On the night of Sunday, 13 November 2022, the Murnau Foundation in cooperation with UCM.ONE will present the film “Phantom” by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau at midnight in the Babylon cinema in the center of Berlin. The silent film from 1922 celebrates its 100th premiere in Berlin on this date. The film will be accompanied by…
The film “The Last Battle” (original title: “Le dernier combat“) by Luc Besson, available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland via UCM.ONE‘s film label B-Spree Classics, was also produced by the later star director Luc Besson (“Léon: The Professional“, “Nikita“, “The Fifth Element“, “The Big Blue“, “Lucy“, “Anna“) as well as Pierre Jolivet. The film, which Luc Besson directed for the first time, was nominated for the César in the category “Best Debut Film” in 1984.
Sometime after the nuclear apocalypse: Earth is a desolate pile of rubble with few resources left. The few surviving people have either come together in small communities or roam the world as loners. They have forgotten how to speak and conflicts are usually settled violently. There is a struggle for bare survival. A man (Pierre Jolivet) flees from a brutal gang in his improvised flying machine after injuring their leader (Fritz Wepper). When he crashes his flying machine, a doctor (Jean Bouise) unexpectedly grants him refuge. But even here the man is not safe, because in the end only the strongest will survive…
About screenwriter and producer Luc Besson
So in 1983, the jack-of-all-trades shot “The Last Battle“, his first feature film, with superstar Jean Reno in the leading role. In quick succession he then shot “Subway“, “The Deep Blue“, “Nikita” and “Léon: The Professional“, thus already sealing his stardom. This was the only way he was able to get 100 million dollars from the major studios to shoot “The Fifth Element“. The film grossed more than twice the amount in the cinemas and was the most commercially successful European film of all time for many years.
Along the way, the successful director also invents the series “Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard“, which he films himself from 2006. Fortunately for the audience, he discards his plan to stop directing after ten films and retire from the business, otherwise further hits like “Lucy” with Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman or “Anna” with Sasha Luss and Helen Mirren would probably never have been made.
|1983||The Last battle|
|1998||The Deep Blue|
|1994||Léon: The Professional|
|1997||The Fifth Element|
|1999||Johanna from Orleans|
|2006||Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard|
|2017||Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets|
Pierre Jolivet (as „the man“)
When not in front of or behind the camera, the multi-talented director writes screenplays, more than 30 of which have already been made into films. Among the Frenchman’s most important works are certainly “The Price of Freedom” (1989), “Zim and Co. (2005) and “Can this be love?” (2007). In “Zim and Co.“, a comedy about four young men who have quite a few problems because of their parole conditions, Jolivet has a cameo appearance and his son Adrien, born in 1981, also plays one of the main roles.
Original title: Le dernier combat
Director: Luc Besson
Screenplay: Luc Besson, Pierre Jolivet
Actors & actresses: Pierre Jolivet, Jean Bouise, Fritz Wepper, Jean Reno, Christiane Krüger, Maurice Lamy, Pierre Carrive Pierre Carrive, Jean-Michel Castanié, Michel Doset, Bernard Havet, Marcel Berthomier Marcel Berthomier, Petra Müller Petra Müller, Garry Jode
Producers: Luc Besson, Pierre Jolivet
Executive producer: Constantin Alexandrov
Cinematography: Carlo Varini
Camera & technical departement: Jean-François Drigeard, Vincent Jeannot
Sound: Chris David, André Naudin
Editing: Sophie Schmit
Production design: Thierry Flamand, Christian Grosrichard
Makeup: Maud Baron
Costume design: Marie Beau, Martine Rapin
Music: Éric Serra
Production company: Les Films du Loup
Yer of production: 1983
Language: non, only the two words “Bon jour” (french)
Length: 93 Min
Rating: FSK 16
Colour: black & white
Sound Mix: Dolby Stereo
German: Der letzte Kampf
English: The Last Battle
Spanish: El último combate
Portuguese: O Último Combate
Greek: Η Τελευταία Μάχη
Turkish: Son Dövüş
Russian: Последняя битва
1983 Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival: Special Jury Prize -> The Last Stand
1983 Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival: Critics’ Prize -> The Last Stand
1984 French Film Award César: Nomination in the category “Best Debut Film” -> The Last Stand
Film label: B-Spree Classics
Theatrical start (France): 06.04.1984
Blu-Ray/DVD-Start (Germany): 22.04.2022
Jean Reno (as „the brute“)
Juan Moreno y Herrera Jiménez is the civil name of the world-famous superstar. His parents, who came from the Spanish province of Andalusia, were living in exile in Morocco when little Juan Reno was born on 30 July 1948 in Casablanca, which like the rest of the country was a French protectorate at the time. After two years of school in France, Jean Reno returned to Morocco and trained as an actor.
