Whitney Pastorek
December 03, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Do you hate plot? Fear banality? Then Dennis Hopper’s 1971 nonlinear trip is for you. Social revolution and Kris Kristofferson songs abound in The Last Movie, a story of a Hollywood stuntman’s Peruvian odyssey, which comes across as both druggily impenetrable and totally fascinating. But despite its success at the Venice film festival, it was never widely released. ”They didn’t understand it,” Hopper says now of the skittish Universal execs. ”They wanted me to reedit it; I refused. It took away, like, 15 years of my prime time as a director. It took out a big chunk of my life.” Perhaps. But with his turn as Kansas, the film’s reticent protagonist, Hopper’s freaks-and-geeks acting career was just beginning.

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