said he had her sent

here to keep up his morale...

but that's the first time

I ever heard it called that.

You try and keep it

down up here, OK?

My room's right underneath.

I'll try not to make

too much noise...

when I'm jumping

up and down on the bed.

Sunday dinner was a real event.

Strozzi might have been

a small-time hood...

but he tried to run things...

like he was somebody important

back in Chicago.

He had an army of 20 shooters.

As far as I could see,

most of them were goofballs.

It was all

right out of some dime novel.

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Walter Hill

Walter Hill (born January 10, 1942) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is widely known for his action films and revival of the Western genre. He has directed such films as The Warriors, Hard Times, The Driver, Southern Comfort, 48 Hrs. and its sequel Another 48 Hrs., Red Heat, Last Man Standing, Undisputed, and Bullet to the Head, as well as writing the Steve McQueen crime drama The Getaway. He has also directed several episodes of television series such as Tales from the Crypt and Deadwood and produced the Alien films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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