The Last Picture Show

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Adapted from Larry McMurtry’s knowingly nostalgic, semi-autobiographical novel, The Last Picture Show is one of the most acclaimed films of the 1970s – an elegiac, bittersweet drama about growing up in a small, dust-blown Texas town that perfectly captures the end of an era. Directed with astonishing assurance by up-and-coming filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay along with McMurtry), The Last Picture Show immediately catapulted the young auteur into the ranks of major American filmmakers, with critics praising the film as “the most important work by a young American director since Citizen Kane.”

“It’s a masterpiece: filmed in sparkling monochrome, relentless in its emotional intensity and unfettered insight and packed with memorable characters.” – Tom Huddleston, Time Out Film Guide

Revolving around the adventures of three sexually-confused 1950s teens, played by then-unknowns Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms and Cybill Shepherd, the film expertly depicts their tentative journey to adulthood involving death, disaster, ruined relationships, moments of joy and the slow realization of life’s unfairness, all played out against the backdrop of a dying small town American life that’s about to vanish into history. Featuring luminous black and white cinematography and a letter-perfect supporting cast led by Ben Johnson (Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner), Cloris Leachman (Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner) and Ellen Burstyn, The Last Picture Show is a modern-day classic that only gets better with age. (Dir. by Peter Bogdanovich, 1971, 118 mins., Rated R)