The impending release of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints got me thinking about Texas. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that is somewhat true; the Lone Star State is the second-largest U.S. state in both size and population, but there is a lot more to the state than that.
Texas essentially has it all – rivers, woods, beaches, the world’s largest rattlesnake roundup and experiences the most tornadoes in the US every year. In honour of the Lone Star State, we put together a list of the top movies set in Texas.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Brothers and directors, Joel and Ethan Coen crafted a contemporary Western in which you actually feel as though you are in rural Texas. , welder and hunter Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, discovers the remains of several drug runners who have all killed each other in an exchange gone violently wrong. Moss decides to take the money for himself causing a lot of trouble. The film, based on Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel is spot on with the dialogue and specificity and won four Oscars.
The Last Picture Show (1971)
This is another great film adapted from the 1966 semi-autobiographical novel by Larry McMurtry. Set in the small town of Anarene, Texas in the early 1950’s, this film revolves around high school seniors and best friends, Sonny and Duane as they come of age and enter manhood. This film gives a vivid sense of the small-town Texas lifestyle with its depiction of high school football, cars, girls and the local hangouts and the big, open Texan roads and blue skies.
Friday Night Lights (2004)
This sports-drama film directed by Peter Berg depicts Texas pride by documenting a coach, played by Billy Bob Thorton, and his high school football team in the town of Odessa, Texas. Everything in this town revolves around football and on Friday nights, every store shuts down and thousands of people pack into the stadium to watch the game. The coach is often put in the hot seat as everyone has a different opinion on how he should coach the team to bring them to win the championship game. The movie is based on the 1990 novel, Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger and eventually was made into a television series on NBC after the success of the film.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
This coming of age comedy follows various groups of teenagers on their last day of high school in 1976. The film takes place in the suburbs of Austin, Texas and emphasizes the wild and free youth culture and lifestyle during this time period. The upperclassmen are preparing hazing tactics for the incoming freshmen, and everyone is trying to get stoned, drunk, or laid, even the football players who signed a pledge not to.
Ain’t Them Body Saints (2013)
This Sundance Award winning film tells the tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, Ain’t Them Body Saints is definitely going to be one of the most beautifully realised films of the year.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints opens in the UK on 6 September 2013