Columbia Pictures, Columbia Tristar Home Video, Black & White, Aspect Ratio 1.85: 1, 118 minutes Screen Time, 1971. Columbia Pictures, Columbia Tristar Home Video, Black & White, Aspect Ratio 1.85: 1, 118 minutes Screen Time, 1971. A group of 1950s high school students grow up in a desolate, secluded, and atrophied West Texas town that, like its older generation of cynical, jaded, and pessimistic residents, has been slowly dying, both economically and culturally. Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shephard, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Clu Gulager, Sam Bottoms, Randy Quaid.
This film has been one of my all-time favorites since the first time I saw it (in the cinema, as you had to back then). It portrays the isolated, small Texas town of the 1950s to a tee, with the brilliance of all Larry McMurtry stories. Also, the cast is fantastic! It’s worth the price of admission just to see Cybill Shephard’s and Jeff Bridges’ first on-screen and almost-first on-screen performances, but there’s so much more! The characters’ stories are tragic, amusing, pathetic, charming, and depressing… and they make for an excellent film experience.
When was the last time you went to see a movie? Know Where The Hit 1970s Film Was Shot” The Last Picture Show”
Some people now may not understand the depth of this picture or why it is so incredibly brilliant, but critics and industry insiders did at the time, and it was rewarded properly. I almost drove down to Archer City to see some of The Last Picture Show’s filming, but I opted to save my petrol money for another road trip. For a long time, I’ve regretted that decision. I believe it had the potential to be one of the most memorable events of my life, but I was young (just 20 years old) at the time, and other adventures beckoned. But, oh, to have been able to visit Archer City!
The Last Picture Show was filmed at this location.
The Royal Theater is the most well-known image associated with The Last Picture Show. Archer City’s address is 116 S. Sycamore Street. The theater had already fallen into disrepair when production began, and just the outside facade was featured in the film. The Last Picture Show (and its sequel, Texasville ) production workers spent a lot of money and time propping up the building for filming. However, the inside pictures that were meant to be of the Royal Theater were shot at a nearby theater that was still open at the time. Note the entire devastation of the once-popular theater, which offered a significant source of entertainment in 1950s Archer City, Texas.
Archer City, Texas’ Royal Theater
Archer City’s theater has a long history. Many people remember the theater as a childhood hangout when it was still in business as a neighborhood movie theater. However, in 1965, the structure was damaged by fire and lay in ruins for many years. In the early 1990s, Archer City officials held a “think tank” meeting to examine ideas for improving the area’s people’s quality of life. After numerous hours of deliberation, one thought kept resurfacing: the Royal Theater should be restored. Since then, it has been completely renovated as a community performing arts center.
Attractions in the Area
The Royal Theater Performing Arts is a local attraction. Archer City, Texas, 116 S. Sycamore Street. The Royal Theater presently hosts a range of performances, including theatrical productions, Branson-style music concerts, and a “listening room” for songwriters and musicians. It’s also a great place to have weddings and receptions, meetings, and parties. After 35 years of darkness, the Royal Theater was reopened in 2000 after 17 months of intense, tenacious renovation work. The Texasville Opry, Late Week Lazy Boy Supper Club, and a variety of plays have all received rave reviews for their genuine small-town charm, inventiveness, and talent since then.
Wildcat Cafe is a place where you can have a good time Archer City, Texas, 107 N. Center Street “Nifty” American cuisine, befitting his West Texas town’s environment. “Home Cooking” is proudly displayed on the front sign. A Western omelet, hash browns, and biscuits are available for breakfast. They also make a fantastic burger (try it with cheese on “Texas toast”). The high school football team in The Last Picture Show was known as the “Wildcats.”
Dairy Queen is a dairy product manufacturing firm. Archer City, Texas, 934 S. Center Street This is the Dairy Queen from the film Texasville, which is a sequel to The Last Picture Show. While taking in the sights and sounds of Archer City, West Texas, you can get a burger, fries, and a DQ shake or “Blizzard.” Consider this: you might find yourself in the same booth as Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges during filming in 1990. Wow!
