MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 686 this week

The Last Picture Show (1971)

R  |   |  Drama  |  22 October 1971 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 29,082 users  
Reviews: 162 user | 82 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 22 Mar 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 22 Nov 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 30 Jun 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 14 Dec 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Last Picture Show (1971)

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

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Last Picture Show.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Targets (1968)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An elderly horror-film star, while making a personal appearance at a drive-in theatre, confronts a psychotic Viet Nam War veteran who's turned into a mass-murdering sniper.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Boris Karloff, Tim O'Kelly, Arthur Peterson
Paper Moon (1973)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn
Texasville (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Summer, 1984: 30 years after Duane captained the high school football team and Jacy was homecoming queen, this Texas town near Wichita Falls prepares for its centennial. Oil prices are down... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid over-night bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn
Daisy Miller (1974)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In this comedy of manners, Frederick Winterbourne tries to figure out the bright and bubbly Daisy Miller, only to be helped and hindered by false judgments from their fellow friends.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Barry Brown, Cloris Leachman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A drop-out from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil-rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

This film was Peter Bogdanovich's homage to musical comedies of the 1930s. A millionaire named Michael Oliver Pritchard III and a singer named Kitty O'Kelly meet and fall in love. Meanwhile... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn
Nashville (1975)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary on the life and films of director John Ford.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: John Ford, Peter Bogdanovich, Orson Welles
Nickelodeon (1976)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

This homage to the childhood days of the motion pictures starts in 1910, when the young attorney Leo Harrigan by chance meets a motion picture producer. Immediately he's invited to become a... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, Tatum O'Neal
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
Saint Jack (1979)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Denholm Elliott, James Villiers
Edit

Cast

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

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:

Anarene, Texas, 1951. Nothing much has changed... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

All but one of the shots are at eye-level. See more »

Goofs

Obvious lavalier mic on Duane's tie during the graduation scene. 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

Features Name That Tune (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Velvet
(uncredited)
Written by Bernie Wayne (as B. Wayne), Lee Morris (as L. Morris)
Performed by Tony Bennett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

... worthy of its place in the list of great films of the 1970s
10 January 2005 | by (santa monica, ca) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the greatest tragedy to befall any artist is to have their life become more compelling than their work; such is the sad case with Peter Bogdanovich whose meteoric rise to fame was matched only by a truly famous fall from favor and a bewildering journey through tabloid hell. (Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers mined the not inconsiderable drama of the first act of his life to sporadically great comic effect in 1984's Irreconcilable Differences. And his tragic love affair with Playboy model turned actress Dorothy Stratten is fictionalized in Bob Fosse's astonishing, horrifying Star 80 (1983). How many directors become characters in films?)

Bogdanovich's love affair with film is undeniable, though it has, in the past three decades, yielded far more perplexing misfires (The Cat's Meow, At Long Last Love, Nickelodeon) than unqualified successes. That said, The Last Picture Show is an extraordinary accomplishment and worthy of its place in the list of great films of the 1970s.

1971's other important films (Friedkin's The French Connection, Pakula's Klute, Kubrick's Clockwork Orange) are loud, angry, violent and contemporary – in-your-face reflections of a society in which rage and nihilism, engendered by Vietnam and the growing discontent over government corruption, is the currency of communication. The uncertainty coursing through the veins of American pop culture also begat in equal, if not equally graphic, measure a palpable sense of sorrow at the destruction of a simpler way of life (no matter how "true" that memory may be).

Like Jewison's Fiddler on the Roof and Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Last Picture Show is a powerful and poignant evocation of the death of a community and a way of life. Thematically rich and imbued with Bogdanovich's remarkable knowledge and passion for film, the movie works on a dazzling number of levels; and Bogdanovich's use of nostalgia and traditional, archetypal genre conventions both enriches the movie and compounds the heartbreaking loss at the heart of the story.

His deft handling of a cast comprised of then (largely) unknowns (Bridges, Bottoms, Shepherd) is first-rate and he draws forth superb, often sublime performances from everyone (in particular, Johnson, Burstyn and Leachman). There isn't a false note or a misstep in the movie and there is a naturalness here that is not easily achieved or earned. The great production design (by Bogdanovich's then wife and partner Polly Platt whose contributions to his work and her subsequent involvement in the best works of James L. Brooks should not go underestimated) and the achingly beautiful cinematography by the late Robert Surtees are vital to the success (emotionally, intellectually, thematically) of the film.

The Last Picture Show is a truly rare work of surprising depth and emotional resonance; and the heartache for a time and place forever gone and the desperate and quiet struggles of its very real, very human denizens is matched only by the sorrow found in contemplation of Bogdanovich's Icarus-like fall from such exalted heights.


99 of 122 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The coach and his wife catcreswell
Did the MPAA ratings put an end to films like this? cdomsy
The Last Picture Show vs. A Clockwork Orange rdnmbjsjnap
What would be your 'last picture show?' enderhilly
Sam's bequest to the preacher's son trigger-22
Censored Criterion version cornflakeboy20
Discuss The Last Picture Show (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?