Director: Lesley Selander
Genre(s): Action, Western
Runtime: 91 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Audie Murphy does a Euro-Western? Whaaaaa?!? Technically, it’s not a “spaghetti western,” as Italy apparently wasn’t involved in its production (IMDb says it was a co-production between Spain and the United States), but it sure looks and sounds like one. Filmed in Spain, this western is about gunslinger Jess Carlin (American World War II war hero Audie Murphy) seeking revenge on town boss Luke Starr (Broderick Crawford), who’s responsible for the murder of his newspaperman brother, Roy Carlin (Victor Vilanova).
The Texican definitely feels like a “spaghetti western,” or Italian-made western, thanks to its distinctive sound effects, Ennio Morricone-wannabe musical score (from Nico Fidenco), and the obvious dubbing done for some of the non-English-speaking cast. It’s a bit strange seeing Audie Murphy in such a movie, but I suppose that that’s part of the novelty. Being one of the last films that Murphy made, it appears that he was trying to jump on the Clint Eastwood Train by invigorating his career with a Euro-Western.
This picture has a reasonably tight story, which helps it enormously. Action comes along fairly frequently, which is another plus. The low budget doesn’t really hinder the production much, only adding to the sense of atmosphere (those lonely, remote way-stations are characters of their own). Murphy is pretty much his typical white-knight hero, while Broderick Crawford makes a satisfactory villain.
As far as obscure action-westerns go, this one is pretty darn good. The plot’s easy to follow and it’s fun seeing Murphy out for vengeance. It’s not exactly high art, but not every motion picture has to be Citizen Kane (1941). Sometimes you just want to watch one of the greatest heroes of the Second World War play cowboy and beat up people in scenes where punches sound like gunshots.
My rating is 7 outta 10.