The Spur Hotel
The Spur Hotel is where you’ll stay and eat. Archer City, Texas, 100 N. Center Street The historic Spur Hotel, which was erected in 1928, was purchased and preserved by Abby Abernathy and his sister in 1990. Year-round, book lovers visiting Larry McMurtry’s bookstores, Royal Theater patrons, a variety of wild game hunters, as well as businessmen and families looking for a fashionable small-town escape visit the hotel. Simply lovely!
This is where novelist Larry McMurtry’s famed bookstore(s) are located. Because meeting the author in the shop is unusual, there’s a big possibility you won’t get to meet him. The primary draw of a trip to Booked Up is the assortment of books. One of the best selections of used and vintage books in the western United States is spread out over four big buildings. There is no trash among the 500,000 books; everything is of high quality, including numerous first editions and hard-to-find copies. Every book appears to have been carefully chosen based on subject, condition, rarity, and other factors. All things considered, the prices are reasonable.
McMurtry, a native of Archer City and author of “The Last Picture Show,” “Lonesome Dove,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Horseman, Pass By” (which was adapted into the film HUD), and co-screenwriter of Brokeback Mountain, forever redefined his hometown. His four bookstores offer a glimpse into Archer City’s soul. The city has a small-town vibe to it, with the majority of the town sandwiched between two highways and the Spur Hotel’s one restaurant, the Wildcat Cafe.
Locals were “horrified” by the Texas-set’ Last Picture Show,’ according to Peter Bogdanovich.
Peter Bogdanovich, the legendary director, appeared on the It Happened in Hollywood podcast to tell anecdotes about the making of The Last Picture Show in 1971. The film about a little Texas town in the 1950s was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two for Cloris Leachman, aged 93, and the late Ben Johnson’s supporting roles.
“I assumed it was because it was a new nation for me, and I could do a fun job,” he stated. “Because it was all new to me.” ‘Peanut pattie,’ says the narrator. I had never tried a peanut pattie before. In Texas, a lot of things were strange.” (Peanut patties are favorite discs of peanuts and congealed corn syrup tinted a dusty pink, and they’re a Texas favorite.)
Picture Show was a black-and-white ensemble work that introduced audiences to some important future stars, including a 21-year-old Jeff Bridges and a 20-year-old Cybill Shepherd. During filming, Bogdanovich and Shepherd fell in love, prompting the director to divorce his then-wife, production designer Polly Platt. “It complicated my life a lot,” Bogdanovich said when asked how the event had affected his life.
Picture Show was filmed in McMurtry’s hometown of Archer City, Texas, which served as a stand-in for the fictional town of Thalia in the book. Locals regarded McMurtry as a writer of “filthy books,” according to Bogdanovich, and “Picture Show was a dirty book, they thought.” “In the movie, there’s a small scene in the classroom where Sonny [played by Timothy Bottoms] looks out the window and sees a pair of dogs sniffing around each other,” Bogdanovich recalls. “We had these massive arc lights beaming on these sniffing dogs, and they were fucking, and everybody driving by would see these two dogs fighting.” ‘Can you tell me what’s going on?’ they wondered aloud.
Bogdanovich cast a broad net when it came to casting Sam “the Lion,” a revered senior cowboy who operates the local pool club. He said, “The Academy used to print large fat books of character actors.” “I stumbled discovered Ben Johnson while reading through one of those books.” And I thought, ‘Ben Johnson! … He’d be perfect!'”
Johnson, a world-champion rodeo cowboy who later became a movie star, was uninterested: “Three times he turned it down.” ‘Why don’t you want to do it, Ben?’ I said. ‘Well, Pete, that was a lot of words. Pete, you’ve used much too many words.’ Bogdanovich enlisted the help of a friend, famed director John Ford, to persuade Johnson. “‘Oh, Jesus, Ben usually says that,’ Ford remarked. ‘Any words for me?’ he asked the script girl when we were filming Yellow Ribbon. He’d sulk if she said yes. He’d be thrilled if she said he just had to ride his horse,'” Bogdanovich recalls Ford saying. Ford called Bogdanovich back ten minutes after calling Johnson at his house in Tucson, Arizona. “‘He’ll take care of it.'”
The film was released on October 22, 1971.
Platform for Streaming
Amazon.com has The Last Picture Show available.