Original US film poster
|Directed by||Lesley Selander|
|Produced by||John Champion
|Written by||John C. Champion
José Antonio de la Loma
|Music by||Nico Fidenco
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
The Texican is a 1966 film produced and written by John C. Champion and directed by Lesley Selander. It is a paella western remake of their 1948 film Panhandle adapted for the persona of Audie Murphy that featured Broderick Crawford as the heavy. The film was retitled Ringo il Texano in Italy to coincide with the popularity of the Ringo spaghetti western film series.
The town of Rimrock, Arizona is run by political boss Luke Starr. When one of Starr’s henchmen wishes to escape from Starr he meets with the editor of the town newspaper, Roy Carlin to ask his help. Starr discovers the meeting and he and his loyal henchmen shoot the both of them; spreading the story that the two killed each other in a gunfight.
Roy Carlin’s brother Jess is a former Texas sheriff now living in semi-retirement with his girlfriend in Mexico. He has a price on his head for unstated crimes done in the United States but earns income and beats the boredom of his quiet life by capturing fugitive American criminals and turning them over to American lawmen who return them across the border.
When Jess finds out the story of his brother he throws the quiet life away to bring his brother’s killer to justice as he knows Roy never carried a firearm. On the way he is unsuccessfully ambushed by bounty hunters and has to escape without his saddle.
Stopping off at a ranch he thinks is vacant, he leaves money for a saddle but is held at gunpoint by the ranch owner Sandy. Sandy changes her opinion on Jess when she discovers he has left money that is four times the value of the saddle.
Riding into Rimrock, Jess unsuccessfully tries to find out information on his brother’s death. The new editor of the paper asks Jess to stay to eliminate Luke Starr and his band. Jess explains that in the past when he was a sheriff in the same town where his brother was a newspaper editor they cleaned up the town but found out the hard way that the men who replaced those they got rid of were much worse.
After fist and gun fights, Jess is finally able to establish proof of Luke’s involvement when he finds a decorative concho that leather worker Sandy is able to identify as one that came off Luke’s gunbelt.
- Audie Murphy ... Jess Carlin
- Broderick Crawford ... Luke Starr
- Diana Lorys ... Kit O'Neal
- Luz Márquez ... Sandy Adams
- Antonio Casas ... Frank Brady
- Antonio Molino Rojo ... Harv
- Aldo Sambrell ... Gil Rio
- Juan Antonio Peral ... Eb
- Helga Genth ... Mrs. Maria Banta
- George Rigaud ... Mitch
- Luis Induni ... U.S. Marshal
- Marta May ... Elena
- Víctor Vilanova ... Roy Carlin
Audie Murphy was one of the many stars who turned down Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars because he recognised that the screenplay was an uncredited copy of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. With Westerns being not only in demand, but cheap to produce in Europe, the film crew travelled to Spain in September 1965 to shoot the film. Murphy recalled he had to do his own stunts and “had to do everything myself except pack my own lunch”.
A third partner in the MCR (Murphy, Champion & SelandeR) Production company, Murphy had a large say in the making of the film. The team was to have made another film in Spain, Maverick Guns with Cesar Romero and Gary Crosby but it was never made.
Producer and writer John C. Champion’s whose first film had been Panhandle had made several Westerns in America and the Laramie Western series. After his Spanish venture he moved to England and started Oakmont Productions to film war films for the Mirisch Productions. Lesley Selander finished his career directing Westerns for A.C. Lyles.
- p. 162 Nott, Robert Last Of The Cowboy Heroes: The Westerns Of Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, And Audie Murphy McFarland, 2005
- p.150 Graham, Don The Story of Audie Murphy Texas Monthly June 1989
- p. 135 The Milwaukee Journal 14 Aug 1966
- p.210 Larkins, Bob & Magers, Boyd The Films of Audie Murphy McFarland & Co., 2004