The Last Lullaby Midwestern Premiere

May 12th, 2009 by Max Allan Collins

THE LAST LULLABY will play at the Showcase Cinemas 53 in Davenport, Iowa, on Friday May 15 through May 21. For the first two evening showings on Friday, director Jeffrey Goodman and I will introduce the film and do Q and A after. Tickets are on sale online (Friday night showings: 7:00 / 9:30). The film’s next Iowa booking is at the Fleur in Des Moines, where it will play June 5 through June 11 — again, Jeffrey and I will be there opening night.

The midwestern premiere of THE LAST LULLABY at the Collins Rd Theatres in Cedar Rapids went very well indeed — we had a very nearly full house for the 7 pm showing, when Jeffrey and I introed the film and followed up afterward with a Q and A.

The Last Lullaby Collins Road

Hard to believe, but this is the first face-to-face meeting between Jeffrey and myself, and years of long-distance collaborating first on the short film “A Matter of Principal” and then on the feature-length expansion, THE LAST LULLABY. He is a very friendly guy, low-key and very sharp.

A question that keeps coming up is whether the film is based on the novel THE LAST QUARRY. The answer is — sort of. The detailed answer is convoluted, so I usually just say, “Yes.” The truth is, THE LAST QUARRY is a novel based on my first draft screenplay for Jeffrey, itself an expansion of my short story, “A Matter of Principal” and my screenplay from the short film derived from it. The title THE LAST LULLABY reflects the novel’s title, obviously, and the novel and film are very similar, but not exactly so. That reflects me doing a second draft after getting notes from Jeffrey, another writer doing a draft for him when the film moved from California to Louisiana, and me doing a final polish. So it evolved away from the novel version.

The other question that comes up is, “Why is Quarry (Tom Sizemore) called Price in the film?” For the same reason Parker is “Walker” in POINT BLANK — to limit the film to a once only use of the character, not to license the entire series. Anyway, Quarry uses aliases all the time — “Quarry” is itself an alibi.

The Cedar Rapids screening was my first chance to see the film in a real theatrical setting — right down to popcorn with real butter, a point of pride for theater owner Bruce Taylor — and seeing THE LAST LULLABY in its full thirty-five millimeter (and of course nine millimeter) glory was a thrill. Quarry was born around 1971 at the Writers Workshop in Iowa City, where the first two chapters of what would become THE BROKER were discussed by a mostly horrified class. To see him come to life on screen so many years later, in a definitive portrayal by Tom Sizemore, is a real thrill for me.

Here are a few recent reviews/stories on the film:

The Gazette Online: “deliciously mixes old-fashioned film noir with newfangled violence.”
Shreveport Times Online: “bold, brilliant and inventive”
KWQC-TV’s Linda Cook: “A strong character study with a fascinating leading man”


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