The Last Picture Show (1971)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Taglines: Anarene, Texas, 1951. Nothing much has changed…

In tiny Anarene, Texas, in the lull between World War Two and the Korean Conflict, Sonny and Duane are best friends. Enduring that awkward period of life between boyhood and manhood, the two pass their time the best way they know how — with the movie house, football, and girls. Jacey is Duane’s steady, wanted by every boy in school, and she knows it.

Her daddy is rich and her mom is good looking and loose. It’s the general consensus that whoever wins Jacey’s heart will be set for life. But Anarene is dying a quiet death as folks head for the big cities to make their livings and raise their kids. The boys are torn between a future somewhere out there beyond the borders of town or making do with their inheritance of a run-down pool hall and a decrepit movie house — the legacy of their friend and mentor, Sam the Lion. As high school graduation approaches, they learn some difficult lessons about love, loneliness, and jealousy.

The Last Picture Show is a 1971 American drama film directed and co-written by Peter Bogdanovich, adapted from a semi-autobiographical 1966 novel The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry.

Set in a small town in north Texas from November 1951 to October 1952, it is about the coming of age of Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) and his friend Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges). The cast includes Cybill Shepherd (in her film debut), Ben Johnson, Eileen Brennan, Ellen Burstyn, Cloris Leachman, Clu Gulager, Randy Quaid and John Hillerman. For aesthetic reasons it was shot in black and white, which was unusual for the time. The film features many songs of Hank Williams and other recording artists played throughout.

The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Ben Johnson and Jeff Bridges for Best Supporting Actor and Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman for Best Supporting Actress, with Johnson and Leachman winning. In 1998 the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The Last Picture Show Movie Poster (1971)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich
Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan
Screenplay by: Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich
Production Design by: Polly Platt
Cinematography by: Robert Surtees
Film Editing by: Donn Cambern, Peter Bogdanovich
Costume Design by: Polly Platt
Art Direction by: Walter Scott Herndon
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 22, 1971

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