Texasville (Peter Bogdanovich, 1990) wr. Larry McMurtry (novel), Peter Bogdanovich
Jeff Bridges (Duane), Cybill Shepherd (Jacy), Timothy Bottoms (Sonny), Annie Potts (Karla), Chloris Leachman, Eileen Brennan, Sharon Ullrick, Randy Quaid
The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its centennial celebration. Oil prices are down, banks are failing, and Duane's $12 million in debt. His wife Karla drinks too much, his children are always in trouble, and he tom-cats around with the wives of friends. Jacy's back in town, after a mildly successful acting career, life in Italy, and the death of her son. People assume Duane and Jacy will resume their high school romance. And Sonny is "tired in his mind," causing worries for his safety. Can these friends find equilibrium in middle age?
Though this is the only cinematic sequel to The Last Picture Show (1971), Duane Jackson (Moore in the books) and the small town of Analene (Thalia in the books) were the subject of three more novels by Larry McMurtry: Duane's Depressed (1999), When The Light Goes (2007), and Rhino Ranch: A Novel (2009). Texasville (1987) was the second book; The Last Picture Show (1966) had been the first novel in McMurtry's Duane Moore series.
I've just had my second or third attempt to watch this with a view to writing a note about it. I'm disappointed I didn't get it done at an earlier attempt, because I don't have much to say now. As a matter of fact, I didn't quite get through it, nodding off just before the ending, which I'm pretty sure it wasn't a happy one.
Most of the people in the story are lost, or depressed, or at least unhappy, and so is the film. ... I'll confine myself to noting only the work of a few actors. Jeff Bridges is capable of good work, but, like all actors, has to draw on his own character to get started, and I don't think Jeff gets very far from the start in this one. Cybill Shepherd I'm assuming is also playing herself, as the hard, disillusioned woman she has become in the business, since starting out in the prequel to this film, and shagging the director, and ... so it goes. Timothy Bottoms does his depressed thing really well. Chloris Leachman is obviously a wonderful person, and she actually looks younger in this film than in the one from twenty years before. But the actor who shows everyone else what it's actually all about is Randy Quaid. I haven't seen nearly as much of his work as I'd like to, but he's clearly someone who actually works on becoming the character in the story, rather than making the story about him, as a film actor like John Wayne, say, does.
Garry Gillard | New: 25 March, 2017 | Now: 21 October, 2018