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The Louisiana wedding of debutante Phoebe Ann Naylor to Don Andrea de Baldasar, El Duce de la Casala is stopped by the Cavalry over a matter of honor. Don Andrea flees across the river to Texas, where he meets up with Sam Hollis and his Indian sidekick, Kronk, who are carrying rifles to the town of Moccasin Flats. Don Andrea rescues an Indian maiden, Lonetta, tames some longhorns, competes with Sam for Phoebe's affections, eludes a Comanche war party and the cavalry (who have come to Moccasin Flats to celebrate Texas' statehood) and ultimately saves the town and gets his girl.Written by
In the lead up to final gun fight between Sam Hollis (Dean Martin) and Don Andrea Baldasar (Alain Delon), as Sam Hollis is walking to "his" end of town, Sam's shadow falls to the right but when Sam turns to face Don Andrea Sam's shadow now falls to the left. Several hours would have elapsed for this to occur. See more »
I have always been a fan of Alain Delon and preferred Dean Martin to the rest of the Rat Pack, so when TEXAS ACROSS THE RIVER came on a nearby theater in the early 70s, I dared not to miss it, and there I was for the first night. And a good decision that was, because at the very end of the last reel, the projector caught alight, the theater closed for a couple of nights, and TEXAS ACROSS THE RIVER never showed there again!
Delon is at the peak of his physical condition and good looks, and he seems thoroughly to enjoy the part (his exchange of clothes with a passing rider and his bullfight scene are high points, even if his double in the latter clearly looks nothing like Delon - but somehow it just adds to the enjoyment of TEXAS taking nothing seriously); a peaking Martin weighs in with a wry and cynical sense of humor, and his amorous pursuit of Forsyth from a delusional state of mind, and a wound caused by an Indian arrow, is a gem; Joey Bishop is superb, whether is deadpan, ratting on Delon, displaying "Kronk" emotions -- or doing a rain dance, one of the movie's funniest moments.
Peter Graves is a hoot with his outlandish commands to his clumsy military force (the scene where he goes past a swarm of Indians on the warpath and does not even see them because he is so intent on catching Delon is another belly laugh); the Indian chief's exchanges with his constantly blundering son, while the rest of the tribe's elders look on knowingly, are sublime; and the witchdoctor is a riot, even if his presence in the film hardly totals 1 minute.
And, last but by no means least, the two beatiful women, Forsyth and Marquand: Forsyth, who starts the film looking purity itself in her white wedding dress, turns out to be a cheat at the slightest opportunity. Marquand, the Indian sqwaw, is about to be sacrificed by her tribe for the alleged commission of some illegality, but she is the purest, even if she is not above a good punch up with Forsyth.
This film perfectly captures the spirit of the West in the humorous, positive and deconstructionist 1960s. Some have criticized the fact that the Indians are made to look dumb, but so do the Union troopers, Martin, Delon, et al. Everybody has a turn looking dumb. In fact, the two most sensible characters are played by Bishop and Marquand - both Indians.
Direction is splendid in the humorous sequences, otherwise nothing memorable. Cinematography has its ups and downs - beautiful color, but some amateurish day for night, and clearly visible background cutouts.
Thankfully, I was able to buy a VHS copy, then a DVD copy, and I must have watched TEXAS ACROSS THE RIVER some 7 times by now: always enjoyed it, as did my kids, who remember it fondly.
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