One Last Job: One of Hollywood’s Most Repeated Plot Devices

Universal Pictures

When writing your screenplay, keep in mind ways to make it marketable. Studios usually throw away submissions if it tends to be original, so there are some tried and true angles you can throw in to prevent this, and actually make them excited to read something familiar. One of these methods is the One Last Job.

It’s usually either a cop or a thief that makes it clear early on that they intend this job/case/score to be their last, and it always ends up being the biggest/craziest/most frustrating one of their career. Some examples are The Sting, The Killer, Unforgiven, Falling Down, Out of Sight, Entrapment, The Heist, Gone in 60 Seconds, and even Bottle Rocket taps that well a little.

But there’s one actor that gravitates to these roles more than any other, prominently featuring it in Heat (pictured above), The Score, and Midnight Run. Mr. Robert DeNiro. At about the 3:00 mark in this f-bomb filled clip he delivers the best line regarding this character gimmick… hands down.

(YouTube Link)

This works especially well if your name is Christopher Nolan, because as you see from the newest trailer for Inception, he uses it for DiCaprio’s character. “I think I’ve found a way home.” he says. “And this last job, that’s how I get there.” See, it even works when it is placed in a script that otherwise seems pretty original (if you don’t remember Dreamscape).

Warner Bros.

Click to biggify this, my favorite poster for the most anticipated movie of the summer.

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