I hope things are starting off great for you this week. I'm going to jump right into the movie. I have a nasty case of the flu going on (not covid, I was tested) and want to go back to bed.
Never fails to hit when P.R. is on a business trip. Which in good in a way, I don't have to worry about getting P.R. sick.
Today's movie, Texas Rangers, is interesting for several reasons. Like many western movies, this was based on a book. Actually, from what I read on Wikipedia, the script took from more than one book. Planning for the movie started in 1989 or even before. It is not mentioned when the first book was optioned but listed the second story idea based on another book happened in 1989.
The original plan had John Milius (Dirty Harry, Red Dawn, Apocalypse Now) tied to the project. He wrote several script drafts and wanted to use a young cast and make the movie for less than 20 million dollars. He left the project after disagreements on casting.
Milius is reported as saying that this was one of the best scripts he had written, but the movie continued to change hands over the years and many changes were made. Eventually Bob and Harvey Weinstein bought the rights and contacted Milius to come back to the project, but he refused. He reportedly did not want to be help tear apart his original work even further than had already been done.
In 1999 the movie was finally made, but was not released until 2001. When you read the cast names, it is surprising this movie did not do better at the box office. Though I personally have to wonder about their marketing or lack thereof. I look for western movies in the cinemas and I have no memory of ever seeing anything about this until recently when I looking for Texas Ranger movies.
Texas Rangers was ultimately directed by Steve Miner and released in 2001. It has some very notable actors attached including James Van Der Beek, Ashton Kutcher, Alfred Molina, Dylan McDermott, Usher Raymond, Robert Patrick, Rachael Leigh Cook, Leonor Varela, Randy Travis, Jon Abrahams, Matt Keeslar, Vincent Spano, Marco Leonardi, and Tom Skerritt. It also features western legend James Coburn as the story's narrator.
The movie is credited as being loosely based on a book by George Durham titled Taming the Nueces Strip. The book details his own life as a young man while serving as a Texas Ranger under Captain Leander McNelly's command.
The movie takes place a decade after the Civil War. Texas is having trouble along the Mexican border and enlists Leander McNelly (McDermott) and his group of Texas Rangers to keep the peace on the border. Many of the recruits are young and inexperienced lawmen. The Rangers end up in a major conflict with a cattle rustler, John King Fisher (Molina). Fisher and his men are stealing cattle from Texas ranchers and taking them to Mexico to sell to the Mexican army.
The Rangers suffer many losses in confrontations with Fisher and his men. Refusing to give up, they regroup on the Mexican border and plan a final showdown. The outcome could ensure better border security or lead to total lawlessness in the area.
This movie did not do well with critics or at the box office, but given the cast involved, it is worth watching at least once if you like stories about Texas Rangers. There are two historical points that have been mentioned at being fictionalized for this movie. In the movie McNelly dies shortly after the big action scene, but in reality he retired from the Texas Rangers a year before his death. Fisher is killed by Texas Rangers in the movie, but in reality he made an arrangement with the lawmen to end hostilities.
Movie Snack Recipe
I thought a Tex-Mex snack recipe including beef would be in order given today's movie theme. So we are using Beef Loving Texans' recipe for Tex-Mex Queso with Grilled Steak.
This dip would go well with tortilla chips or other kinds of ships. It would also be great over a baked potato or steamed veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
Remember, many great western movies started out as great western books. If you haven't already, why not read my Into the West Saga Serial Collection (<---click to view books). Parts one through six are available now on Amazon.com and BN.com. I'm currently writing the final chapter of this saga, part seven, Into the West: Family Ties. It is currently set for a Christmas release.
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You know what time it is now, posse! It's time to grab your snacks and settle in for another great western movie!