Rat Pack buddies Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were prized for their ability to appear relaxed on camera, but in 4 for Texas they're nearly asleep. It must have looked good on paper: reuniting the crooners and teaming t... more »hem with two international sex symbols in a jokey Western under the guidance of topnotch director Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly). Ursula Andress, as a riverboat owner who hooks up with Dino, unleashes her bedroom purr to great effect, but formidable Anita Ekberg had a bad year in 1963 (she also got stuck in Bob Hope's immortal Call Me Bwana). A tasty roster of character actors is wasted, although Charles Bronson and Victor Buono are amusing as unsavory citizens of 1870s Galveston. Even the Three Stooges, in their Curly Joe configuration, wander through. After a terrific opening sequence in the desert, establishing Frank and Dean's rivalry, this one quickly goes south. --Robert Horton« less
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 06/05/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Opening with a slam-bang action sequence, "4 for Texas" (1963) begins promisingly as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra enjoy a comic shoot-out in the Old West. Despite the best efforts of director Robert Aldrich and a colorful supporting cast, things go downhill pretty fast. With producer Sinatra calling the lackadaisical shots, the proceedings become relaxed to the point of boredom. Dino loved making Westerns, but Frank never looked convincing in the genre. Not surprisingly, Aldrich detested the final product and Sinatra's unprofessional behavior. "
For Sinatra and Dean Martin Fans!
Max Hudson | 09/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie and the scenery will impress. The riverboat scenes were probably the most costly. If you like Dean Martin westerns you may want to consider this one. It has some of that flavor, however it soon turns to the riverboat gambling scene, and Frank and Dean's relationships with two of Hollywood's Beauties: Anita Ekberg, and Ursalla Andress!
Other Suggestions: The movie "Five Card Stud" is another good Dean Martin western movie, with more of what you'd expect in a western.
Martin was great with John Wayne in "Rio Bravo" with Ricky Nelson too. Now there's a classic! These three movies are in my collection, as well as many John Wayne titles.
There is another kind of Rat Pack in Hollywood westerns: The singing sensation of the Highwaymen, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson, and you can see their version of "Stage Coach" from 1986. If you're a fan you'll almost recognize the background music, it sounds a lot like 'Highwayman' in it's driving rythym. Another Frank and Dean movie set in the 1800's is "Sergeants 3" (1962)With Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr."
4 for Texas
Heartwithwings | Cal. USA | 06/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a very entertaining movie with Frank and Dino having a lot of fun trying to best 1 another, but Anita Ekberg stole the whole movie with her stunning beauty and My Word her bust took up the whole screen . Ursula Andress as well was equally as beautiful as Miss Eckberg did this movie just before she did the 1st James Bond movie Dr.No . This is great family entertainment highly recommended."
The Far West has never been far out!
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 01/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bronson--in this supposed comedy-western--as outlaw leader Matson who works for crooked banker Victor Buono, helps start the film off on a high note of action... He and his henchmen attack a stagecoach whose passengers include Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra...
After repulsing the bandits, Zack (Sinatra) discloses a bag containing $100,000, and Joe (Martin) unexpectedly relieves him of the money at gunpoint...
In Galveston, Joe deposits the money in a bank run by Harvey Burden (Buono), a thief who has supported Zack's efforts to become the town's gambling king...
When Zack arrives in town, Matson tries to kill him, but Joe interferes, saving Zack's life...Then Zack learns that Joe intends to compete with him by converting an abandoned riverboat into a gambling saloon... Outraged, he raises a gang, intending to take over the boat on opening night... But Burden has plans of his own...
Much of the plot, such as it is, is taken up with the comic rivalry between Martin and Sinatra, involving with womanizing and gambling... The three Stooges doing one of their ancient routines provide a gay moment... Anita Ekberg and Ursula Andress are an absolute pleasure to look at... And if you want to know the answer of Joe to Ursula's commentary: "You didn't notice what I'm wearing," don't miss this nice, civilized picture..."
If You're Not A Rat-Packer, Forget This Western
Van T. Roberts | Columbus, Mississippi, USA | 11/03/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Spaghetti western helmer Sergio Leone worshipped American director Robert Aldritch, even though Leone's experience as Aldritch's second-unit director on the Biblical epic "Sodom and Gomorrah (1962) proved short-lived. After he attained fame and fortune with his "Dollars" trilogy, Leone said that he owed it all to Aldritch. The Italian maestro rhapsodized especially over an earlier Aldritch oater "Vera Cruz" (1954) with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster. The best part of Aldritch's "Four For Texas" is the opening gambit. This exciting but abortive stagecoach robbery foreshadows everything that the Spaghetti western later espoused as its formula and ideology.
