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Texas, Adios is released as part of a Franco Nero DVD double-bill with Keoma
November 2004 SITE MAP   SEARCH

Texas, Adios / Keoma
cast: Franco Nero, Cole Kitosch, José Suárez, José Guardiola, and Livio Lorenzon

director: Ferdinando Baldi

88 minutes (15) 1966
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Argent DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Paul Higson
"A magnificent, unequalled western... once again, [the] infallible, inimitable, incomparable interpreter of Django returns... a pitiless, relentless, cruel film... Destiny and Justice from Texas." (Can you have destiny from?) Well, I didn't recognise it from this bit of trailer bluster and ballyhoo... and I had only just sat through the film. Says it all that this is the only supplementary action for the film... who could possibly want to comment on the film further? I don't. This is more paella than spaghetti in its Spanish-Italian origination and whereas the spaghetti western slew the American western, the Spanish approach was to identikit the dullest of Hollywood genre fare. Under Franco's rule it was better to keep it plain and have a career than it was to attempt even the smallest of ideas lest it be perceived as minor subversion. The result was bill fillers like Rafael Romero Marchant's Gunman's Hands with lacklustre poverty row plots, lazily run out by a disinterested cast and crew. Texas, Adios is another of the unexciting and you could drop Audie Murphy or Gene Autrey into the flick and they wouldn't look out of place in this under-told badly rehearsed lumbering bore.

Plot? Do I have to? Franco Nero is Burt Sullivan, a man with a brother, Jim (played by Alberto Dell'Acqua under the name Cole Kitosch), and a mission, the mission to avenge the death of their father with the bringing to justice of Cisco Delgado (José Suárez) an unconvincingly bad land baron. Turns out he is Jim's real father, the mother raped at the time of her husband's killing. Seems Delgado has paternal yearnings and amid all the evil doings he warmed to the idea that he had a son brought up in an atmosphere of good, the distant ballast for all the misery that weighs against his hereafter existence promised to the netherworld. The henchmen are never ludicrous enough to be entertaining, though ludicrous they are, and there are unfathomable responses among the characters. Alcalde Miguel (Livio Lorenzon) is first met supervising the execution of thieves to the uncorking of his flask, he finding it hilarious every time, surely the deserving subject of a bullet himself, but no, in his last scene, his men are killed, a tragic back-history for Alcalde is revealed and he is suddenly not answerable to his actions. Jim is at one point released from his jail by the Mulatto girl (Elisa Montés), a dancer who has taken a shine to him. They are foiled in the escape and she is gunned down for the heck of it. Jim's response... not even nonplussed. He doesn't rush to her, cry out, try to attack any of her killers, comfort her as she fades... simply watches her final death shiver and walks back to the place of his incarceration, as daddy fires bullets into the earth around his feet, disgusted that he prefers his prison. You get an idea of what the director is aiming for in the scene... but it doesn't endear him to the viewer. I'd have shot him myself!

There is nothing clever about this film. It is a lame story, slowly advanced in admittedly steady, if too clean, shots and sequences, dusty costumes on sets too big, over-lit and white. The fisticuff sequences are the only entertainment and that is unintentional, appallingly choreographed. The only people who bleed are the few injured, the bullet catchers who die instantly don't have time to bleed, and seem to vanish into the dust rather than inconvenience the leads for their final shootout. The dubbing is dreadful and a kettledrum is played to Franco's footsteps. As a Spanish film it suits the actors to have the action relocated to Mexico. Thankfulness indeed that the film runs only to 88 minutes; that is shorter than any other time placed on the film previously. Anchor Bay's Region 1 DVD release of the film has healthier supplementary contributions but is unlikely to improve on the film.

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