‘Gettin’ old, that’s what’s ridiculous.’ The different ways people become who they are – rich or poor, cultured or common, honest or treacherous, loving or hateful, sad or satisfied – were never more eloquently explored than in Peter Bogdanovich’s sweetly sorrowful second film. Adapted from Larry McMurtry’s knowingly nostalgic semi-autobiographical novel, it’s the tale of three Texas teens, played by then-unknowns Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms and Cybill Shepherd (pictured), whose journeys to adulthood involve death, disaster, ruined relationships, moments of joy and the slow realisation of life’s unfairness. It’s a masterpiece: filmed in sparkling monochrome, relentless in its emotional intensity and unfettered insight and packed with memorable characters, of whom Ben Johnson’s lovelorn, regretful cowboy sage Sam the Lion, quoted above, is perhaps the most iconic. The scene where Sam imparts his wisdom to young buck Bottoms may be the saddest, loveliest moment in 1970s American cinema. And that’s saying something.