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Parents' Guide to

The Last Picture Show

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Classic American film has heavy themes and sex.

Movie R 1971 118 minutes
The Last Picture Show Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1 ):

Simply put, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW belongs in the top 10 all-time greatest American movies. Set in the early 1950s, the past is evoked through black-and-white film and Hank Williams on the radio. Director Peter Bogdanovich, with an outstanding ensemble cast turning in some of their best work, creates a world that is both rooted in its era and full of universal themes of growing up, growing old, first loves, the restlessness of late teens, the contradictions of middle-age, and the facades people wear in public, in small towns in particular.

The dust storms, the country music on the radio, the nuance and subtlety in the performances all create a mood and production that seems effortless. Rarely in movies do characters seem so real. For aspiring writers and filmmakers, The Last Picture Show is one incredible lesson in how to create a world, a time, and the fully-formed characters who inhabit it.

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