Last Exit to Brooklyn (film)

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Last Exit to Brooklyn
Last Exit to Brooklyn FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Uli Edel
Produced by Bernd Eichinger
Screenplay by Desmond Nakano
Based on Last Exit to Brooklyn
by Hubert Selby Jr.
Music by Mark Knopfler
Cinematography Stefan Czapsky
Edited by Peter Przygodda
Distributed by Neue Constantin Film
Release date
  • 12 October 1989 (1989-10-12) (West Germany)
  • 5 January 1990 (1990-01-05) (UK)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
Country West Germany
United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $1,730,005

Last Exit to Brooklyn is a 1989 German-British drama film directed by Uli Edel and adapted by Desmond Nakano from Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel of the same title.[2][3][4]


A group of prostitutes, union workers, and drag queens all lead difficult lives within an existence of drugs, crime and violence in a working class Brooklyn neighborhood.



There had been several attempts to adapt Last Exit to Brooklyn into a film prior to this version. One of the earliest attempts was made by producer Steve Krantz and animator Ralph Bakshi, who wanted to direct a live-action film based on the novel. Bakshi had sought out the rights to the novel after completing Heavy Traffic, a film which shared many themes with Selby's novel. Selby agreed to the adaptation, and actor Robert De Niro accepted the role of Harry in Strike. According to Bakshi, "the whole thing fell apart when Krantz and I had a falling out over past business. It was a disappointment to me and Selby. Selby and I tried a few other screenplays after that on other subjects, but I could not shake Last Exit from my mind."[5][6]

Some scenes for the film were shot at Montero's Bar and Grill, which was owned by Pilar Montero and her husband.[7]


The film received positive reviews, garnering a 78% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes,[8] and winning a few critics' awards for Leigh's portrayal of Tralala, though its limited distribution and downbeat subject matter prevented it from becoming a commercial success.


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