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The Last Picture Show (1971)

R | | Drama | 22 October 1971 (USA)
1:28 | Trailer

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In 1951, a group of high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,743 ( 773)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 October 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La última película  »

Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Peter Bogdanovich, actress Sharon Ullrick (who plays Charlene Duggs) went through a lot of trouble with her parents and her husband because of her semi nude scene with Timothy Bottoms, which ended up in a divorce. See more »


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 »


[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 ...
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Referenced in Reel Radicals: The Sixties Revolution in Film (2002) See more »


You Belong To Me
Written by Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart, Chilton Price
Performed by Jo Stafford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No doubt one of the top 10 best movies ever made.
23 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A beautiful and heart wrenching movie that gets better and better as the years go by. I saw this when it came out in 1971, I knew it was good, but I didn't really understand how good or why. Over the years I have gone back and watched it again, and as my life changed I began to relate deeper each time I saw it. Bogdonovich was WAY ahead of the game on this one.

This is one of those rare movies that you can go back every five years and watch for the first time. Myself having been raised in Del Rio, Texas in the late 50's and early sixties, I can attest that this is a totally accurate picture of what coming of age in west Texas was really like for most of us.

55 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Were People Really Like This in 1951 ? mistermycroft
So how would you rank the performances? mystic-hawk
The coach and his wife catcreswell
Did the MPAA ratings put an end to films like this? cdomsy
What would be your 'last picture show?' enderhilly
Censored Criterion version cornflakeboy20
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