The Last Picture Show
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Produced by Hollywood iconoclast BBS Productions, film critic-turned-director Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 film pays homage to Hollywood's classical age as it chronicles generational rites of passage in Anarene, a fictional one-horse Texas town. In 1951, high school seniors Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) play football, go to the movies at the Royal Theater, hang out at the pool hall owned by local elder statesman Sam the Lion (Ben Johnson), and lust after rich tease Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd in her film debut). As the year passes, Sonny learns about the pitfalls and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's meant to make you feel sad for what's lost, but a vitality throbs through it."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"It's all fairly calculated, though Bogdanovich knows how to cast actors and highlight character turns."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Classic American film has heavy themes and sex."
‑ Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
"Bogdanovich's masterpiece, it's an elegy for a vanishing America..."
‑ Philip French, Guardian
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Director Peter Bogdanovich has seen Anarene, Texas, in the cinematic terms of 1951 -- the langorous dissolves, the strong chiaroscuro, the dialogue that starts with bickering and ends at confessional."
‑ Stefan Kanfer, TIME Magazine
"Superb performances all round add to the charm of this fine, if now unfashionable film."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"[VIDEO ESSAY] A masterpiece by any standard, "The Last Picture Show" (1971) presents an emotionally apocalyptic reckoning of an America that has lost its way. The subtext-the film was made at the height of the Vietnam War - is hard to miss."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 movie is a coming-of-age story, a portrait of small-town Texas, and one of the all-time great American elegies."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"This is a masterclass in how to create fully rounded characters and then give them real lives to lead."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"Notre Dame professor Edward Fischer has said that 'the best films, like the best books, tell how it is to be human under certain circumstances'. Larry McMurtry did a beautiful job of this."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The film is above all an evocation of mood. It is about a town with no reason to exist, and people with no reason to live there. The only hope is in transgression."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"For the members of the New Hollywood, it was a briefly opened window on revitalized filmmaking and venturesome storytelling."
‑ Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
"Its portrait of a floundering community is the film's strongest virtue."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Peter Bogdanovich's eerie homage to olden times and movies, one of the key Hollywood films of the early 1970s, looks ever more crisply stunning and remote."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
More reviews for The Last Picture Show on Rotten Tomatoes

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