I seem always to have liked films set in Texas, perhaps starting with Hud, or maybe even Giant before that, and certainly going on with The Last Picture Show (starring Jeff Bridges). Some of us Western Australians feel we have something in common with Texas and its lifestyle. As well as all the open space, there’s red dust, gambling, men talking slowly and sometimes incomprehensibly, and guns – tho we have somewhat fewer per head. Some of us even rob banks. (I know: I’ve met one bank robber myself.) And we definitely have banks that rob us. So I thought this was fun.
Jeff Bridges’ presence was in its favour. I seem to have been watching his family all my life, starting with his Dad, Lloyd Bridges. Jeff is probably older now than Lloyd was when he retired, but he still earns whatever he gets paid.
Here's a note I wrote about Jeff Bridges in a former blog.
June 20th, 2009
I’d always thought the Bridges family were a showbiz family of very ordinary ability, tho extraordinarily successful.
As a kid, I grew up with Lloyd Bridges in action/adventure films in which he played, basically, himself. I can’t remember a single performance out of the 217 that imdb lists.
Then he had kids – and they looked as tho they were going to be even more pedestrian than their Dad. There’s not much doubt about Beau (doomed by his silly name). But Jeff made The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971) which has always been one of my favourite films since I first saw it, tho Jeff’s performance is only what it needs to be.
And then along came Starman in 1984 (directed by John Carpenter – who cut his teeth on the cult classic Dark Star in 1974) and Jeff Bridges’ performance was quite outstanding. He acted – something his father never really did.
Then there was Texasville (Peter Bogdanovitch, 1990) which I sincerely wish had never been made. (It’s the follow-up to TLPS, with the same author and actors, and it sux.) And The Fisher King (Terry Gilliam, 1991), in which Williams acts him off the stage – but he does that to anyone.
And then – to get to the point at last – the Coens wrote a film for him, which they could have called The Dude (it’s actually called The Big Lebowski, 1998). His character (the not big Lebowski) even has the actor’s own first name. And of course the role fits him like a glove.
Actually the real point of bothering you with all this is the T-shirt I have that says THE DUDE ABIDES.
(Yes, I know these are sposed to be at the top.)
These Jeff Bridges films are worth your time:
The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovitch, 1971)
Starman (John Carpenter, 1984)
The Big Lebowski (Coen Brothers, 1998)
Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
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