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The Last Picture Show (1971)

 -  Drama  -  22 October 1971 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 27,762 users  
Reviews: 160 user | 80 critic

A group of 1950s high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both economically and culturally.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Last Picture Show (1971)

The Last Picture Show (1971) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Genevieve
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Abilene
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Billy
...
Charlene Duggs (as Sharon Taggart)
...
Joe Heathcock ...
The Sheriff
Bill Thurman ...
Coach Popper
Barc Doyle ...
Jessie Lee Fulton ...
Miss Mosey
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Storyline

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. Then folks stop attending the second-run features at the ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THE PICTURE SHOW THAT INTRODUCED AMERICA TO THE FORGOTTEN 1950S. It launched the meteoric career of its brilliant new director and its talented cast. It won 2 Academy Awards, and nominations for 8. If you missed it the first time, you owe it to yourself now. If you saw it once, remember it again. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die letzte Vorstellung  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed mostly on location in Archer City, Texas, the city upon which the fictional town of Anarene was based. The swimming pool scene (the site of 'Cybill Shephard''s nude scene) was filmed at the Burns estate in Wichita Falls. Ironically, the inside shots of the Royal theater were filmed at the still-active theater in nearby Olney, Texas. At the time of the filming, the actual Royal theater was nothing more than a shell. Likewise, the Cloris Leachman character's house was located in Holliday, Texas. Anarene was a once a real town, just a few miles from Archer City. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene the "wind" is blowing from the right side of the screen. As the camera pans to the left and Sonny's truck comes into view a tumbleweed starts to roll from the left into the wind. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Radio announcer: President Truman'll be here tomorrow, so all you folks in Dallas turn out, chuh hear? This is Cowboy Rhythms on KTRN, Wichita Falls, here's Hank Williams' big hit tune, "Cold Cold Heart".
Sam the Lion: You ain't ever gonna amount to nothing. Already spent a dime this morning, ain't even had a decent breakfast. Gimme the chalk. Why don't you comb you hair Sonny, it sticks up, look like you smelled'm wolf. I'm surprised you had the nerve to show up this morning after that stomping y'all took last ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Raising Hope: Throw Maw Maw from the House, Part Two (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Half As Much
Written by Curly Williams
Performed by Hank Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It Makes You Sweat
6 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a really outstanding film. It is a director's movie, with every nuance strictly controlled by Bogdonavich. It's a sweaty, sad, depressing sort of film. The vitality of the town has been drained by decades of malaise. The kids feel hopeless. The adults go from person to person and have affairs and experience emptiness. There's some depressing football team that can't tackle. But mostly there is a street with dirt on it and a mentally challenged boy who likes to sweep. It is rife with symbols. This boy is trying to sweep away the dirt that is infesting the town, but he has no effect. As a matter of fact, he is victimized by the other boys in the town--part of their fun. We have the contrast of the rich family in town with the Ellen Burstyn character and, of course, her daughter played by Cybill Shepherd. The boys who are in a hopeless prison of the town's making are like a bunch of horny bulldogs. She is the queen in the town, but that's not much of an honor. These guys are going nowhere and she might just be there, like her mother, 20 years from now. The director builds a world that isn't pleasant, but it's certainly a total depiction of a place without a future. The movie theater represents a last connection with excitement and enjoyment. But nobody goes anymore.


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