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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > B-Movies > The Tall Texan (VCI)

The Tall Texan (1953/VCI)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Film: C+



The Tall Texan (1953) is a low-budget film form the short-lived Lippert Company that shows how smart the company was and why they managed to survive as long as they did.  They got Lloyd Bridges to essentially play the title character and matched him with long enduring actor veteran Lee J. Cobb in this tale of the hunt and lust for gold, even if that means criminal behavior and crossing into “Indian” territory they should not be crossing into.


The film could have just been another formula outing, but some ambition was involved to make it smarter than the usual programmer and over 50 years later, it has a deservedly good reputation.  Running about 82 minutes, the film is never jokey or dumb.  The Samuel Roecca screenplay is exceptional for a B-production and though this is not groundbreaking, its competence is far superior to most big budget (and even “art” films) we have been getting in recent years.  The acting is better than what you usually get in Westerns of the time and considering the genre was changing quickly when this was made, editor/director Elmo Williams should be an inspiration for indie filmmakers everywhere.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot in black and white by Joseph F. Biroc, A.S.C., the great cameraman who brings a good look to a very low budget production that was shot in 8 days.  Unfortunately, though the print is in fine shape, the transfer has more limits in detail than one would want.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is brittle here and there, showing its age, but is tolerable and the Bert Shefter score is not that bad for being so simple.  Extras include five trailers, including four for other VCI Western DVDs, text bios of Bridges & Cobb, the first chapter of Secret Agent X-9 (reviewed elsewhere on this site) starring Bridges, stills with commentary by horse wrangler Ross May and text essay by director Williams from Hollywood – Sooner or Later.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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