The Texican (1966) (NTSC)
|Category||Western||Theatrical Trailer-x2 but not for this film|
|Year Of Production||1966|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Lesley Selander|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ex-gunfighter Jess Carlin (Audie Murphy) is on the run from US law in Mexico until he learns that his older brother Roy, a crusading journalist in the Texas town of Rimrock, has been shot and killed. Rimrock is pretty much owned by saloon keeper Luke Starr (Broderick Crawford) who controls the town through his killers led by Gil Rio (Aldo Sambell). We have already seen that it was Starr and Gil who had killed Roy but when Jess arrives in Rimrock nether Roy’s fiancé Sandy (Luz Marquez) nor his fellow journalist Frank Brady (Antonio Casas) are able to provide him with any information. However there is quickly animosity between Jess and Starr and Gil and it is only a matter of time before this leads to a showdown, especially when Jess starts romancing Kit O’Neal (Diana Lorys), a beauty whom Starr has his eyes on.
The Texican was directed by veteran Lesley Selander whose directing credits go all the way back to 1936. The Texican, released in 1966 following the Sergio Leone “Dollars” films that were released in 1964 and 1965, is the closest Audie Murphy came to making a spaghetti western. The Texican was a US / Spanish co-production and was filmed in Spain with a couple of imported Americans (Murphy, Broderick Crawford), Europeans filling out the cast including now familiar faces such as Aldo Sambell who, amid 168 credits, appeared in all three of the “Dollars” films! The Texican features the same incredible Spanish landscapes of desert, ridges and bluffs that became familiar, nicely shot by cinematographer Francisco Marin who went on to film a number of the Emmanuelle sequels. However, what really sets the spaghetti westerns apart is their score and the music of The Texican by Nico Fidenco is straight from the Ennio Morricone playbook with brass, voices and driving guitars! It may be derivative, but it is exuberant and a heap of fun.
Where The Texican does not follow the spaghetti western formula is in the role of the hero. There is no moral ambiguity about Audie Murphy’s Jess Carlin; he may be a gunfighter but he is an honourable man pursuing a just cause and in this sense he is very much a traditional western hero, wearing a white hat and being kind to horses and respectful of women. And, of course, this being an Audie Murphy film, the ending is never in doubt and he gets the girl as well.
The Texican is a hybrid between traditional westerns and spaghetti westerns. But with its rousing score, great visuals, fist fights, dastardly villains and a face off in a street swirling with dust it is a lot of fun.
The Texican is presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC and 16x9 enhanced.
Filmed in Cinerama and Technicolor the Spanish landscapes have deep natural colours; the red and brown desert, cliffs, hills and the grey adobe dusty towns look great. Detail is strongest in close-ups but widescreen frames are still good, if a bit softer. There are frequent small speckles, but nothing serious, plus motion blur against railings and shrubs. Skin tones are natural, blacks and shadow detail good, brightness and contrast consistent.
English and, surprisingly Japanese, subtitles are available.
The audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192 Kbps.
Dialogue is clean. The effects are good for a mono audio; the sound of galloping horses has some resonance while the impact of punches is exaggerated. The score by Nico Fidenco, as noted in the review, is straight from the Ennio Morricone playbook. It is exuberant and fun; if you are going to steal you may as well steal from the best!
There was no hiss or crackle although there are occasional changes in sound levels with some scene changes.
The Texican was shot in both English and Spanish versions, the Spanish cast being dubbed in the English version we have and it shows with the lip synchronisation indifferent in a number of places. This English version ends with over 3 minutes of music at the end playing over the black screen; this may be where the Spanish end credits were removed.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is a montage with scenes of a couple of dozen westerns released by Columbia Tristar (2:11) plus individual trailers for Silverado (2:02) and The Professionals (3:05).
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I can find references to French and US standalone DVDs of The Texican plus another where it is included in an Audie Murphy four film collection. In Australia the film was part of the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection II, which is part of this Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection. See the summary section below.
The Texican is almost a spaghetti western, especially with that exuberant Morricone-like score. Add great landscape visuals, fist fights, a beautiful leading lady, dastardly villains and a shoot-out climax in a street swirling with dust it may be a hybrid western, but a very entertaining one. And, being an Audie Western there is no doubt who will triumph as well as get the girl.
The video is fine, the audio the original mono. Trailers for a couple of other films are the only extras.
The Texican is included in the 14 disc / 14 film set Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection. The 14 movies, made by Murphy between 1950 and 1966, are all westerns except for the army comedy Joe Butterfly. The Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection is made up from the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection and the Audie Murphy: Man of the West Collection II. Both of these individual Man of the West Collection packs have been released previously. But if you are a fan of westerns or a fan of Audie Murphy and don’t have those two earlier collections, this Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection is a good buy.
The Audie Murphy Ultimate Western Collection was supplied for review by Via Vision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|