Texas (1941) William Holden, Glenn Ford, Claire Trevor, George Bancroft Movie Review

Texas (1941)   3/53/53/53/53/5

William Holden and Glenn Ford in Texas (1941)

The Right, The Wrong and The Youthful

The war is over but friends and Confederate veterans Todd Ramsey (Glenn Ford) and Dan Thomas (William Holden) find that the past is not forgotten everywhere they go and frequently get less than warm welcomes whilst making their way to Texas. It is on that journey they witness a stagecoach robbery and steal the money back from the robbers which leads to them disagreeing over what to do with the money as Dan wants to keep it whilst Todd wants to return it. Their disagreement over what is right and wrong leads them eventually to take separate paths with Todd taking a job with a rancher whilst Dan ends up working with some cattle rustlers but the two find themselves with one thing still in common, they both like 'Mike' King (Claire Trevor).

As a child one of the TV shows I would watch was "Camberwick Green". Now you might be wondering why I am mentioning "Camberwick Green" in a review of an old western from 1941. Well "Camberwick Green" had a character called Windy Miller and so does "Texas", I know, they're not the same character but it amused me when all of a sudden I heard someone mention the name Windy Miller. But that is just one of the comical aspects of "Texas" as this a movie which plays it for laughs all the way through and in truth often gets side tracked by the comedy which is why it is about 20 minutes before we actually get to the duo robbing the robbers with instead a comically forced boxing match taking up most of those opening minutes.

Claire Trevor in Texas (1941)

Now this leaves me in a quandary as I enjoyed "Texas" despite the basic storyline of friends ending up on opposite sides of right and wrong being a standard one right down to them flirting with the same woman. But truth be told the comedy in "Texas" is at times too forced, bordering on being entertaining for the wrong reasons. Take the boxing match which Dan gets involved with, the old static pose of his opponent combined with under hand tactics ends up corny rather than comical with the whole thing going on too long. It is the same when Dan steals a horse and cart from 'Mike' as whilst amusing with a bouncy ride it goes on longer than is needed. You almost get a sense that the studio decided to turn a standard good guy, bad guy western into a comedy but didn't pay their writers enough money to come up with more than a few set pieces which is why they get drawn out.

Despite "Texas" having its flaws when it comes to the humour it does have the trio of Glenn Ford, William Holden and Claire Trevor with Holden almost unrecognizable from the star he would become. In fact most of the true fun in "Texas" comes from watching a youthful looking Ford and Holden whilst Trevor plays it cute and pretty rather than feisty. Now I wouldn't say any of them make their characters memorable but the enthusiasm each brings to their roles is what keeps you entertained.

What this all boils down to is that "Texas" is an amusing western but as much for its flaws as it is for getting things right. In truth it is as much for the youthful performances of Glenn Ford, William Holden and Claire Trevor than the actual story and comedy that makes it entertaining.