8.1/10
37,131
177 user 100 critic

The Last Picture Show (1971)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
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.

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writers:

Larry McMurtry (screenplay), Peter Bogdanovich (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,200 ( 189)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Bottoms ... Sonny Crawford
Jeff Bridges ... Duane Jackson
Cybill Shepherd ... Jacy Farrow
Ben Johnson ... Sam the Lion
Cloris Leachman ... Ruth Popper
Ellen Burstyn ... Lois Farrow
Eileen Brennan ... Genevieve
Clu Gulager ... Abilene
Sam Bottoms ... Billy
Sharon Ullrick ... Charlene Duggs (as Sharon Taggart)
Randy Quaid ... Lester Marlow
Joe Heathcock Joe Heathcock ... the Sheriff
Bill Thurman ... Coach Popper
Barc Doyle Barc Doyle ... Joe Bob Blanton
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:

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Picture Show See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,133,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The glimpse of the television comedy is of Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar in Your Show of Shows (1950). See more »

Goofs

The scene where Jacy and Bobby meet in the kitchen during the pool party is wildly out of sync with the chronology of the story, seeming to be cut into the film weeks after the event. Plot-wise it should come just after Sam bans the boys from his establishments, and Sonny's first tryst with Ruth at her home. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Special edition includes seven minutes of footage not included in the original release. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Milfs (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Cold, Cold Heart
(uncredited)
Written by Hank Williams (as Hank Williams Sr.)
Performed by Tony Bennett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Sublime
23 April 2002 | by bix171See all my reviews

Peter Bogdonovich's great love of film, combined with Larry McMurtry's superior storytelling (he wrote the novel and both collaborated on the script), is in glorious evidence in this elegiac study of life in a small Texas town in the early Fifties. Bogdonovich pays a heartfelt tribute to the America of John Ford and Howard Hawks but the subject matter is contemporary, anguished, appropriate for the time in which it was made. Filmed by the great Robert Surtees in a flat black and white that perfectly evokes the bleakness of rural Texas life and peppered with a fine soundtrack of the popular country hits of the time, Bogdonovich creates a mise en scene understated and keenly observant of the details. It's also filled with McMurtry's trademark mix of humor and pathos. The cast (including Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd, Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman) is letter-perfect but it's Ben Johnson as Sam the Lion who gives the film its center: in an overwhelming (yet masterfully restrained) performance, Johnson unforgettably absorbs the town's despair, loneliness and regret; his short monologue about lost love is delivered with such deceptive simplicity that its power sneaks up on you unawares. One of the great performances and one of the groundbreaking films of the Seventies.


57 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 177 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Can 2019 Oscars Avoid a Hostless Disaster?

The 91st Academy Awards isn't the first year the show won't have a host, but it will be the first time since the 1989 Snow White and Rob Lowe incident. So will the 2019 Oscars still rock you?

Watch now



Recently Viewed