The state of Texas has been the home to many a blockbuster movie and has been home to over 400 films. The vast cattle ranching region has been the home of many cowboy movies and the emergence of the oil industry in the State has also inspired many movies that have been located in the major cities such as Houston.
However, it was the story of the great cattle drives that caught the imagination of many a movie director. One of the most famous of Hollywood actors who starred in plenty of cowboy films was John Wayne and, in his career, he appeared in many films that were set in the State.
In “Rio Bravo” (1959) he played a sheriff who arrested a murderer, then found himself in conflict with hired guns who had come to the town to release the prisoner. Luckily for John Wayne, the local people come to his aid and try to help the sheriff to overcome the criminal fraternity. The film managed to promote Texas’s community spirit with its ability to stick together to overcome the most difficult situations.
The film “Giant” that was made in 1956 showed the problems that the Mexican community suffered in relation to both the ranching and oil businesses. The larger families that dominated big business in the State, were prepared to go to great lengths to stop any other competitors from providing legitimate competition.
The film starred Rock Hudson and it was at the head of a dynasty that was as much feared as respected among the Texan Community. With Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean also in leading roles, the film had a high profile cast that did not really portrayed Texas’s image in the most positive light to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world.
A horror films that achieved great success was “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” which was released in 1974. Despite it being a low budget film the story of a group of happy teenagers stumbling across an insane Texas family captured cinema goer’s imagination.
With the unemployed slaughterhouse workers killing passersby and then selling their meat to unaware customers in their diners, the horror of the film was intensified with the use of the chainsaw. Perhaps the horror was further increased as it took place in an idyllic Texas setting and the actions seemed out of place in such an innocent surrounding.
Perhaps maybe it is the vastness of Texas that can make it easy for people to be seen to be losing their mind. In the 2014 film American Sniper Bradley Cooper plays a Navy Seal Vet who has difficulty coming to terms living a life away from the warfare he encountered in Iraq. He had been recorded as having killed 255 enemy soldiers but the film itself ends with him being killed on a shooting range by a veteran he was trying to help.
The story showed the type of characters that the State produced. As a trained marksman he was the best there was but in the end the amount of lives that he ended played on his conscience, and he had great difficulty moving on with his life.