In tiny Anarene, Texas, in the early 1950s, Sonny and Duane while away their senior year of high school. They escape dreary hicksville life going to the pictures and enjoying romantic conquests. While Duane is courting the daughter of the local oil magnate, Sonny starts an affair with the wife of the school coach. The young people hang out at the town café. Proprietor Sam, who also owns the pool hall and movie theatre, becomes a father figure to them. When he dies, and the theatre is set to shut down, it’s time for the teenagers to bid farewell to their youth … Shot in classic black-and-white, The Last Picture Show celebrates the rituals of growing up. Starting with the four-person core group, the film develops into a complex portrait of a small-town universe, where the younger generation distances itself from the double standards of the adults, but also confronts its own failures and losses. Nostalgic without romanticising the Korean War era, director Peter Bogdanovich buttresses his coming-of-age drama with various references to “old Hollywood”. At the same time, he created a multi-generational ensemble film that achieved fame as an accomplished emblem for New Hollywood.
by Peter Bogdanovich
with Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager, Sam Bottoms, Sharon Taggart
USA 1971 English 126’ Black/White DCP: Park Circus, Glasgow Rating R12

For the 2023 Retrospective, internationally renowned directors, actors, and screenwriters were asked to select their personal coming-of-age favourites.
M. Night Shyamalan on his selection


  • Timothy Bottoms
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Cybill Shepherd
  • Ben Johnson
  • Cloris Leachman
  • Ellen Burstyn
  • Eileen Brennan
  • Clu Gulager
  • Sam Bottoms
  • Sharon Taggart


Director Peter Bogdanovich
Screenplay Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich based on the novel by Larry McMurtry
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Editing Donn Cambern, Peter Bogdanovich
Sound Tom Overton
Art Director Walter Scott Herndon
Production Design Polly Platt
Costumes Nancy McArdle, Mickey Sherrard
Producer Stephen J. Friedman

Produced by

BBS Productions

Additional information

DCP: Park Circus, Glasgow