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The Last Picture Show (1971) Poster

Trivia

Cybill Shepherd's film debut.
At 9 minutes and 54 seconds, Ben Johnson's performance in this movie is the shortest to ever win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Cybill Shepherd was cast with the option of backing out of her nude scenes if she so desired. She only agreed to do them after asking the opinions of three female costars - Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn and Eileen Brennan - who all thought she should do them.
Peter Bogdanovich left the location because of the death of his father and after he returned to the set, the first scene he shot was the funeral of Sam the Lion.
This film was one of the first to use already popular recordings by original artists to score a film. Featured here are songs by Frankie Laine, Hank Williams, Jo Stafford and others..
Cloris Leachman's last scene in the movie was printed on the first take without any previous rehearsals. She wanted to rehearse the scene but director Peter Bogdanovich thought it would ruin the scene if it was rehearsed. After she completed the take she said to him, "I can do better." He replied, "No, you can't - you just won the Oscar." Ultimately his sense of direction paid off, as Leachman won the Academy Award for her performance.
According to Cloris Leachman the cause of her dysfunctional marriage was that her husband was gay. She claims a scene between her coach husband and the team's quarterback would have revealed that implicitly, but because of budgetary reasons was never shot.
Upon selecting the town of Archer City, Texas, as a filming location, production designer Polly Platt and director Peter Bogdanovich decided that the town should have a bleak, colorless look about it. After considering several options, such as painting all the buildings gray, Platt and Bogdanovich consulted close friend Orson Welles about the viability of shooting the film in black and white. Welles simply said, "Of COURSE you'll shoot it in black and white!"
Peter Bogdanovich had originally offered the role of "Sam the Lion" to James Stewart, who liked the part but had already committed to a TV series and couldn't get out of it. The role was then offered to Ben Johnson, who took it eventually won an Academy Award for it.
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.
Peter Bogdanovich's introduction to this story was through actor Sal Mineo who had given him the novel to read by then little-known Texas writer Larry McMurtry. Mineo had longed to play a part in the film adaptation but felt he was by then a little too old for any of the principal roles.
When Cybill Shepherd filmed her nude scene at the indoor swimming pool, the rest of the cast were not actually in front of her. They were filmed separately and only the cameraman, sound man and director, Peter Bogdanovich, were present at the time.
The "last picture" shown in the movie theater was Red River (1948). In the original novel it was an Audie Murphy B-Western, but Peter Bogdanovich wanted something more dramatic.
The location was Archer City, Texas, hometown of Larry McMurtry, the author of the novel "The Last Picture Show". McMurtry and Director Peter Bogdanovich scouted several locations for the movie and Bogdonovich chose Archer City when McMurtry stopped there during the trip. The town remains much as it was during the filming. The Royal Theater was rebuilt after the filming of Texasville (1990), sequel to The Last Picture Show. The Royal no longer screens films but currently hosts The Texasville Opry, the Late Week Lazy Boy Supper Club and numerous plays and performances.
All the film's music (except for the closing credits and the live band at the Christmas party) is played in the background on radios, jukeboxes, or on a portable record player (the two Wichita Falls party scenes).
Ellen Burstyn was originally considered for the role of Genevieve, but after meeting with Bogdonavich and reading for all three of the older women characters, he asked her to play Ruth Popper. Burstyn, however, preferred the role of Lois, and Bogdonavich told her to go home, think about whatever part she wanted to play, and call him the next day. She called him the next morning, telling him she still wanted to play Lois, and he agreed.
A poster for the film Wagon Master (1950), which starred Ben Johnson, is seen at the theatre.
Peter Bogdanovich claims that seeing Cybill Shepherd on a magazine cover inspired his casting her. According to Shepherd he later viewed an old silent screen test of her shot by Roger Vadim.
Peter Bogdanovich claims he edited the finished film almost entirely by himself, but had Donn Cambern do some minor work simply so they would have an editor's name on the credits.
Ben Johnson was persuaded to accept the role of Sam the Lion by his friend John Ford. The taciturn Johnson had turned the part down three times because, according to Peter Bogdanovich, the part had "too many words."
The film takes place from November 1951 to October 1952.
James Dean, the singer, was suggested by Peter Bogdanovich for the role of Abilene, but the studio turned him down.
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Peter Bogdanovich was nearly fired after filming the fight between Dwayne and Sonny, because he had not filmed a master shot. The producer defended him, saying that the cuts he needed were already in the camera.
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Peter Bogdanovich used no music except popular songs from the period all heard in a naturalistic context over radios.
Film debut of Randy Quaid and Sam Bottoms.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #95 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.
The first film seen played at The Royal is Father of the Bride (1950).
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The movie is prominently featured in Stephen King's 2006 novel, Lisey's Story.
The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Jeff Bridges, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn; and four Oscar nominees: Randy Quaid, Peter Bogdanovich, Frank Marshall and Eileen Brennan.
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According to Cybill Shepherd's autobiography, both John Ritter and Christopher Mitchum were considered for the role of Sonny.
When the characters talk about going to Wichita, they're referring to Wichita Falls, TX, not Wichita, KS.
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Tex Ritter auditioned for the role of Sam the Lion as his son John was considered for the role of Sonny.
The final picture shown is Red River (1948), which features John Wayne and is about a cattle drive. Shortly after this film wrapped, Peter Bogdanovich and Larry McMurtry wrote a screenplay called The Streets of Laredo, which was about three former Texas Rangers on a cattle drive. John Wayne was asked to play one of the Rangers, and James Stewart (who was considered for the role of Sam) for the other. Cybill Shepherd was also up for the female lead. When John Wayne refused to do it, McMurtry reworked it as his novel, Lonesome Dove. The sequel, Streets of Laredo (1995) featured Sissy Spacek; who had been considered for Jacy; in the role written for Shepard. Randy Quaid also appeared.
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Sam Bottoms was a last minute replacement for another actor, whom Bogdonavich was never happy with. Sam was on set visiting his brother, Timothy Bottoms, and it was decided that he should play Sonny's brother, on the condition that he have his braces removed.
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Peter Bogdanovich claims the crew disliked him because he always ate with the actors on location.
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At one point, Eileen Brennan (Genevieve) tells Sonny she used to be close friends with Ellen Burstyn (Lois) although the characters look years apart. Both actresses were born in 1932.
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Filmed mostly on location in Archer City, Texas, the city upon which the fictional town of Anarene was based. The swimming pool 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 once a real town, just a few miles from Archer City.
Morgan Fairchild and Sissy Spacek were both considered for the role of Jacy Farrow.
Billy, played by Sam Bottoms, never says a word throughout the film.
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The glimpse of the television comedy is of Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar in Your Show of Shows (1950).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Location manager Frank Marshall doubled in the role of the football team's quarterback.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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One of three cinema movie collaborations of actress Cloris Leachman and director Peter Bogdanovich. The three theatrical feature films are Texasville (1990), Daisy Miller (1974), and The Last Picture Show (1971).
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Cybill Shepherd and Peter Bogdanovich became lovers during this film. He was married and with children and this broke up the family. He also did four other movies with her. Texasville, Daisy Miller which she starred in. Also when Cybill Shepherd had her own TV show called CYBILL-Peter bogdanovich guest starred in a few episodes.
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Cybill Shepherd and Jeff Bridges had a brief fling during filming. Shepard later claimed that it was the only time she ever slept with a co-star.
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Closing credits: The characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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