State Fare
An Irreverent Guide to Texas Movies
Texana
30 b&w illus.
Pub Date: 05/13/2008
Texas Small Books
  hardcover
Price:        $8.95

978-0-87565-367-9

Published by Texas Christian University Press

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State Fare

An Irreverent Guide to Texas Movies

By Don Graham

From the earliest days of film, Texas and its colorful history offered promising story lines comprised of heroes, images, lore, and legend that filmmakers could return to again and again. And so they did in films about the Alamo, the Texas Rangers, the ubiquitous cowboy and the trail drives, big ranchers, and bigger wildcatters. With the advent of the Talkies, Texas movies continued to be a staple of Hollywood backlot productions, mainly in the form of B Westerns.

In the golden age of Texas cinema—dating from the end of World War II to the assassination of JFK—the Western continued to be the predominant genre. A roll call of the most notable Texas movies would include Red River, Giant (probably the single most influential Texas movie of all), The Searchers, Hud and The Last Picture Show.

The reader is invited to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear as well as to consider the most recent cinematic efforts to capture one of the nation’s most mythologized places. After a brief overview of Texas in the movies, the book offers detailed commentary on the most important, the most interesting, or, in a few cases, the most wretched films about the Lone Star State.

Don Graham is the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Cowboys and Cadillacs: How Hollywood Looks at Texas (1983); No Name on the Bullet: A Biography of Audie Murphy (1989); Giant Country: Essays on Texas (1998); and Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire (2003). In 2003 Graham edited Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande, and in 2007, Literary Austin (TCU Press). Graham has lived in Austin since the late 1970s.

What Readers Are Saying:

". . . Graham pays homage to the earliest films either made in or about Texas, but his most intriguing comments come when dealing with movies made since the late 1940s. Specifically, Graham sings the praises of 'Red River' (1948), 'Giant' (1956), 'Hud' (1963), and 'The Last Picture Show' (1971)."-Austin American Statesman

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