The Last Outlaw (TV)


The Last Outlaw (TV)

The Last Outlaw (TV) (1994) was a western released in 1994 starring Mickey Rourke, Dermot Mulroney, Ted Levine, Daniel Quinn, Gavan O'Herlihy, Keith David, John C. McGinley, and Steve Buscemi, along with a variety of other known actors, which has since become a cult classic among western genre fans. It was directed by Geoff Murphy and written by Eric Red.

Introduction

The story follows a band of former Confederate soldiers who were part of a cavalry that had fought during the American Civil War, with few surviving to its end. Their commander, Graff (Rourke) had once been a heroic and staunch supporter of the southern cause, but after losing his family he became cold hearted and ruthless. His second in command is Eustis (Mulroney), whom Graff has trained since 1861 on the strategies of leadership and combat command, right down to knowing exactly how many rounds of ammunition each of his soldiers has. The film centers around the relationship between Graff and Eustis, and the irony of Eustis turning on Graff due to Graff making a decision that Eustis disagrees with, and which mirrors a decision Eustis is also forced to make himself as a commander later.

Plot

When the war ends, the cavalry unit commanded by Graff makes the decision to stay together, and turn outlaw. They begin committing bank robberies, and are successful due to the fact that they are organized and experienced in combat, thus making local citizens or lawmen little to no match for them. However, when a robbery goes horribly wrong, resulting in the unit being shot up badly, with Loomis (Quinn) badly wounded, they find themselves pursued by Marshal Sharp, who is respected and feared, as well as being diligent and honest and extremely capable.

Feeling that Loomis is holding them back, Graff makes the command decision to kill Loomis in order to save the rest of the group. Eustis faces off against Graff, objecting, and when Graff slaps Eustis then moves to shoot Loomis, Eustis instead shoots Graff. Graff falls out of his saddle and rolls down a hillside, and thinking he is dead, Eustis now takes command and leads the band toward Mexico, with the posse still in pursuit. Potts (Levine) initially challenges Eustis as a commander, but is beaten by Eustis in a fist fight.

Marshal Sharp and his posse come upon Graff, who is wounded but not badly, and takes him prisoner. The posse, with Graff in chains, then continues their pursuit of the outlaw band. Eustis sets up an ambush, resulting in several posse members being killed, and during the chaos Graff kills Marshal Sharp. Now leaderless, the posse decides to return home, with banker McClintock, who had joined them in the pursuit, demanding they stay and chase the bandits. Graff makes the posse members an offer of part of the loot taken by his former gang, if they help him track them down. This being much more than the banker was paying, they accept the offer. With Graff now leading the posse, they set up an ambush for the outlaws, and Graff shoots and kills Philo (Buscemi) and wounds Loomis in the open, then piece by piece shoots parts of Loomis' body off, until Eustis is finally forced to shoot and kill Loomis to put him out of his misery. When posse members attempt to cut off Philo's trigger finger as a trophy, Graff tells them he will kill them if they do, as Philo was one of "his men", showing that he respected and cared for his former soldiers.

Later, Graff encounters members of the gang periodically, almost like a ghost, placing them all on edge and freightened. Wills (McGinley) steals the stolen money from the gang and takes it out in front of the posse, leaving it for them in hopes this will make them stop chasing. Graff, knowing that if they have the money the posse will go home, goes ahead to where the money is, with banker McClintock, and while out of sight from the posse he kills McClintock, throwing he and the money off a cliff, then stages a false shootout with the outlaws, and tells the posse it had been a trap.

Wills loses his horse when it is shot, and Eustis has to make the command decision to leave Wills behind to save the rest of the gang, an ironic twist in that his decision will ultimately result in the death of Wills, and is similar to the decision made by Graff which led to the entire downward spiral situation they now found themselves in. Wills stays behind on foot, and meets the posse as it charges into him, killing a couple of the posse members before being killed himself.

Lovecraft, while out searching for water, encounters Graff, who gives him extra ammunition and tells him he'll be spared if he kills Eustis. When Eustis gives Lovecraft ammunition to fill his pistol, he finds that Lovecraft already has a full chamber. Eustis, knowing that Lovecraft did not have a full six rounds left, realizes that Lovecraft has betrayed him. However, when Eustis presses for Lovecraft to do what Graff sent him to do, Lovecraft is overwhelmed with fear and guilt, and commits suicide.

By this time, there are only two gang members left, Eustis and Potts. The two make for the Rio Grande River, but Potts is shot and wounded badly through the gut by Graff, who is shooting from a cliff some distance away. With Potts dead, Eustis is the last outlaw of the gang, and makes a final stand against the posse. He kills them all, but then finds himself facing off against Graff. The two draw, and Eustis is faster, cocking and pulling the trigger first, but finding he's spent all his ammunition and has an empty weapon. Graff walks in close to shoot him, but Eustis shoots Graff with a pocket derringer he has, finally killing Graff. The film ends with Eustis riding across into Mexico, the last outlaw.

External links

* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110307/ The Last Outlaw, Internet Movie database]


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