4 for Texas
The far out story of the far west
Frank Sinatra plays a tough guy who hooks up with fellow rat packer Dean Martin to open a casino in this western.
4 for Texas starts off promising enough with a wacky stagecoach chase sequence, bullets flying, $100,000 at stake, and Frank Sinatra’s Zack Thomas and Dean Martin’s Joe Jarrett being smug and funny trying to outwit each other for the money. Their comic rivalry is one of the strengths of the film but ultimately it doesn’t elevate the plot above forgettable backdrop.
In Galveston, Joe deposits the money in a bank led by a crooked banker who from what I gather, is working with Zack who wants to be a gambling king of some sort. Meanwhile, Charles Bronson is running around shooting at people. Joe decides to open a riverboat casino with a chick who doesn’t want to be 50/50 partners…
The real problem with this movie is that it's too long. Since it's too long, it seems boring. Had this been condensed into a cool 90 minutes they would have had a zippy, funny, entertaining, cool in that Ratpack-way western.
Yeah, most of the jokes rely on the women being sexy and extremely horny and the men being sexist. That's sort of what you expect from an early 60's movie. Especially one with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra as the stars. You watch Mad Men, you're ok with it.
Most of the movie is centered in sound-stages and the back lot. It feels very enclosed and this helps add to the boring parts. But hey, the guys needed places to drink, not scenery to look at. The scenery really is the gorgeous women.
Surprising to see such a lazy, unambitious film from Robert Aldrich. An opening stagecoach robbery in the desert promises a riff on his earlier VERA CRUZ, but with the incongruously East Coast Martin and Sinatra in the Lancaster and Gary Cooper roles. Most of the remaining movie, however, refuses to budge from a backlot Western saloon and riverboat and coasts on smug, sexist Rat Pack attitude.