Harry Garmes (George C. Scott) is an aging American career criminal who was once a driver for Chicago’s organized crime rings. He is living in self-imposed exile in Albufeira, a fishing village in southern Portugal, where he seeks occasional companionship from a local prostitute Monique (Colleen Dewhurst). Unexpectedly, Harry receives a job, his first in nine years, to drive an escaped killer Paul Rickard (Tony Musante) and the man’s girlfriend Claudie Scherrer (Trish Van Devere) across Portugal and Spain into France. He accepts the job, despite premonitions that it will end badly for him. In the course of the trip, Harry and his passengers are pursued by both the police and Harry’s former mobster cronies. Upon returning to Portugal, Harry gets shot on the beach in Albufeira, moments away from escaping.
George C. Scott as Harry Garmes
Tony Musante as Paul Rickard
Trish Van Devere as Claudie Scherrer
Colleen Dewhurst as Monique
Aldo Sambrell as Miguel
John Huston was the original director for The Last Run. However, Huston and Scott, who previously worked together on the 1966 film The Bible: In the Beginning, had fights on the set. Huston walked off the production and he was hastily replaced by Richard Fleischer. Scott also had fights with French actress Tina Aumont, who was originally cast as the killer’s girlfriend. She also quit the film and was replaced by Trish Van Devere, an American actress. Scott and Van Devere fell in love during the production. However, Scott was married at the time to Colleen Dewhurst, who was also in the film. Dewhurst and Scott divorced after the production concluded, and the actor married Van Devere (who became his third wife).
The Last Run was poorly received by the major critics, and most of them lamented the replacement of Huston with Fleischer. Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, commented that "with Huston directing Alan Sharp's interesting screenplay, the movie would still have had the good stuff, I think, and would have avoided the embarrassing collapses of tone that wreck this version." Roger Greenspun, reviewing the film for The New York Times, stated that Fleischer "a veteran of more than 20 years in the business...seems not yet to have mastered the reaction shot; and his automobile chase sequences, for all the billowing dust and squealing tires, seem to move at 30 miles an hour." Toni Mastroianni, reviewing the film for the Cleveland Press, faulted Scott’s performance as the main stumbling block: "The problem with Scott at the moment is to find a movie as big as he is. The role is right for him and maybe he should play a real Hemingway part instead of an imitation one."
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer promoted the film with the tag line: "In the tradition of Hemingway and Bogart." However, the film was not a commercial success. As of 2011, it has been available on DVD as a Warner Brothers Archive release.