4 for Texas

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4 for Texas
4 for Texas film poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byRobert Aldrich
Produced byRobert Aldrich
Written byTeddi Sherman
Robert Aldrich
StarringFrank Sinatra
Dean Martin
Anita Ekberg
Ursula Andress
Charles Bronson
The Three Stooges
Music byNelson Riddle
CinematographyErnest Laszlo
Edited byMichael Luciano
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 25, 1963 (December 25, 1963)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4,520,000[1]
Box office1,367,490 admissions (France)[2]

4 for Texas is a 1963 American Western comedy film starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Anita Ekberg, and Ursula Andress, and featuring screen thugs Charles Bronson and Mike Mazurki, with a cameo appearance by Arthur Godfrey and the Three Stooges (Larry Fine, Moe Howard, and Curly Joe DeRita). The film was written by Teddi Sherman and Robert Aldrich, who also directed.

Plot[edit]

In 1870, a shipment of $100,000 being transported by stagecoach to Galveston, Texas, is the object of a tug-of-war in the desert between Zack Thomas (Sinatra) and Joe Jarrett (Martin), who first must stave off an outlaw band led by Matson (Bronson).

Later, in Galveston, Thomas and Jarrett become rivals in a bid to open a waterfront casino. Each has a new romantic attachment, as well, with the beauties Elya (Anita Ekberg) and Maxine (Ursula Andress), respectively. They eventually must join forces to hold off the villainous Matson and a corrupt banker, Burden (Victor Buono), to keep their new gambling boat afloat.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Adlrich announced the film in November 1960 as Two for Texas, from a script by Teddy Sherman. The proposed stars were Lisa Kirk, Martine Carol and Aldo Ray.[3]

In January 1963 Dean Martin signed to make the film. At that stage his female co-stars would be Anita Ekberg and (it was hoped) Gina Lollobrigida.[4] Warners, who had just made Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with Aldrich, agreed to finance.[5]

In March, Frank Sinatra agreed to co star. This meant the film would be a co production between Warners, Aldrich's company, the Associates and Aldrich, Martin's company, Claude Productions, and Sinatra's, Essex Productions.[6]

At one stage the role of Elya was originally intended for Sophia Loren, who had already worked with Sinatra in The Pride and the Passion. Although she was offered $1,000,000 for four weeks of work, Loren turned the part down.[7]

Lollobrigida decided not to do the film. In May Ursula Andress joined the cast and the film was retitled Four for Texas.[8]

Aldrich later said he wrote the first draft of the script but "you could change that over and over and it was still a disaster."[9]

Shooting[edit]

Filming started in May 1963.

4 for Texas was filmed in 1.85:1 aspect ratio on 35-mm Technicolor film. Its promotional trailer features Ursula Andress in specially shot footage addressing the audience.

During production, the relationship between star Sinatra and director Aldrich became strained. Aldrich felt the film was not a success, and cited problems with his own script, as well as Sinatra's lack of enthusiasm for the project—Aldrich calculated that Sinatra worked a total of only 80 hours during 37 days of filming.[10]

At one stage, Bette Davis was going to make a cameo.[11]

Release[edit]

The film had its U.S. premiere on December 18, 1963. Forty-three years after its original premiere, 4 for Texas was presented at the Turin Film Festival on November 12, 2006.

Home media[edit]

Its first DVD release arrived on November 20, 2001, and the second release (as part of The Rat Pack collection of Ocean's 11 and Robin and the 7 Hoods) was on June 13, 2006.

Awards and nominations[edit]

It was nominated for the Golden Laurel as "Top Action Drama", ultimately coming in fourth.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alain Silver and James Ursini, Whatever Happened to Robert Aldrich?, Limelight, 1995 p 262
  2. ^ French box office results for Robert Aldrich films at Box Office Story
  3. ^ Scott, J. L. (1960, Nov 01). Texas yarns follow in wake of 'alamo'. Los Angeles Times
  4. ^ Lemmon May Be Candidate for an Oscar Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 31 Jan 1963: c9.
  5. ^ Showmen Poll Led Again by Doris Day: Aldrich Picks Lollo, Ekberg; Hawks Plumps for Originals Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 3 Jan 1963: C7.
  6. ^ High-Budget Western Is Set Special to The New York Times.. New York Times 22 Mar 1963: 7.
  7. ^ Kaplan, James. 2015. Sinatra: The Chairman. New York: Doubleday. p. 597. ISBN 9780385535397.
  8. ^ FIMLAND EVENTS: Chakiris Will Star in Film in Rome Los Angeles Times 14 May 1963: D8.
  9. ^ mr. film noir stays at the table Silver, Alain. Film Comment; New York Vol. 8, Iss. 1, (Spring 1972): 14-23.
  10. ^ Alain Silver (2004). What Ever Happened to Robert Aldrich?: His Life and His Films. Hal Leonard. pp. 263, 350. ISBN 978-1-61780-165-5.
  11. ^ Career Zooming for Betty Hutton: Opening in Local 'Annie' Then Goes to Broadway Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 5 June 1963: D16.

External links[edit]