Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Script: Franc Rossetti & Ferdinando Baldi
Cast: Franco Nero, Alberto Dell’Acqua, Elisa Montes, Jose Guariola, Livio Lorenzon, Hugo Blanco, Luigi Pistilli, Gina Pernice, Jose Suarez
Running time: 92 minutes
Following on from his enormous success with cult western Django, actor Franco Nero returned to the same genre with this film, Texas, Adios, later the same year. Here he plays a Texan sheriff, Burt Sullivan, who sets off down south to Mexico looking for a sadistic bandit named Cisco Delgado (Suarez), who many years before had killed his father in front of him. His younger brother, Jim (Dell’Acqua), persuades Burt to let him tag along and they encounter a motley assortment of people enroute to their final destination, most of whom seem to want to kill them, resulting in lots of brawls, beatings and gunfights. When they finally catch up with their elusive quarry they discover things about their own past that they might have wished had stayed buried.
Texas, Adios is a competent, but very derivative western directed by Ferdinando Baldi, whose probably best known for the cult Western Blindman starring Ringo Starr of ‘The Beatles’ fame. The stunning cinephotography was done by Enzo Barboni, who was also involved with Django; oh, and also the not so well known Nightmare Castle.
The film features some great locations (in southern Spain), lots of close-ups of eyes and stubble (usually Nero’s), a fun surf guitar heavy score by Anton Abril (who also co-wrote the main song here, ‘Texas Addio’, with Don Powell), and more crazy horse stunts than you can shake a stick at.
On the negative side, the film does nothing new with the genre, and holds few surprises, and even the ‘twist’ at the end of the film, such as it is, is signposted from a mile off. The acting is okay-ish, although all the performances suffer due to the lacklustre dubbing that’s been forced upon all the actors, resulting in many having voices that really don’t suit those who are supposedly speaking the words! And there are inconsistences in the story, where things are allowed to happen, but in a stupid way just to keep the story rolling forward. For example, at one point the brothers are allowed to join the main bad dude’s slave collection posse enroute to his hideout, and the younger brother’s tirade against some of the henchman, after they shoot a bloke in cold blood, just gets shrugged off with no further comeback; it’s almost inconceivable that they wouldn’t also shoot Jim for giving them so much grief…
Arrow Video has done a good job with the film’s restoration resulting in a 2K scan taken from the original camera negative. However, there are a few brief shots where softer focus footage has been used, but I suspect that these were the only surviving elements for these scenes and Arrow didn’t have a choice but to use these inferior inserts.
Overall Texas, Adios is a worthwhile movie to watch if you’re a big fan of Westerns, but more casual observers might want to get their cinematic kicks from elsewhere.
Arrow Video is distributing Texas, Adios on Blu-ray. As per usual with Arrow Video there are some decent extras on the disc including:
Audio commentary with Spaghetti Western experts C. Courtney Joyner & Henry C. Parke;
The Sheriff is in town (20.5 mins) – A fairly recent interview with acting legend Franco Nero who thinks the film is more like an American Western in the way it’s shot and how it plays out, rather than like a spaghetti western. He also shares John Wayne’s advice to him about horse-riding, which is to always choose a smaller horse so the rider gets noticed by the camera more.
Jump into the West (34 mins) – An interview with actor and stuntman Alberto Dell’ Acqua, who reviews his past career, from him working in a circus to him becoming a stuntman and actor and then back to being a circus performer again. He tells us about some of the serious injuries he’s incurred working in the film industry (including breaking two vertebrae in his spine and almost dying of heatstroke), and his missing out on a lot of interesting films since he never had an agent.
That’s my life: Part 2 (9.5 mins) – An interview with co-writer Franco Rossetti where he reveals that he’d always wanted to become a film director but never had the lucky breaks so ended up doing the next best thing, writing scripts for other directors. We sadly learn at the end that Franco died in 2018 so this is probably his last recorded interview.
Hello Texas! (16.5 mins) – A newly filmed appreciation by spaghetti Westerns scholar Austin Fisher, where he takes the viewer through a potted history of the subgenre and explains why he thinks Texas, Adios is quite a significant Western.
Theatrical trailer (2.5 mins) – the trailer makes it sound like another Django film;
Image gallery of promotional art from the Mike Siegel archive that includes nine stills, 14 posters, 30 lobby cards, nine press cuttings, and seven home video covers for the film, including one under the film’s alternative title of Adios Django.