The Criterion Collection’s “The Last Picture Show” remaster gives filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich one last wish.

The whole sad affair is finally viewable at home with the new 4K restoration of Peter Bogdanovich’s iconic The Last Picture Show, whose Criterion release includes the new black and white edition of the Texasville’s director’s cut, previously only purchasable in color on a late-term laserdisc.

This change is a crucial request given by Bogdanovich (Paper Moon) before his death in 2022, the final step of rejoining The Last Picture Show’s underseen sequel to the film as a part 2 as originally intended before a pre-VHS decision was made by Columbia Pictures. Assuming that no one would remember seeing The Last Picture Show 19 years earlier, Texasville was cut down to remove the connective tissue between the two films. Later, the management of the famed LA theater American Cinematheque, followed by Quentin Tarantino, ran the two longer cuts of the films back to back, much like Tarantino’s own legendary cut of Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (2006).

And now, you can do it at home with this beautiful tome. It’s a box that only hints at the true purpose of the release. A black and white still of Cybill Shepherd and Timothy Bottoms graces the cover behind a torn movie ticket saying: “Peter Bogdanovich’s THE LAST PICTURE SHOW Plus: Texasville.” Inside, you are confronted with two discs on the right, the 4K UHD disc containing the new restoration and commentaries, and a 2K Blu-ray disc, with the film, the extras, and the commentaries. Where the 4K restoration is made from scans of the original 35 mm negative, the Blu-ray holds the 2009 scan supervised by Bogdanovich, taken from a 35 mm fine-grain positive. The difference between the two images will be striking, the new restoration looking far cleaner, with nicer grain and better contrast for the deep-focus cinematography.

On the left, you’ll find a booklet, as usual with Criterion. It bears the same ticket as the cover, this time over just Cybill Shepherd. Inside is an essay on The Last Picture Show by Cineater’s Graham Fuller, and an excerpt on Texasville from Peter Tonguette’s book Picturing Peter Bogdanovich. But behind this little insert is the disc for Texasville, forgotten like the film detractors have long wished it to be, though this release gives them a chance to change their mind.


It’s 1954, and Anarene, Texas, is dying. Everyone in town seems to be having an extramarital affair: teens, adults, teens and adults. High school seniors Sonny (Bottoms) and his best friend Duane (Jeff Bridges) are looking for something to do. The beautiful girl, Jacy (Shepherd), is everyone’s ideal. Which boy will Jacy choose?

A stand out of the 1979’s New Hollywood movement, The Las Picture Show introduced the world to Cybill Shepherd (Taxi Driver, The Heartbreak Kid) and Timothy Bottoms (Johnny Got His Gun, Elephant), and won Ben Johnson (The Wild Bunch, Shane) and Cloris Leachman (The Iron Giant, Young Frankenstein) Oscars for their supporting roles. Jeff Bridges’s (Tron: Legacy, The Big Lebowski) role as Duane remains one of his best, restless and naive to a fault. Shot in iconic black and white deep focus, it’s a mournful film that holds to you like a bad mood.

TEXASVILLE (BW Director’s Cut)

It’s 1984 and Anarene, Texas, is dying. Duane and his old friend Sonny are preparing to hold a town Centennial. Jacy, now the beautiful actress, is back. And everyone is having an extramarital affair: teens, adults, Duane’s kids and adults, even Duane and his wife. Who will Duane choose?

A mismanaged sequel to The Last Picture Show, Texasville takes the toxic, broken people of Anarene, and straps them to a booster rocket: the earliest boom and bust of Reaganomics. The town got rich, then it went broke. And everyone’s looking for escape the same way they did in high school: sex.

However mixed its reception was with an audience whose recent past was its period setting, Texasville has aged well into what it is the second part of an American epic. Throughout the commentary, when many of the shots that moved me came on screen, Bogdanovich would say some variation of “They made me cut that from the theatrical cut.” Insanity ran rampant at Paramount that day apparently.

