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Last Orders [2001] [DVD]


Price: £5.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Helen Mirren
  • Directors: Fred Schepisi
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Metrodome Distribution
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TR6BDO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,688 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Jack Dodds was a regular guy, so why the strange last order to have his ashes thrown off the pier at Margate? And why did his wife refuse to do it? As their Mercedes speeds towards the sea, an emotional mystery unfolds, where the men try to understand Jacks death by reliving their life through him...the war, the children, the good times and the bad. The journey becomes a pub crawl full of drink-ups and punch-ups and the men discover that through it all, its your friends that break your heart. and your friends that mend it.

From Amazon.co.uk

With Last Orders, Australian-born writer-director Fred Schepisi has done a fine job of bringing Graham Swift's Booker Prize-winning novel to the screen. Schepisi simplifies the book's complex structure a little (we get flashbacks within flashbacks, often switching time and place mid-way through a line of dialogue), but it's all handled so lucidly and sensitively that we're never left in any doubt as to when and where we are.

The setting is Peckham, South London. Jack, a butcher, has recently died of cancer, leaving instructions that his ashes should be scattered off Margate Pier. Three of his oldest friends and drinking companions, Ray, Lenny and Vic, plus Jack's son Vince, meet at their local pub to carry out his wishes. Jack's widow, Amy, doesn't join them; she has an errand of her own to attend to. During the day's drive to the sea, memories and associations crowd in on each of them, reflections on love and fate and death in richly layered profusion.

Schepisi has assembled a cast of British cinema's most seasoned professionals: Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, Bob Hoskins, David Hemmings, Helen Mirren and Ray Winstone. The location settings--South London and Kent--exude authenticity, with Brian Tufano's widescreen photography adding dignity. For Schepisi this is a personal project, and he's clearly in love with his material. Just occasionally the film skirts sentimentality, but it's pulled back from the edge by its humour, honesty and commitment to wry, downbeat realism.

On the DVD Last Orders arrives on DVD in a clean anamorphic 16:9 transfer with Dolby 5.1 sound. There's a good range of extras: interviews and filmographies for all six principals plus the director; a "making of" featurette (everyone genuinely seems to be having a great time); written production notes; and not just the theatrical trailer, but a "trailer evolution video" showing alternative versions, plus ditto for the film's publicity poster. --Philip Kemp --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
Three friends who have known Jack Dodds, a butcher, for almost fifty years, along with Jack's son Vince, meet at their local South London pub carrying a box containing Jack's ashes. Jack (Michael Caine) has died of heart failure, leaving a last request--that his ashes be cast off the Margate pier, several hours to the south of London. Ray (Bob Hoskins), a gambler; Vic (Tom Courtenay), an undertaker; Lenny (David Hemmings), a former prizefighter and heavy drinker; and Vince (Ray Winstone), Jack's son, a car dealer, set off for Margate in a Mercedes Benz that Vince has borrowed to honor the occasion.
As the men drive south, they reminisce about Jack, joke around, sing songs, irritate each other, and even threaten each other in the emotion of the moment. Director Fred Schepesi, who adapted the screenplay from the Booker Prize-winning novel by Graham Swift, alternates present scenes from the car with contrasting or ironic scenes from Jack's life in the past, contrasting the deadness of the present trip to Margate with the liveliness of the past, showing the relationships among the various characters. Jack's wife Amy (Helen Mirren) has chosen not to come with them for the "ceremony." She is making her weekly visit to their mentally handicapped daughter June, now fifty, whom Jack has never accepted.
The nature of each man's relationship with Jack, with spouses and children, and with each other during World War II and after are all presented in flashback--from Vince's affair with Lenny's daughter, to Ray's relationship with Amy, and Jack's last minute bet with Ray to pay off a debt. As the men's relationships evolve onscreen, the viewer recognizes that these are the kinds of relationships that ordinary men spend their lives developing.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andy Millward VINE VOICE on 1 July 2008
Format: DVD
Schepisi has directed a magical bitter-sweet drama, helped by a cast reading like a who's who of British Londoner character actors: Courtenay, Hemmings, Caine, Hoskins, Mirren, Winstone and co turn in spellbinding performances in telling the story of their intermingled lives over the passage of time via the occasion of a journey to scatter the ashes of Jack (Caine), the town butcher and husband to Mirren, from Margate pier.

Not only that, but the cast playing their younger selves are first rate too and actually LOOK like the people they are supposed to be (especially JJ Feild, who looks the spitting image of a young Caine, and Kelly Reilly who bursts with sexual energy as Mirren's predecessor; the young Hemmings is played by the actor's son Nolan.)

Based on Graham Swift's novel, the film looks distinctly dreary in concept if you read the label, but the dialogue fizzes throughout and the result is both moving and charming without ever becoming stilted or melodramatic. Unusually, the flashbacks add value by gently filling in gaps without imposing their own will on the narrative structure.

The plot is not hugely demanding, dealing with familiy crises and couplings, Jack's debts, his disabled daughter and adopted son. But with a cast of this quality, the result is riveting. Go see!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Greenwood on 11 Mar 2009
Format: DVD
Insightful film depicting attitudes to life and death in the working class SE Londoner.

Will make you laugh and make you cry with it's humour and realism.Some

unexpected and not so unexpected twists and turns in the story. What it lacks in the story line is compensated by its authenticity.

Great casting!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Spooner on 20 Oct 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Must have watched this film a lest 7 or 8 times. Having read Graham Swifts brilliant novel. When it came out as movie was pleased to see that this fine book transfused in to a brilliant film with wonderful performances from each and every member of the cast. wholeheartedly recommended to anyone who loves great acting.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Dec 2002
Format: VHS Tape
especially, lifelong friends in the short term? This is a question explored by LAST ORDERS, which in common usage means the final drink requests before the closing of an English pub.
Set in London and southeast England, the film opens with undertaker Vic (Tom Courtney) bringing the ashes of his good friend Jack (Michael Caine) to the local watering hole for a last pint with Jack's other lifelong friends, Ray (Bob Hoskins) and Lenny (David Hemmings), along with Vince (Ray Winstone), the son of Jack and Amy (Helen Mirren). Since Jack had expressed the wish to have his ashes scattered into the English Channel at the seaside city of Margate, the four men pile into a luxury Mercedes selected by Vince from his auto dealership as appropriate to the occasion, and set off for the coast. Amy has declined to come along. Rather, she spends the day visiting June (Laura Morelli), Jack and Amy's [handicapped] daughter, who's spent fifty years in an institution. June is so severely handicapped that she's never once recognized Amy as her mother, though the latter has visited once each week over the decades - alone.
The film's Cockney English dialog is difficult to fully understand until one's ear becomes attuned. For me, this was about a third into the movie. Since much of the speaking during this time occurs over a pint, or in the Benz headed to Margate, there's not much action to give clues as to what's being discussed. (My wife gave up and left me to hang tough.) Indeed, if it wasn't for the flashbacks generated by the memories and conversations among Jack's survivors - some extending back to World War II and before - the film would be a tad dreary.
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