MOVIE REVIEWS

4 for Texas

5/10 NR

Wikipedia

December 25, 1963

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Well if I have to die, I prefer being killed by the hand of a beautiful woman.

4 for Texas is directed by Robert Aldrich who also co-writes the screenplay with Teddi Sherman. It stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Anita Ekberg, Ursula Andess and Charles Bronson. Music is by Nelson Riddle and cinematography by Ernest Laszlo.

Plot follows the shenanigans of two rivals played by Sinatra and Martin who have designs on a waterside casino. Bandido Charles Bronson is on their tails while Ekberg and Andress file in for romantic interests.

Aldrich disliked the film (the director famously couldn't get on with Sinatra), its reputation is decidedly lukewarm and The Three Stooges make an embarrassingly pointless cameo, 4 for Texas is a distinctly average comedy/western. The star power keeps it watchable, with rat packers Deano and Frank constantly trying to score machismo points - Ekberg & Andress lighting up the screen with natural beauty - Bronson in solid villain role, and it's pleasingly photographed by Laszlo. Yet it's a mundane screenplay and the run time needed to be cut by at least half an hour. It's also such a waste to not have Aldrich (is this the same guy who directed Ulzana's Raid and Vera Cruz?) show his skills at action construction, especially since the soggy story needed some perk- me-ups!

One to chalk off of your Aldrich/Rat Pack film lists, then, where once viewed, it's unlikely that anyone but hard core fans of the stars will want to revisit. 5/10

Robert Aldrich was a reliable director but the Rat Pack duo of Sinatra and Martin got the better of him in this self indulgent mess.

A shipment of $100,000 being transported by stagecoach to Galveston in Texas comes under attack from an outlaw Matson (Charles Bronson) and his gang. On the stagecoach is Zack Thomas (Frank Sinatra) a sharpshooter and Joe Jarrett (Dean Martin) who seems to be just passing through.

The opening scenes where Sinatra has a silly grin on his face while he is under attack just sums up the tone of this movie.

Both men try to get the loot off each other and later indulge in a game of (tedious) one up man ship throughout the film. Both get attached to international beauties Elya (Anita Ekberg) and Maxine (Ursula Andress) as they vie to open up a waterfront casino.

Later both men unite to hold off Matson and the villainous banker Burden (Victor Buono.)

This is a smug and sluggish film. Not funny at all, at one point the very old looking, The Three Stooges turn up. You actually wish Bronson blew both the main stars away in the opening scenes.

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