The Last Picture Show Special Features:


  • The Last Picture Show (1971) *new* 4K UHD restoration
    • Looks just fantastic. Magic from a camera.
  • Directors and Actors Commentary
    • Recorded in 1991 for Criterion.
    • Bogdanovich talks about hiring Sam Bottoms (Apocolypse Now, The Outlaw Josey Whales) off the street, takes credit for making Dr. Pepper a national phenomenon, and attending his father’s funeral the day before the funeral sequence.
    • Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Meachum, and others pop in for brief interludes, seemingly from separate sessions. They take quite a while to show up, but it’s worth it for Cloris Meachum to compare the act of adaption to the film jumping out of a book like a pop-up birthday card.
  • Director’s Commentary
    • Recorded in 2009, 18 years since the first commentary. Before Bogdanovich spoke like a professor or critic teaching at a screening. Here, he tells stories like an old man sitting next to you and watching home videos.
    • Mentions Polly Platt (Targets, Bottle Rocket), who he does not refer to as his ex-wife in either commentary.


  • “The Last Picture Show” (1971) 2K director-supervised restoration from 2009
    • Made from a fine-grain positive instead of a master negative like the 4K film. Still looks good but feels different.
  • “The Last Picture Show”: A Look Back
    • A traditional talking head hour-long documentary with the cast and crew, talking about the film 28 years later.
      • A similar overview to the commentaries, except livelier.
      • More discussion of the film’s reception.
      • Ends with an incredibly moving anecdote about success from Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, The Trial).
  • A Discussion with Peter Bogdanovich
    • A filmed discussion with filmmaker Laurent Bouzereau (Capturing Avatar, The Making of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws), presenting the questions as intertitles.
    • Covers Bogdanovich’s early career in acting and writing on film, shooting on set, decorum on set, when a film is “finished,” and the destruction of his private life.
  • Picture This
    • A real documentary film, set during the filming of Texasville. Announcing its intention with an opening sequence of slice-of-life shots of Archer City. Full of dynamic interviews with everyone from the cast to Polly Platt to the real people who inspired the characters of The Last Picture Show.
  • Screen Tests
    • 16 mm screen tests set to “Why Don’t You Love Me” by Hank Williams. Feels incredibly modern, like the Freaks and Geeks (1999) theme song.
  • Location Footage
    • Silent pre-production film of the locations scouted for The Last Picture Show.
  • Truffaut on the New Hollywood
    • A four-and-half-minute excerpt from the French TV show Vive le cinéma! (1972-1973) where Francois Truffaut (The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim) talks about how New Hollywood was influenced by the Golden Age but evolved film in technique and subject.
    • Trailers
      • Includes both the original trailer and the theatrical re-release trailer for The Last Picture Show. The first frames the film as a return to the 1950s. The second pulls its nostalgia from the film’s reputation instead, playing lines from the film over illustrations of the actors placed on top of the poster.
  • DISC 3
    • Texasville (1990) (Director’s Cut) presented here in black and white, viewable at all for the first time since laserdisc.
    • Texasville (1990) (Theatrical Cut) still viewable in the original color and without all the connective tissue to The Last Picture Show. A worse film than the above cut.
  • Introduction
    • An introduction for the film originally released on Laserdisc. Very of its time.
  • Picture This
    • The ending segment of Picture This, focusing on Texasville, as it was recut for the DVD and Blu-ray releases of The Last Picture Show. Basically an excerpt from the film on Disc 2.
  • Trailer
    • While the film may have cut the references to The Last Picture Show, the trailer opens with it. Treats the film as the TV drama that its color prints looks like.
    • Essay on The Last Picture Show by Graham Fuller
    • Excerpt from Picturing Peter Bogdanovich about Texasville

If you’re a fan of Bogdonavitch or The Last Picture Show, the new 4K restoration is an instant buy for the 4K print alone, let alone the resurrection of Texasville. My favorite Blu-ray of the year.

Available on 4K UHD Blu-ray Combo and Blu-ray November 14th, 2023.

For more information, head to the official The Criterion Collection The Last Picture Show webpage.

Final Score:

The Last Picture Show 5 out of 5.

Texasville 4 out of 5.

Criterion Release: 5 out of 5.

The Last Picture Show cover art

Categories: Home Release, Home Video, Recommendation, Reviews

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