Little seen, lazily paced and very enjoyable, TEXASVILLE is the sequel to the 1971 hit “The Last Picture Show”. 32 years have passed since these characters (and actors) lived out the end of their teenage years and began adulthood in the tiny Texas dustbowl of Anarene.
Former high school football QB Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges at his best) is married to Karla (a fiery and funny Annie Potts) but seems to be bedding half the women in the town. His kids are In their late teens and early twenties and are following in his footsteps, sleeping with an ever escalating series of eccentric folk.
The Jackson’s sprawling Texas spread seems to serve a constantly rotating cast of gun-toting, pissed off husbands or girlfriends. Cold beers and lonely vistas are the order of the day.
Duane’s oil business is as dry as the barren lack of opportunities for the citizens of Anarene as their town Centennial celebration approaches.
Favorite characters from the original film are back, including Cloris Leachman as Ruth Popper, Randy Quaid as Lester Marlow and Timothy Bottoms as Sonny Crawford, still haunted by that old movie theatre downtown. His moments in that theatre (or what’s left of it) are haunting.
When wealthy former prom queen Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd) returns to town, every gossip in town is sure that she and Duane will rekindle their passion.
Bridges and Shepherd have a great chemistry as actors, building off their stories In the original film classic to show two people realizing time is slipping away. Both have suffered success and huge loss and wear both on their faces.
Both the original film and this sequel are based on terrific books by Larry McMurtry and were adapted by Director Peter Bogdonavich (What’s Up Doc?, Paper Moon). He’s got a flair for bringing a huge cast of small town eccentrics on screen, each of them making an indelible mark as they weave in and out of the film.
Far too slow paced to be a mainstream hit, the movie unwinds like a drive through the middle of Texas. There are many laughs to be found, Quaid is hilarious and Duane’s exasperation dealing with his kids and grandkids is pure country & western Bridges.
A major bomb when released, the film quickly slipped into obscurity. With a great cast giving its all and Bogdonavich confidently delivering McMurty’s style to the screen, TEXASVILLE is worth finding for the many fans of the original film, earning a B-.