Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Last Picture Show
Anarene, Texas, 1951. Nothing much has changed...
The coming of age of a youth named Sonny in a small Texas town in the 1950s.
I'm going to save some time and space here and just say that The Last Picture Show might be the greatest coming-of-age movie I've ever seen. I cannot come up with a single aspect about it I could find fault in, and the amount of content it packs into its two hour run-time is incredible. Heartbreaking, hilarious, moody, moving, Bogdanovich and McMurtry capture that small town feel, and (like Stand By Me or even A Christmas Story) manage to authentically and honestly date the film in a way that nostalgia for a time and place I've never experienced was overwhelming. There's a good deal of humor to go along with the almost physical growing pains Timothy Bottoms goes through. While…
Peter Bogdanovich's 'The Last Picture Show' serves as a time capsule for the '50s in a way that none of the censor-influenced films of the decade truly could. 'TLPS' is sexual and emotionally raw and a far cry from the eternal optimism of Hollywood. Instead we witness the death of a small Texas town that never really appeared to be living in any real sense anyway.
A young cast perfectly display the frustration of growing up in a town which culture has bypassed almost entirely - the closing of the town's cinema marking the end of its connection with the rest of the world. Without any real entertainment, sex is used as a game, which inevitably fractures relationships between friends…
Sam the Lion: "If she was here I'd probably be just as crazy now as I was then in about 5 minutes. Ain't that ridiculous?... Naw, it ain't really. 'Cause being crazy about a woman like her is always the right thing to do. Being an old decrepit bag of bones, that's what's ridiculous. Gettin' old."
There's an old saying that "all you have in life, are the experiences". I can go with that, absolutely. Anything that is memorable, worth cherishing or something you can learn from is always a great experience and something to look back on with fondness. Maybe I'm all sentimental because I just got back from the NHL Winter Classic at The Big House - me…
I've been meaning to get around to this movie for about 5 or 6 years. I've read some great reviews and as it often comes up on "best of lists" , I'm glad I finally got to it this morning.
Peter Bogdanovich's stunning look at a small Texas town in the early fifties is fascinating. Not just the story and the coming of age of most of the characters, but for the actual cast. A baby-faced Jeff Bridges, a craggy faced Ben Johnson, a young Eileen Brennan not to mention Timothy Bottoms and a jail-bait Cybill Shepherd. Shot in black and white, this is a movie that suits that aesthetic. Everything looks old, musty, dusty and dark. From the pool-hall…
An undead town in Texas. Growing pains galore. Sexual tension pulses like blood and everybody seems to be in love with everybody. Dust and wind and dried leaves coat everything, even the places untouched by nature. A town that dies and resurrects at the start of every football season.
A great film.
The longing and desire felt by the central character, Sonny, hit way too close to home. He wants so desperately to escape his dying hometown but can never bring himself to do it. He hurts the people who love him without even realizing it. He drifts around the streets like a sunburnt ghost, dreaming of better days but knowing that they probably won't come. That hit close. Too…
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
Film #8 of the December Challenge 2
There are echoes of cinema long dead and gone in The Last Picture Show. The ghosts of Ford and Hawks inhabit the landscape. Lang's spirit sinks its way into the camera giving the desert town a grunge and unnatural look. Even if you listen closely, you can hear the French poetic realists cry out. And this is because the cinema of the past, much like Sam the Lion, lives on long after both he and the town has died. It's just one of those things that is.
Beyond acting simply as a way of mourning the loss of cinema past, it is about the filmmakers of the…
As depressing and suffocating as it gets, The Last Picture Show depicts my personal hell. Loved it for these reasons and Bridges.
Maybe somewhere out there, someone is reading this who is a bit like me and hates coming of age stories. Hate them. Nothing I could despise more than a story about some kids in the middle of nowhere fumbling their way through awkward sex. But damn, I loved this movie. Also, watching a teenage Jeff Bridges is surreal.
There's a lot of sex in The last Picture Show, but it never titillates. In fact, there's hardly any warmth in any scene at all. Half way through the movie I found myself asking "why does this town exist? What keeps these people here?" and the answer is no reason.
Somehow, I see this as the most honest closing to the classic…
This movie takes the now-standard "teen sex comedy" and "high school nostalgia" plots, puts them in a blender with depression and regret, and serves the result with numbing apathy. It sucks the joy and hope out of existence, and for that I applaud it.
Also, even young and skinny, Randy Quaid looked like a doofus.
A visually-astonishing yet chilling film about a year in the life of various locals in a small, lonely Texas town in early 1950s as it features incredible performances from Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shephard, Cloris Leachman, Eileen Brennan, Ellen Burstyn, and Ben Johnson.
This a very solid coming of age story, where mood is paramount to all else. The story did get dull in places, but Bogdanovich crafts an incredibly authentic feeling small town atmosphere. Everything about it seems to be leeching the life out of its bored to the brink residence. It’s an ideal setting for a group of people to find themselves. What I like about this movie is that it gives an encompassing look at the people of this town. Not only the teens at the heart of the story, but some of the older generation that still are stuck in that suspended town with vivid memories of their own days as teenagers in the not so distant past.
Slow for a reason.
Existential ennui and
Giving up on dreams.
La vi hace mucho en una mala copia de VHS, no la recordaba tan genial y posmoderna como me parece ahora, se vuelve desde ya indispensable
This beautiful recollection of youthful confusion, change, and uncertainty in early-1950s Texas is mysterious and effective. The acting is very strong and the black-and-white cinematography and shot composition are stunning throughout. The pacing is slow and deliberate, which makes the film feel long and meditative.
An insightful look at a historical period in a decaying town, The Last Picture Show deals with young adults as they experience love, loss, sexual tensions and teenage hysteria. Through a diverse, fun-loving cast and an excellent screenplay, a timeless message of learning how to part ways, move on and grow up is depicted to the backdrop of the economical decay of a Texas town.
Far superior than many similar films to follow (Stand By Me), Peter Bogdanovich's social and political exploration of 1950's America through the eyes of teenagers is a moving coming-of-age classic that works playfully as a drama and comedy. 8/10!
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