Last Exit to Brooklyn (film)

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Last Exit to Brooklyn
Last Exit to Brooklyn FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byUli Edel
Screenplay byDesmond Nakano
Based onLast Exit to Brooklyn
by Hubert Selby Jr.
Produced byBernd Eichinger
CinematographyStefan Czapsky
Edited byPeter Przygodda
Music byMark Knopfler
Distributed byNeue Constantin Film (Germany)
Guild Film Distribution (United Kingdom)
Release date
  • 12 October 1989 (1989-10-12) (West Germany)
  • 5 January 1990 (1990-01-05) (UK)
Running time
103 minutes[1]
CountriesWest Germany
United Kingdom
Budget$17 million[2]
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 1964 novel of the same title.[3][4][5]


The difficult lives of unionized workers, prostitutes, and drag queens in a working class Brooklyn neighborhood are portrayed, including drugs, crime and violence.



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."[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 74% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes from 19 critics,[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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 22 September 1989. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  2. ^ Travers, Peter (4 May 1990). "Last Exit to Brooklyn". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  3. ^ Vincent Canby (2 May 1990). "A Brutal, Elegiac 'Last Exit,' Unrelieved by Hope". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Shelia Benson (4 May 1990). "A Brutal, Theatrical Mix Runs Through Edel's 'Last Exit to Brooklyn'". The Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Anthony DePalma (27 April 2004). "Hubert Selby Jr. Dies at 75; Wrote 'Last Exit to Brooklyn'". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Last Exit to Brooklyn". AMC.
  7. ^ "Pilar Montero, Bar Owner and Link to a Seafaring Past, Dies at 90". The New York Times. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Last Exit to Brooklyn". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 21 July 2021.

External links[edit]