Classic Film Guide

Last Picture Show, The (1971)

Former TCM Essentials host Peter Bogdanovich received his only recognition (to date) from the Academy with Oscar nominations for directing and adapting this Larry McMurtry novel with the author, who shared the latter nomination. Several of the film's actors’ performances were also recognized: Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman swept the Supporting Actor awards on their only nominations; they were competing against Jeff Bridges and Ellen Burstyn, respectively, who received their first recognitions as well. The film and its cinematography were also nominated. This above average drama follows several persons’ lives (most are stereotypical; e.g. post high school students trying to "find" themselves) through disparate evolving relationships & love triangles spanning two generations in a small Texas town after World War II had ended. Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd, Eileen Brennan, and even Randy Quaid (among others) also appear. The title refers to a movie house, owned by Johnson's character, which (during the course of the film) shows (what are now considered to be) classic films. Added to the National Film Registry in 1998.

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