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. Jacy 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 Jacy'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 movie...Written by
Mark Fleetwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The movie is set in the early 1950s, but at 50 minutes and 19 seconds in, when Sonny is driving through town at night just after he first has sex with Mrs. Popper, a car from the mid-1960s or later is briefly visible. See more »
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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Special edition includes seven minutes of footage not included in the original release. See more »
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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