Films listed in the "F" section of The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Michael Weldon (Ballantine Books, 1983), the single…
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.
I love westerns for their common themes of courage, freedom and other American values. But there is another side to the 1800s West, and that’s the one portrayed in 4 for Texas. It’s the drinking, gambling, card-dealing side. And despite the fact that it’s directly stated who the good guys and the bad guys are, I think everyone in the whole movie gets their share of misdeeds.
On the one hand, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are a lot of fun together. They work together very well, and the film is made for them. There are also some excellently-choreographed stunts that are great to see from this time period.
But on the other hand, 4 for Texas is a muddy…
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.
- The Fabulous World of Jules Verne
- The Face Behind the Mask
- The Face of Fu Manchu
- The Face of Marble
- Fade to Black
- The Alamo
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
- Call of the Canyon
- Duck, You Sucker
- In Old California
I'm going to keep adding to this list as I watch and re-watch movies to review them. Many will be…
- 4 for Texas
- 55 Days at Peking
- An Actor's Revenge
- All the Way Home
So all you Muriel Awards voters can get a jump on the 2013 Muriels, here's partial list of the films…