Matson (Charles Bronson of "The Dirty Dozen") and his gang are in hot pursuit after a stagecoach carrying $100-thousand dollars. Galveston entrepreneur Zack Thomas (Frank Sinatra of "Sergeants 3") lies sprawled atop the coach. He shoots at the bad guys with his Winchester repeating rifle, while Joe Jarrett (Dean Martin of "Rio Bravo") rides inside the vehicle. Joe pokes his head and gun arm out the window and racks up his share of kills. Our heroes dispatch at least six of Matson's gang before Matson calls a halt to the pursuit and withdraws to head back to town. One of Matson's cronies, Dobie (Jack Elam of "Once Upon A Time in the West), who appears in pre-Sergio Leone style close-up briefly, warns Matson that their boss, treacherous Harvey Burden (Victor Buono of "The Silencers"), won't be happy that they failed. Without blinking an eye, Matson guns down Dobie, blasting him out of the saddle with one lethal shot. Meanwhile, the stagecoach rider dies from a wound that he received from Matson's men and Zack has to stop a runaway stagecoach. He cannot and the vehicle rolls over with a crash. For the rest of the sequence, Zack and Joe engage in a contest of one-upmanship, the kind of games that Blonde and Tuco played in "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." First, Joe gets the drop on Zack who no longer has his rifle and takes the money. Second, Zack retrieves an entirely different Winchester rifle that he found cached with the money. He waits until Joe has ridden far enough away so that he can open up on him with his Winchester without fear of retaliatory gunfire. When this occurs, Joe realizes that he is at Zack's mercy. Joe's six-gun lacks the longer more accurate range of Zack's rifle. Zack forces Joe to fork over the fortune. Third, Joe surprises Zack when he palms a derringer concealed inside his Stetson and appropriates the money for the second time. In the first instance, Frank Sinatra behaves like a Spaghetti western anti-hero might as he ignites a cigar and patiently allows Dean Martin to out of range before he wields the Winchester. Sinatra even wears an outfit roughly similar to the togs that 'the Man With No Name' sported. This entire scene is better than anything else in this otherwise mediocre western. "Four for Texas" indulges in the two themes that characterized Italian westerns: (1) a cynical disregard for human life, and (2) an obsession with money that amounts to greed. The setting with its sharply-chiseled mountain peaks rearing up majestically in the background and arid desert stretching for miles in every direction replicates the typical south of the border scenery in spaghetti westerns. Indeed, for all practical purposes, the opening scene in "Four For Texas" qualifies as the only scene with action lensed on location beyond the confines of the studio.
Meanwhile, gluttonous Harvey Burden acts like Zack's friend. What Zack doesn't know is that the President of the Galveston Savings & Trust Bank has Matson and his gang of cutthroats secretly on his payroll. Victor Buono's first scene in Galveston is wonderful. He explains to "Walton's" star Ellen Corby, a widow with another elderly woman in a wheelchair with her, that if he loaned them the money that they requested that eventually he might have to foreclose on them and earn a bad reputation in the process. At about that time, Joe Jarrett shows up in town with the fortune in money sewn into his suit jacket and deposits it in Harvey's bank. Joe and Zack have the oddest friendship that evolves over time once they meet each other's girlfriends. Zack keeps fashion designer Elya Carlson (the voluptuous Swedish beauty Anita Ekberg of "La Dolce Vita") as his main squeeze. Joe hooks up with scantily clad Maxine Richter (Ursula Andress of "Dr. No") who owns a rundown riverboat that Joe helps her convert into a floating casino. Roughly speaking, the time that elapses between Joe's arrival in Galveston until the climactic scene on the docks when Zack and he join forces is equivalent to the time it takes to refurbish Maxine's riverboat.
"Four For Texas" conjures up few surprises to keep you guessing throughout its uneven 115 minutes. Zack and Joe play cat and mouse games, but you know that Frank and Dean couldn't remain at loggerheads for long. The chief bad guy here is Charles Bronson and it takes both of them to whip him. Bronson's death scene on the paddle wheel of the riverboat looks cool. The relationship between Victor Buono and Charles Bronson conceals the only surprise. An unbelievable moment occurs in Galveston that refutes the opening scene where our heroes ruthlessly tried to eliminate the outlaws. Jarrett wings Matson in a restaurant as the evildoer is poised to bushwhack Zack. That Joe and Zack would let Matson live is difficult to swallow, especially after their deadly shooting during the hold-up attempt. The brawl on the docks at the end looks like poor crowd control, but there is another surprise that comes out. However, by this time, "Four For Texas" has sacrificed any dramatic vigor as an interesting western. Unless you're a Rat Packer, skip "Four For Texas."