'The Last Picture Show' (1971)
The classic Peter Bogdanovich film of Larry McMurtry's novel about life in a small Texas town in 1951 started Bridges on his distinguished acting career with an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. Bridges was 21. He plays Duane, a boy who comes of age, gets crushed by the school beauty (Cybill Shepherd), and heads off to Korea. Bridges cuts to the heart of the character near the end when Duane and his friend (Timothy Bottoms) attend the last show at movie house about to shut its doors as folks stay home with the TV. Through the play of emotion on Bridges' face, the film sums up the end of an era with an aching tenderness.