Ten of the best Texas films, screened in the cities where they were shot. As a semi-native Texan, this reads like a really cool idea.
The cities/films include Marfa (“No Country For Old Men” and “Giant), Waxahachie (“Tender Mercies”) and my personal favorite, the unbelievably tiny Archer City (“The Last Picture Show”), which will host its screening in the now-restored Royal Theater that inspired the book by Larry McMurtry.
Full release follows.
The Alamo Drafthouse and Texas Monthly today announced their collaboration for the 2011 Rolling Roadshow, marking the first all-Texas tour of free outdoor 35mm screening experiences pairing famous movies with famous places. This year the Alamo Drafthouse and Texas Monthly joined forces to celebrate film in the Lone Star state by tapping into Texas’ rich production history to celebrate the ten best Texas films and screen them in the iconic locations where either they were filmed or in a thematic setting.
First, for a feature entitled “No Country for Bad Movies” in its June issue, Texas Monthly brought together five experts, including Alamo Drafthouse CEO/Founder Tim League, to debate the ten greatest Texas movies of all time. After a long and fascinating argument, the panel settled on a list, which then became the basis of the Alamo Drafthouse’s 2011 Rolling Roadshow. This unique partnership of a magazine story and a month-long tour will provide moviegoers with an unprecedented cinema experience in a state with a rich film history. This year’s Rolling Roadshow will bring audiences into contact with all corners of Texas, a state with a distinct cultural identity and varied backdrops that have been featured in some of the greatest films of all time. The screenings will showcase the many aspects of Texas, including small-town America (The Last Picture Show), renegade playground (Bonnie and Clyde), contemporary Western (No Country for Old Men), classic Western (The Searchers), creepy rural (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and more.
“Ever since we started doing the Rolling Roadshow I always wanted to take advantage of our state’s incredible history of production and diverse locales by choosing a Texas theme for the tour. The challenge was narrowing the films down to just ten,” said Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse Founder/CEO. “Texas iconography is very much at the heart of the Alamo Drafthouse, and I’m excited to share our enthusiasm for Texas film with moviegoers this summer.”
“The partnership with Alamo was a perfect fit,” says Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein. “I’m constantly looking for ways to bring our knowledge and love of Texas off the page and use it to create experiences for readers beyond the magazine. With the Texas Monthly Rolling Roadshow we were able to design a dynamic event that starts with reading a story in a magazine and ends with an extremely fun road trip all over the state. Plus, the Alamo’s Rolling Roadshow is one of my favorite annual events, so I was happy to find a way to keep it here in our backyard this year.”
All Rolling Roadshow screenings are FREE and open to the public. The full screening lineup is below and details are available at HYPERLINK “http://drafthouse.com/texasfilms” o “outbind://233/www.drafthouse.com/texasfilms” www.drafthouse.com/texasfilms and HYPERLINK “http://www.texasmonthly.com/texasfilms” www.texasmonthly.com/texasfilms.
June 3 – THE SEARCHERS in Groesbeck, Texas
Old Fort Parker – Inspired by the true story of a young girl’s kidnapping during a Comanche raid on Fort Parker in 1836, director John Ford’s iconic tale of mercenary obsession has been called “the most influential film in American history”. John Wayne stars as anti-hero Ethan Edwards, a man consumed by longing, hatred and a destructive quest for vengeance.
June 4 – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in Kingsland, Texas
Junction House – Join us where it all began. Tobe Hooper’s great American classic still packs a punch of feral, inbred madness. The original house of horrors, since transplanted some 80 miles east of the original shooting location in Williamson County, now offers up tasty Texas-style comfort cuisine. Come and get it.
June 5 – BLOOD SIMPLE in Austin, Texas
Dessau Hall – Joel and Ethan Coen’s seamy redneck noir (and their directorial debut) was shot on location in this landmark Austin music venue, which doubles as Marty’s bar in the film. Over the years, Dessau Hall has hosted the likes of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and a young Elvis Presley.
June 11 – HUD in Claude, Texas
Railroad Tracks – Paul Newman stars as Hud Bannon, the arrogant son of a Texas rancher whose family and livelihood are torn apart by circumstance and long-held resentments. Although well into adulthood, Hud is still sowing wild oats, spending most of his time drinking, fighting, seducing women and pulling reckless stunts in his Cadillac – usually while driving over the train tracks.
June 17 – RED RIVER in Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth Stockyard Exchange – Before the establishment of a railway system throughout the state, Texas cattle drivers made the treacherous journey up the Chisholm Trail to sell their livestock in Abilene, Kansas. Howard Hawks dramatizes the history of the trail in this 1948 Academy Award nominee starring John Wayne as the pioneering rancher who makes the first journey. Fort Worth’s historic stockyard exchange was the final junction for real-life drovers ON THE CHISHOLM TRAIL before crossing the Red River into Native American territories.
June 18 – BONNIE AND CLYDE in Pilot Point, Texas
Farmers and Merchant’s Bank Building – “They’re young. They’re in love. They kill people.” Reimagining this infamous depression-era criminal duo with notes of sympathy and a touch of New Wave glamour, Arthur Penn’s 1968 film was controversial for its violence yet embraced by a generation of moviegoers who identified with its themes of rebellion. Join us in Pilot Point for a celebration of this landmark motion picture at the bank where the first major heist scene was filmed.
June 19 – TENDER MERCIES in Waxahachie, Texas
Ellis County Courthouse – Robert Duvall’s understated performance as a faded country music star and recovering alcoholic earned him an Academy Award for best actor in 1983. To prepare for his role as Mac Sledge, Duvall used to practice playing guitar with local Waxahachie musician Mike O’Daniel on the steps of the Ellis County Courthouse in the town square.
June 24 – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN in Marfa, Texas
Marfa – Shot on the seemingly endless state highways and vast ranch lands just outside the city of Marfa, this contemporary Western classic earned the Coen Brothers many well-deserved accolades for the film’s technical and dramatic achievements. Perhaps most judicious of all their creative choices however was the instruction to hairstylist and longtime collaborator Paul LeBlanc to create the “strange and unsettling” Prince Valiant bob worn by star Javier Bardem in his role as the murderous Anton Chigurh.
June 25 – GIANT in Marfa, Texas
The Paisano Hotel – This beautiful, historic hotel in the center of Marfa served as the residence of the cast and crew of GIANT throughout the film’s lengthy production in 1955. Guests of the hotel can request to stay in the rooms once occupied by stars Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean.
July 1 – THE LAST PICTURE SHOW in Archer City, Texas
The Royal Theater – Archer City and the restored Royal Theater on South Sycamore Street are the inspiration for author Larry McMurtry’s semi-autobiographical novel THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and director Peter Bogdonovich’s 1971 film of the same name. Shot in gorgeous black-and-white at a time when it had been completely phased out of practice, the film explores the restive lives of youth in a small Texas town in the 1950s and launched the careers of Cybil Shepard, Jeff Bridges, Randy Quaid and Cloris Leachman