#19 The Last Picture Show

26 Oct

This first major picture by director Peter Bogdanovich was adapted from the novel of the same name by Larry McCurty. Two best friends, Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) & Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges) are coming of age in a town that is slowly dying away. Everyone in town is moving to the cities for jobs and these two boys are dealing with becoming men and deciding on where to go with their lives. Sonny has his girl (played by Sharon Taggart) and Duane has his, the rich Jacy Farrow (played by Cybil Sheppard in her film debut). When the folks stop attending the second-run features at the movie house and the time comes for the last picture show. With the closure of the movie house, the boys feel that a stage of their lives is closing. They stand uneasily on the threshold of the rest of their lives.

This film is much more than your typical coming of age movie, and even though most of the stars were unknowns in 1971, it helped make stars of most of them. Beautifuly filmed in black & white, The Last Picture Show made you feel you were there in this small Texas town where everyone knows everything about everyone else.

Even though the film had an R rating and had full frontal nudity and explicit sexual situations it was nominated for eight Academy Awards (including four for its ensemble cast), and was awarded two Oscars for two supporting actors: Ben Johnson (Best Supporting Actor) and Cloris Leachman (Best Supporting Actress). The other six nominations included: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Supporting Actress (Ellen Burstyn), Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Peter Bogdanovich).
As a teenager I liked the movie, but as an adult I grew to have a lasting love for it’s story, the supurb acting and the exceptional cinematography.
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Posted by on October 26, 2006 in 70's, Drama, Top 20 Movies of the 70's


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