The Last Shot is a 2004 comedy film starring Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Toni Collette, Tim Blake Nelson, Joan Cusack (uncredited), Tony Shalhoub, Buck Henry, Ray Liotta, Calista Flockhart and Ian Gomez. The movie is written and directed by Jeff Nathanson, who wrote Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal.
FBI agent Joe Devine (Alec Baldwin) has been assigned to come up with an elaborate scheme to take down infamous mob boss John Gotti. He assumes the role of a Hollywood producer and tells all the right lies to enlist a stooge to help execute his sting. He finds unsuspecting wannabe screenwriter/director Steven Schats (Matthew Broderick), who'd do just about everything to get the chance to direct a feature. Schats falls for the pitch, but what Devine doesn't tell Schats is that the movie will never be made.
Though Schats' screenplay is titled Arizona, and the main character is supposed to euthanize herself in a Hopi cave at the end of the movie, he is so desperate to make the film that Devine convinces him to film it in Rhode Island. Devine's target there is Tommy Sanz, who muscles in on the production. Devine records Sanz accepting a bribe for the Teamsters' approval of the production. Instead of ending the investigation at that point as the FBI expects, Devine plows ahead with the film production, because he has fallen in love with the movie business.
Devine's mania leads him to pitch a three picture deal to his FBI superiors. He is convinced that he can ensnare more mobsters with a similar scheme, while also producing actual films. The FBI agrees to the idea, and Devine throws himself into production full tilt. Just as filming begins, the FBI arrests Gotti and puts an end to the production, against Devine's wishes. The film jumps forward two years to the premiere of a movie based on the sting operation. Schats is working as a manager at a movie theater. Devine visits him and apologizes. He reveals that he has been working on a screenplay, and Schats gets excited about the pitch.
The plot of The Last Shot is loosely based on the true story of an FBI sting operation code-named Dramex. Dramex was run by FBI agent Garland Schweickhardt, who recruited aspiring screenwriters Dan Lewk and Gary Levy to participate unwittingly in a sting operation aimed at ensnaring mobsters and Teamsters union officials in a bribery scheme. Under the pretext of producing a movie, the FBI planned to catch people taking bribes in exchange for promising not to make trouble when filmmakers used non-union truck drivers and non-union crew members.
Shooting actually occurred in several cities including New Orleans and Las Vegas, while in other major cities, evidence was obtained without using an actual crew made up of FBI personnel. As the investigation progressed from city to city, sealed indictments were obtained and only unsealed when the operation was concluded. Many actual events happened during the shooting that were more hilarious than the movie portrays. At one point, the crew was stranded in the desert between LA and Las Vegas by a broken down Rolls Royce.
Arriving at the location in Las Vegas, they found a genuine crew already there shooting Nasty Boys (Which, ironically, was about undercover police officers). The grip truck ran into an elderly lady's car the first day of shooting in New Orleans and the crew wound up paying off the lady with hundreds peeled from a roll of bills. The operation eventually led to indictments against five individuals, several of whom were convicted. The movie itself was shut down before serious filming started.
Lewk and Levy have yet to make a full-length feature film. They were, however, associate producers on The Last Shot and had cameo roles as 'Hollywood Boulevard Types'.Matthew Broderick as Steven Schats
Alec Baldwin as Joe Devine
Toni Collette as Emily French
Calista Flockhart as Valerie Weston
Ray Liotta as Jack Devine
Tim Blake Nelson as Marshal Paris
James Rebhorn as Abe White
Tony Shalhoub as Tommy Sanz
Stanley Anderson as Howard Schats (Ben Cartwright)
W. Earl Brown as Willie Gratzo
Ian Gomez as Agent Nance
Buck Henry as Lonnie Bosco
Evan Jones as Troy Haines
Tom McCarthy as Agent Pike
Glenn Morshower as Agent McCaffrey
Jon Polito as Wally Kamin
Troy Winbush as Agent Ray Dawson
Russell Means as Himself
Pat Morita as Himself
Joan Cusack as Fanny Nash (uncredited)
Robert Evans as Himself (uncredited)
Judy Greer as Girl with Emily French at Movie Premiere (uncredited)
Eric Roberts as Himself (uncredited)
Shoshannah Stern as Steven's Girlfriend
At IMDb, the movie received 5.7 points out of 10 from over 3504 reviewers.