From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last work, The Last Tycoon follows Monroe Stahr, Hollywood’s Golden Boy, as he battles father figure and boss Pat Brady for the soul of their studio. In a world darkened by the Depression and the growing influence of Hitler's Germany, The Last Tycoon illuminates the passions, violence and towering ambition of 1930s Hollywood.
Monroe’s personal life heats up as he pursues the beautiful Kathleen, who pushes against the idea of being a replacement for Minna. Pat Brady’s pet project has a devastating debut, forcing him to accept Monroe’s help. Celia gets cozy in her role as producer, so Hackett takes it upon himself to give her an education.
With Pat Brady's back against the wall, he proves his worth as a studio head in pursuing film star Margo Taft. Monroe must manage two demanding bosses as Louis B. Mayer takes a driving role in Brady American. Rose seeks a new outlet in her life. Celia forms a connection with office boy, Max Miner. Monroe's relationship with Kathleen blossoms as they let their guard down.
Irving Thalberg's death sends shockwaves throughout the industry, and causes further insecurity from Brady about his own golden boy. Monroe risks his budding relationship to save a movie and Brady American. Celia's adjustments to Hackett's script are well received. Rose immerses herself in volunteering, and forges a meaningful bond with a young, lonely patient.
Stahr orchestrates an extravagant Hollywood party that masks a secret agenda. Brady courts Margo Taft to become Brady-American’s permanent leading lady. Rose is tortured by Stahr's public happiness and Brady's public philandering. Celia and Lang’s partnership takes a provocative turn. Hackett is intrigued by a visitor from Vienna. Kathleen reluctantly agrees to Monroe’s request to screen test.
Stahr encourages Kathleen to join Lang’s secluded rehearsal, leaving him alone on Christmas Eve to contemplate his choices. Brady hopes for a Christmas miracle as he schemes to boost ticket sales for “Angels on the Avenue.” Kathleen must pay a sinister price for stardom. Rose helps Kitty prepare for a dangerous surgery. Celia and Max are brought closer by tragedy.
Stahr hunts for the perfect publicity angle for Kathleen, while managing reactions to his big news. Brady hatches a bold business ploy that has sweeping consequences for the studio and forces Monroe to contain the repercussions. Kathleen struggles to manage her tangled web of half-truths. Celia cares for Max as they test the boundaries of their new relationship. Hackett takes a stand.
Stahr concocts a campaign to secure the studio’s first ever Oscar nominations. Brady scours for a solution to balance the books and get the Board of Directors off his back. Celia’s mettle as a producer is tested by Lang's outrageous demands. Kathleen plots an escape from her dangerous charade. Rose makes a shocking discovery.
Brady makes a drastic decision to save the studio which causes a catastrophic rift in his relationship with Stahr. Monroe and Kathleen grapple with the emotional fallout of her dark deception. Rose forges a new path in life. Celia takes a lesson from her father. Max’s indiscretion comes back to haunt him. Hackett has a surprising proposition for Hannah.
The Last Tycoon tells the story of Monroe Stahr, a dashing and talented studio executive who struggles to find his place within the movie industry and the world. Monroe is caught in a power struggle with his boss and mentor, Pat Brady, when a young Irish waitress catches his eye. Her spark just might be the fuel he needs to create a truly great and important film in his quest for power.
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Just finished this entire season just to learn that there will be no season two. Besides feeling cheated that I will never find out what happens to the wonderful main character, after the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers, I am getting tired of dedicating my time to shows that are well-directed, well-acted, and extremely well-received, yet are never given a fair chance. If I'm this frustrated, I can't imagine how the actors and writers feel. Please, Amazon, stop canceling all these sophisticated shows, especially ones that women love. First, it was "Good Girls Revolt," one of the most brilliant, thought-provoking series I've seen in a long time, and now this. Meanwhile, all these violent, zombie-driven, male-dominated shows keep getting renewed, season after season.....Perhaps now that half of Hollywood is out of a job thanks to sexual assault, we'll start to see some female-driven, thoughtful and patient decisions around programming.