After his subsequent military service, the Frenchman moved to Paris and tried to make a poor living from acting. In 1981 he finally met Luc Besson, who from then on cast him in bigger and bigger roles in his own films. His breakthrough and first nomination for a César came with Jean Reno as apnoea diver Enzo Molinari in Besson’s box-office hit “The Deep Blue“. The rest is legend: Alongside the enchanting Natalie Portman, the actor plays the taciturn professional killer Léon in “Léon – The Professional“. After hardly any director except Luc Besson had taken notice of Jean Reno until then, Hollywood now came knocking and signed the actor for roles in big blockbusters such as “Mission: Impossible“. But a permanent move to the United States is not an option for Reno, who is still trying to make the same number of films in France as in Hollywood. As early as 1999, President Jacques Chirac made the Frenchman a Knight of the Legion of Honour, five years later an Officer of the Legion of Honour. He is also the recipient of a “François Truffaut Award” and a “European Film Award” for his outstanding achievements.
Jean Reno is married on his third marriage to actress and model Zofia Borucka and is the father of six children.
|1983||The Last Battle|
|1989||IThe Deep Blue|
|1994||Léon – The Professional|
|2000||The Crimson Rivers|
|2004||Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse|
|2006||The Pink Panther|
|2006||The Da Vinci Code – Sakrileg|
|2009||The Pink Panther 2|
|2010||The Round Up|
|2014||Hector and the Search for Happiness|
The Girl in the Fog
|2020||Da 5 Bloods|
Éric Serra (Composer of the soundtrack)
During the entire film, there is virtually no text, only “Bon jour” is whispered twice. Incidentally, Jean Reno received a fee of 500 francs for his participation, but the film had a budget of around 17 million francs.
German actor Fritz Wepper can be seen in a supporting role. Fritz Wepper, born in Munich in 1941, played the role of Inspector Harry Klein continuously from 1969 to 1998, first in 66 episodes alongside Eric Ode in the series “Der Kommissar” until 1974 and then in the series “Derrick” alongside Horst Tappert. In 2007, Wepper then acted again in the Norwegian comedy series “Rikets røst” in three episodes a version of his role Harry Klein. From 2002 to 2021, Wepper then played the mayor Wolfgang Wöller, who in the series “Um Himmels Willen” (English: “For God’s Sake“) repeatedly has trouble with nuns who are as lovable as they are quick-witted.
“The Last Battle’ is raw, unadorned and authentic. With astonishingly realistic images of run-down areas and buildings, as well as an interesting story, Besson shows that he could have actually directed much more profoundly than he showed with all his later works.” (blu-ray-reviews.net)
“With a minimal budget, Luc Besson has created a true work of art in his debut feature that has many fans, but certainly just as many critics… For me, an insider tip!” (dvd-sucht.de)
“‘The Last Battle’ is one of the best entries on the post-Armageddon Earth alongside ‘Mad Max 2′, ’12 Monkeys’, ‘Matrix 1’ and ‘Delicatessen’.” (ofdb review)
“‘The Last Batle’ is a curiosity and a little too long for its narrow subject. But it’s also a bravura first film, using the simplest of means to show humour, pathos, suspense and even a well-articulated definition of basic human needs.” (Janet Maslin, nytimes.com)
“A bold, beautiful film! Personally, I’ve always considered “Subway” Luc Besson’s best work, but ‘The Last Stand’ is just as impressive.” (Dr. Svet Atanasov, blu-ray.com)
“‘The Last Battle’ requires some patience, but it’s really worth it. However, even if you share this opinion, be prepared to argue about the finer points. I, for one, am a big fan of the minimalist elements of Eric Serra’s score, whose low tones, heartbeat percussion and electronic abstractions seem to me perfectly suited to the other-worldliness of the setting.” (cineoutsider.com)
“The post-apocalyptic vision that director Luc Besson creates in his feature-length debut is as interesting in its bleak, bizarre nature as the radically stripped-down production…” (Patrick Reinbott_moviebreak.co.uk)
“It’s an impressive first feature for Besson. He creates a vivid world of junk and dirt and guys with weird faces. There’s something of Jean-Pierre Jeunet in some of Besson’s work, and this film leans more on that side than the exploitation producer’s.” (outlawvern.com)
“There is a cinema of autism, and Luc Besson is its prophet” (Zeit Online).
“Stylised vision of the end times” (Video.co.uk)
“Surreal end-time fable” (Frankfurter Rundschau)
The Last Battle | Teaser ᴴᴰ
Physical equipment and technical data
Limited Mediabook | Picture format Blu-Ray: WS 2.35:1 / 1080p 24 / bw; DVD: WS 2.35:1 (anamorphic) | Total running time Blu-Ray: approx. 93 min.; Total running time DVD: approx. 89 min. | Sound format Blu-Ray: French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; DVD: French DD 2.0 | Subtitles: German, Extras: Original trailer, artwork gallery, 16-page booklet – Mediabook | Rating: FSK 16