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The Last American Hero

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Title: The Last American Hero  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Lamont Johnson, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, Tom Wolfe, The Groundstar Conspiracy, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers
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The Last American Hero

The Last American Hero
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Produced by William Roberts and
John Cutts
Joe Wizan
Written by William Roberts
based on articles by Tom Wolfe
Starring Jeff Bridges
Valerie Perrine
Cinematography George Silano
Edited by Tom Rolf, A. C. E.
Robbe Roberts
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • July 27, 1973 (1973-07-27)
Running time 95 mins.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,130,000[1]
Box office $1,250,000 (US/ Canada)[2]

The Last American Hero (also known as Hard Driver) is a 1973 sports drama film based on the true story of American NASCAR driver Junior Johnson. Directed by Lamont Johnson, it stars Jeff Bridges as Junior Jackson, the character based on Johnson.

The film is based on Tom Wolfe's story, "The Last American Hero", which is included in his 1965 debut collection of essays, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. The film was favorably reviewed by Pauline Kael in The New Yorker, even though The New Yorker had a long-standing feud with Wolfe.

The film's theme song, "I Got a Name", sung by Jim Croce, became a best-selling single.



  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p257
  2. ^ Solomon p 232. See also "Big Rental Films of 1973", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 60. Please note figures are rentals not total gross.

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