Jack Nicholson as Billy L. “Badass” Buddusky, brash U.S. Navy Signalman 1st Class
Norfolk, Virginia, to Portsmouth Naval Prison, December 1972
Film: The Last Detail
Release Date: December 12, 1973
Director: Hal Ashby
Costume Designer: Theodore R. Parvin
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
On the “birthday” of the U.S. Navy, founded October 13, 1775, check out Cracker Jack Nicholson’s uniform in The Last Detail—released 50 years ago this December.
In the spirit of today also being Friday the 13th, The Last Detail chronicles the story of unlucky Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid), a glum kleptomaniac seaman being transferred to a military prison. The profane Navy lifer Billy Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and his more even-tempered colleague Richard “Mule” Mulhall (Otis Young) are tasked with accompanying Larry from the Norfolk Naval Investigative Service Office headquarters (“Shit City”) up to Portsmouth Naval Prison, where Larry has been sentenced to an eight-year stretch for the attempted theft of no more than $40 from a polio charity box.
The profane Navy lifer Buddusky conspires with Mule to make the most of their “shit detail”, stretching a two-day trip out to its full allotted week so unlucky Larry can live it up along the way with burgers, beer, and broads. Continue reading