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Author Topic: From Hell to Texas (1958)  (Read 4197 times)
titoli
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« on: July 13, 2009, 08:17:26 AM »

As perfect a '50's western as any other great movie of the time, were it not for the family scenes shot in Chill's home, hardly tolerable. Chill is said by some critic to steal the show but actually is very often overacting. that's why I give this only 8\10. R.G. Armstrong's performance as the revenging cattle baron might maybe explain why he could never aspire to great parts, but as his character is not the usual wayward, self-distructive one-track minded one bent on revenge we saw in many artifacts of the time probably he fits to the part. Diane Varsi is beautiful and Murray a surprise. The plot is very tight and handled original at every turn. The finale came to me unexpected. Required watching for every western fan.

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T.H.
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 12:23:18 PM »

I don't care for Hathaway but I'll give this a look.

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titoli
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 01:19:59 PM »

The italian title was The Man Who Didn't Want to Kill, which I think is better than the original one.
I forgot to add that this has Dennis Hopper's best (only good one?) performance, as he's not allowed the usual over-the-top mannerisms he's wont to inject in his other baddies roles.

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T.H.
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 02:22:16 PM »

Got the following from the movie's imdb page (paraphrasing): Hopper needed 75 takes to complete a scene so Hathaway apparently told him that he would never work in this town again. Hopper didn't receieve a major role for another ten years. lol.

I must say that I love Hopper in Blue Velvet, I think that's one of the best villians I've ever seen.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2009, 03:06:29 PM »



I must say that I love Hopper in Blue Velvet, I think that's one of the best villians I've ever seen.


I like Hopper in pretty much anything.
Gunfight At the OK Corral, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now , Blue Velvet...

even the Mario Brothers movie.
He has some great charisma and it isn't an exaggeration to call him a living Hollywood legend.

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Dust Devil
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 05:11:52 PM »

even the Mario Brothers movie.

Good one! Grin

I liked Hopper very much when I was a kid, can't say the same now. He was kinda good in those few (cult) movies you guys mentioned, but he just CAN - NOT - ACT. The harder he's tryin', the worse it gets. Period.

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titoli
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 05:34:53 PM »

he just CAN - NOT - ACT. The harder he's tryin', the worse it gets. Period.

That's what I'm saying. He's good here though, for the only time in his career:  the tale of the 75 takes explains why.

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T.H.
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 05:36:38 PM »

I like Hopper in pretty much anything.

Yeah, same, although it has been too long since I've seen SMB.

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mike siegel
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2009, 01:22:34 PM »

One of my heroes. EASY RIDER is still my #2.

His performances depend on what the director allowed him to do / better said, the power / control
the filmmakers had over him Smiley
He was a wild character. FROM HELL is notorious for being the film that ended his promising acting career
first time around. He started with N.Ray (Rebel without a cause) who was all for the 'actors studio breeze'
in ol' Hollywood. Stevens (Giant) had nothing against input from actors and got along ok with him but Hathaway
was notorious for running 'his show alone'. So they fought heavily and Hopper was black-listed afterwards.
Became a photographer and one of the first pop art collectors (smart man).

After he suffered for 7 years, Hathaway gave him another break (KATIE ELDER) and Hopper was back
in (acting) business. While EASY was in production, Hopper played once more for Hatha/wayne (TRUE GRIT).

After EASY he was a hot Director. He made THE LAST MOVIE ('used to ignore it, now I love it), like
TWO-LANE BLACKTOP a big flop for Universal - and his directing career was over again.

The 70's was his messy-time. Drugs, excess, asylum.


I'm sure, if you can't stand him, his acting will not amaze you. But for those who like him he
will enrich any film he is in. Some good ones certainly are OUT OF THE BLUE (also directing), THE AMERICAN FRIEND..

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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 09:49:50 PM »

Saw this tonight with Don Murray, Diane Varsi, Chill Wills, Dennis Hopper, R.G. Armstrong, and Harry Carey Jr. I agree with titoli its a tight little Western with great landscapes balanced with good sets and interiors. Its different I'll say this and that is what makes this one standout. Its got an un-intrusive, amusing love story that at the beginning turns the tables on an old Western cliche' staple, a twist ending, and great performances by a top notch cast.

I disagree about Chill Wills, this is the first time I've seen him in a more than just a sidekick type roll and he is very good, its perhaps the best role I've seen him in ever.

Looks like Lone Pine, the Alabama Hills & Death Valley for the locations (filling in for Texas and New Mexico), instant touchstones to some great Westerns.

The only false note was when the Indian Trader who just got done telling Murray that he would be safe with him in Comanche country gets attacked by the Comanche's that whole sequence didn't have to be there.


Don Murray is great as is the beautiful Diane Varsi.  Dennis Hopper is convincing, and Harry Carey Jr, puts in an appearance.

I'll give it an 8-8.5/10

Hathaway has made some very good and some not so good Westerns, Rawhide, True Grit, and this one being some of his best.


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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 02:30:47 PM »

Thank you, Cowboy-loving Krauts: http://www.amazon.de/Schie%C3%9F-zur%C3%BCck-Cowboy-Western-Legenden/dp/B004HHHNW0/ref=sr_1_7?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1293744562&sr=1-7

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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2016, 12:09:03 PM »

I basically agree with @titoli and @cj, but I would not give it more than a 7/10. A very well executed 50's W, but a 50's W nevertheless.

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Dust Devil
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2016, 12:14:22 PM »

Interesting scene when Murray's character gets some chow: boiled eggs, cheese and a slice of white bread. Rather unusual, yet somehow authentic.

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