Anita Sipe

Written by Anita Sipe

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Last Picture Show is a classic film that has left an indelible mark on cinema history. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich and released in 1971, this coming-of-age movie is set in a small and desolate Texas town during the early 1950s. It boasts an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, and Cloris Leachman.

The Last Picture Show is a timeless portrayal of the challenges and complexities of adolescence, as well as a poignant exploration of the decay of small-town America. With its raw storytelling, exceptional performances, and stunning black and white cinematography, it has captivated audiences for decades.

In this article, we will delve into 31 fascinating facts about The Last Picture Show, uncovering behind-the-scenes trivia, highlighting the film’s impact on popular culture, and shedding light on its enduring legacy.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Last Picture Show” is a classic movie from 1971, based on a novel, and won two Academy Awards. It’s a coming-of-age drama set in a small Texas town, exploring themes of disillusionment and longing.
  • The film’s black and white cinematography, memorable soundtrack, and strong ensemble cast contribute to its timeless appeal. It remains a milestone in cinema, influencing future filmmakers and captivating audiences with its powerful storytelling.
Table of Contents

The Last Picture Show was released in 1971.

This critically acclaimed movie, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, debuted in theaters in 1971.

The movie is based on a novel.

The Last Picture Show” is an adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel of the same name, published in 1966.

It is a coming-of-age drama.

The Last Picture Show follows the lives of high school friends Sonny Crawford and Duane Jackson as they navigate the challenges of growing up in a small Texas town.

It received numerous award nominations.

The Last Picture Show was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

The film won two Academy Awards.

Ben Johnson won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film, and Cloris Leachman won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

The Last Picture Show is known for its black and white cinematography.

Director Peter Bogdanovich made the creative choice to film the movie in black and white, contributing to its nostalgic and timeless feel.

It offers a glimpse into small-town America.

The Last Picture Show explores the decline of a small Texan town in the 1950s, capturing the essence of a changing era.

It features a young cast.

The movie served as a breakthrough for many of its young actors, including Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, and Cybill Shepherd.

The Last Picture Show was a critical success.

The movie garnered widespread critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of adolescent angst and the fading glory of small-town America.

It has a memorable soundtrack.

The Last Picture Show features a nostalgic soundtrack that perfectly complements its themes and setting.

The Last Picture Show was restored and re-released in 1991.

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the film was restored and re-released in 1991, introducing it to a new generation of viewers.

The Last Picture Show is rated R.

The movie carries an R rating due to its mature content and occasional explicit scenes.

It was shot on location in Texas.

The Last Picture Show was filmed on location in Archer City, Texas, giving the movie an authentic feel.

The Last Picture Show explores themes of disillusionment and longing.

The film delves into the universal themes of disillusionment and longing, resonating with viewers across generations.

The Last Picture Show is considered a classic of American cinema.

With its powerful storytelling and exceptional performances, The Last Picture Show has rightfully secured its place as a classic in American cinema.

It was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.

In 1998, The Last Picture Show was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

The Last Picture Show is a character-driven film.

The movie focuses on the development of its characters, allowing their stories to drive the narrative forward.

The Last Picture Show showcases the cultural shifts of the 1950s.

Through its immersive storytelling, the film captures the changing societal dynamics of the 1950s.

The Last Picture Show has a bittersweet tone.

The movie strikes a delicate balance between humor and melancholy, adding to its unique charm.

The Last Picture Show highlights the impact of societal pressures on young characters.

Through candid portrayals, the film depicts the struggles and challenges faced by young people in a conservative environment.

The movie explores the complexities of relationships.

The Last Picture Show delves into the intricate dynamics of romantic relationships and friendships, showcasing their joys and heartbreaks.

The Last Picture Show was a box office success.

Despite its low-budget production, the film achieved commercial success, earning more than ten times its original budget.

It heavily influenced future filmmakers.

The Last Picture Show’s impact can be seen in the work of subsequent filmmakers who have been inspired by its storytelling techniques and themes.

The Last Picture Show was praised for its authentic setting.

The film’s settings and locations were meticulously chosen to reflect the small-town atmosphere of 1950s Texas.

The Last Picture Show tackles issues of sexuality and identity.

The film fearlessly explores the complexities of sexuality and the challenges of personal identity, often considered taboo during its time.

It portrays the disillusionment of the American dream.

The Last Picture Show holds a mirror to the fading idealism of the American dream, capturing the disillusionment of a changing nation.

The Last Picture Show marked Peter Bogdanovich’s directorial breakthrough.

The movie catapulted director Peter Bogdanovich’s career and established him as a visionary filmmaker.

It is a window into a bygone era.

The Last Picture Show transports viewers back in time, allowing them to experience the sights and sounds of a different era.

The Last Picture Show has a strong ensemble cast.

The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, and Randy Quaid, who deliver captivating performances.

The Last Picture Show captures the essence of adolescence.

Through its authentic portrayal of teenage experiences and emotions, the movie resonates with audiences of all ages.

The Last Picture Show remains a milestone in cinema.

Even after decades, The Last Picture Show continues to be celebrated as a timeless masterpiece, influencing generations of filmmakers and captivating audiences with its powerful storytelling.


In conclusion, The Last Picture Show is a timeless classic that continues to captivate audiences with its compelling story, outstanding performances, and evocative portrayal of small-town life in the 1950s. The film’s poignant narrative, rich character development, and masterful direction by Peter Bogdanovich ensure its lasting legacy in the realm of cinema. Whether you’re a fan of coming-of-age dramas, a lover of vintage movies, or simply looking for a gripping film experience, The Last Picture Show is a must-watch that will leave a lasting impression.


Q: Who directed The Last Picture Show?

A: The Last Picture Show was directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Q: When was The Last Picture Show released?

A: The movie was released in 1971.

Q: What is the runtime of The Last Picture Show?

A: The Last Picture Show has a runtime of approximately 118 minutes.

Q: Was The Last Picture Show based on a book?

A: Yes, The Last Picture Show was based on the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry.

Q: Where was The Last Picture Show filmed?

A: The Last Picture Show was primarily filmed in Archer City, Texas.

Q: Did The Last Picture Show win any awards?

A: Yes, the film won two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Ben Johnson) and Best Supporting Actress (Cloris Leachman).

If you enjoyed learning about "The Last Picture Show," why not explore more fascinating facts about the world of cinema? Dive into the captivating realm of drama and uncover its secrets. Discover the mind-blowing story behind the film's director, Peter Bogdanovich. Or, take a trip to the charming small-town setting of another beloved series and immerse yourself in its delightful trivia.

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