The Last Picture Show is an accurate depiction of a small, declining, dull town in the middle of nowhere. Shot in 1971 by Peter Bogdanovich, but set in the early 1950s the film focuses on young Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) and his best friend Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges). If the film does one thing for all its viewers it will definitely make you understand the physical and emotional isolation of living in such a detached place as small-town Texas, America in 1951-52.
It is a reminder of the hardships and simple pleasures of a time gone by. Unsurprisingly, love and sex are at the centre of the young males’ lives and gossip travels quickly in small towns. The film has many devastating events throughout it which evidently impact the town and in particularly Sonny at a critical time as he becomes a man. It is obvious to see how the hardships and the town shape Sonny into the person he is at the end of the movie. A guy who seemed to have it all going for him until it suddenly declined – Sonny epitomises where he comes from.
A wonderful character study and a grim representation of life, and specifically young life, in a provincial town. A stellar cast of actors who weren’t yet established who you are bound to recognise. It is incredible to think Peter Bogdanovich was only 31 years old when he co-adapted and directed the film.