OMG......I tried to just watch just a few minutes of this pilot but I couldn't stop. The fashion, the writing and the excellent acting kept me mesmerized. Please make this my new favorite show. Thank you Amazon for another exceptional production. Kelsey Grammar made me watch and the rest of the cast reeled me in.
I loved, loved, this series!!! Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammar, Lilly Collins are fantastic. There performances were right on, the whole story line has kept my attention, I couldn't wait till I watched the next episode. Now I find out there may not be a season 2, come on Amazon you can't keep doing to this to your public!!!!! Every time I get interested in one of your series you pull it and not give it another shot! Maybe if you advertised more about your shows like you did with Manchester by the Sea you would get more of a response. I hope you reconsider and put The Last Tycoon back on. Thank you for listening.
Very mild spoilers are contained below. Nothing major. It's all stuff that's presented early in the pilot episode. Nothing here should ruin anything for you.
The pilot hits on a theory that the Nazis had influence in Hollywood in the 1930's and force the big movie studios to cleanse their films of anything that might be offensive to the Nazi party in order to get approval to sell their movies in Germany. As the United States was in the middle of the Great Depression, studios couldn't afford to abandon part of the international market if they wanted to stay in business. So they made the changes the Nazis wanted.
It's not universally accepted that this happened quite as drastically as it's portrayed in this pilot, but there is a decent amount of evidence to suggest that it did. True or not, it's an interesting plot device that isn't overused in TV and movies. (To my knowledge it's only come up before in the earlier movie version of this same story from years ago). And the studio at the center of this show employs a Jewish man to head up the day to day operations of the studio, who of course isn't real happy to comply with anything the Nazis want to do. Specifically the Nazis want to change the one movie that is personally loved by this character. This makes an interesting dynamic. And the way he reacted to it and what he plans to do is simply brilliant and could make for a really cool show going forward if they do it right. (Can't tell you how. That would be a major spoiler about what they set up for future episodes)
The other big theme is the owner of the studio, Kelsey Grammer, who wanted to help end the poverty of the Hooverville next to his studio while at the same time making his stupid bigger and becoming richer. This whole thing with the poor people stuck in the Hooverville would be a really interesting story line but it's not deeply explored in the pilot. It's clearly intended to play a bigger role if the series gets picked up.
The whole thing is really well made. You feel like you are watching the 1930's. Costuming is great. Acting is great. Set design is great. They overdo on the makeup a smidge, but it's not worth hating the show over.
There is potential here for a long run series. But it all would depend on what happens next in the plot. The pilot starts off pretty slow and takes a while to hook you. But if they keep going to direction they are going at the end of the pilot it could be REALLY interesting on a longer run.
This is a really nice period piece. It was nice seeing familiar actors in new roles, and the casting was a good fit. Most of the characters are clearly flawed, which makes them just a little more realistic. In some ways it felt like they were in a rush to introduce us to the back stories of most of the characters to get us interested in them. While the pilot was a bit rough, the overall story was enjoyable, and it is a nice open theme they have picked that there is hope this story will last many seasons. The characters are interesting enough that it would be nice to see their stories play out a bit more.
F Scott Fitzgerald is a favorite author of mine, so I was skeptical of yet another television rendition based upon one of his novels - but I absolutely loved this show. Highly stylized, lovingly shot, fabulous score - it has polish but not a gaudy sheen. Matt Bomer was a brilliant casting choice and Kelsey Grammer has always been a favorite. It's great to see him back and playing a shady guy. Lily Collins is usually less than impressive, although the scene where she/Celia pitches her film and Bomer/Monroe finally listens shows she has great potential for this role. Some scenes were too short and the editing clunky in spots, but the show will find it's rhythm quickly. Hopefully, the writers will continue to directly address the Nazi influence on Hollywood filmmaking during that era. While The Last Tycoon isn't meant to be a history lesson, there are two generations that for the most part don't realize the extent to which the Germans dictated our filmmaking.
Well done, Amazon. When can we expect the next episode?