The Last Angry Man is as pungent and indelible as Brooklyn on a hot summer afternoon. It has faults: but it is possible to overlook whatever imperfections stud the production because so much of it is so good and, add, so rare.

The Last Angry Man is as pungent and indelible as Brooklyn on a hot summer afternoon. It has faults: but it is possible to overlook whatever imperfections stud the production because so much of it is so good and, add, so rare.

The film is taken from Gerald Green’s best-selling novel about a Jewish doctor, a character based on Green’s own father. Director Daniel Mann had his problems in getting the story on film, shooting much of it on Brooklyn locations, but the finished product is worth the labor.

The conflict in the story arises from the lifetime of selfless service by the doctor (Paul Muni) when placed in conjunction with the commercial demands of contemporary television. Television wants to exploit the Jewish doctor, to associate with him so it can claim some of his virtues. Muni is an immigrant who has absorbed his Americanism from Jefferson, from Emerson and Thoreau, and he believes what they said.

Muni gives a superlative performance. Someone chides him at one point for thinking of himself as an Albert Schweitzer. A Schweitzer he isn’t, but in Muni’s character delineation it’s apparent it’s the men like him who keep the world going. David Wayne, as his abrasive agent, is allowed no histrionics, but his conviction must be absolute. Wayne is as persuasive as his narrow lapels and button-down collars.

1959: Nominations: Best Actor (Paul Muni), B&W Art Direction

The Last Angry Man

Production

Columbia. Director Daniel Mann; Producer Fred Kohlmar; Screenplay Gerald Green, Richard Murphy; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Charles Nelson; Music George Duning

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Paul Muni David Wayne Betsy Palmer Luther Adler Joby Baker Nancy Pollock
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