1971 / 126 min. /
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Cast: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd

Ladies of Burlesque: THE LAST PICTURE SHOW

The pinnacle of New Hollywood filmmaking, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW is a bold, beguiling, and bracing masterpiece that continues to populate all-time greatest American film lists. The career defining work of Peter Bogdanovitch, its stunning black-and-white photography (an endorsement on the part of Orson Welles) paints the desolate small-town Texan landscape as a mid-century playground of gas pumps, diners, drive-ins, and of course, main street movie houses (in this case, one named The Royal!)

Set in 1951, between the WWII and the Korean War, high school footballers Duane (Jeff Bridges in his feature film debut) and Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) pass the time between adolescence and manhood in ailing Anarene, Texas—a town with a declining population and declining sense of culture. With Duane’s steady, the cherubic blonde cheerleader Jacy (Cybill Shepherd in her debt role) setting her sights on various men in town, and with his best friend embarking on an affair with their coach’s wife (Cloris Leachman), drama and conflict embroil the sleepy town, catapulting Duane to make something of himself. 

Laced with references to classic Hollywood movies, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, as directed by film critic and historian Bogdanovitch, perfectly distills nostalgia for the 1950s with a Vietnam-era psychology. Featuring mesmerizing performances, commemorated by Oscar wins for both its supporting roles, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW demands to be seen on the big screen. 

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