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George At 

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Twilight's Last Gleaming


Talky but smart, well acted by an all star cast, 1977's TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING was Director Robert Aldrich's (The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Yard) last big film.

Burt Lancaster stars as General Lawrence Dell, wrongly imprisoned by the government for his stance on Vietnam. Dell escapes military prison and breaks into a nuclear missile silo complex that he helped design.

When Dell demands $20 million and President David Stevens (Charles Durning) as his hostage, the military and key advisors begin a long battle over how to respond.

As Lancaster is pushed closer and closer to launch nuclear weapons if he doesn't get his way and the President is torn between doing the right thing OR what's best for his party, the lines between those two choices begin to blur.

Richard Widmark, Joseph Cotton, Melvyn Douglas and Richard Jaeckel were all 70's staples and are terrific here and Gerald O'Loughlin is especially good as the President's right hand man.

The film has a lot to say about politics, the military complex and the country's involvement in Vietnam, which probably killed it at the box office.

It's slow but engaging, long on speeches and short on action, but overall a well done drama with a very dark message at its roots.

It gleams, but only bright enough for a B-.

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