The Last Picture Show

Just watched this for the first time since it came out in 1971, back when I was in high school.
Was awestruck.
The starkness of the black and white scenes, especially in town. The spot-on dialogue, that natural acting–everything just seemed so real and heart-felt. That confining, everyone-knows-everyone’s business small-town atmosphere was almost choking.
Especially enjoyed the special features, they were actually worth watching and provided a lot of interesting background info.
Been watching a lot of 70’s movies recently; I’ve been re-visiting that anything goes, non-formulaic time in cinema.
But Last Picture Show especially blew me away.
Has anyone else seen this movie and felt the same way?

It is indeed a fine movie. Which made its sequel, Texasville, all the more disappointing.

Yes, Cybill Shepard’s natural acting in the swimming pool scene was especially moving.

I haven’t seen it in awhile but the first time I did, it depressed the hell out of me.

The starkness of the town after Sam the Lion dies is stunning; it’s clear that he’s the metaphorical heart of the town, and with his death dies every dream that once grew. It’s the last decend film that Peter Bogdanovich managed to direct, for sure. The only bad acting in it is Randy Quaid, who comes off as just being too irritating. And yes, Cybill Sheppard was quite fetching in that role.

It’s a good double feature with Paul Newman and Patricia Neal in Hud. Same themes, same starkness in cinematography, and one of Newman’s underrated and largely forgotten roles.


Some films you see because people tell you they’re good, some you see because you think they’re going to be good. I saw this one with absolutely no expectations and it was damn near perfect. It’s number one on my list of films that no one remembers but everyone should see.

Timothy Bottoms What would your husband do if he caught us?

Cloris Leachman He’d probably shoot you.

Cybill Shepard jumps in the pool, realizes she just ruined the wristwatch and shrugs. A heartbreaking moment.

Darn right. Loved Picture Show but found Texasville to be a dull, sprawling mess of a movie.

kunilou writes:

> It’s number one on my list of films that no one remembers but everyone should
> see.

What do you mean that no one remembers it? It has a pretty good critical status. It has a rating of 8.0 on the IMDb with over 5,000 votes. It’s not remotely an obscure film.