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Texasville large.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Bogdanovich
Produced by
Screenplay byPeter Bogdanovich
Based onTexasville
by Larry McMurtry
CinematographyNicholas Josef von Sternberg
Edited byRichard Fields
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 28, 1990 (1990-09-28)
Running time
126 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$18 million[1]
Box office$2.3 million[2]

Texasville is a 1990 American drama film written and directed by Peter Bogdanovich. Based on the 1987 novel Texasville by Larry McMurtry, it is a sequel to The Last Picture Show (1971), and features Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Timothy Bottoms, Randy Quaid, and Eileen Brennan reprising their roles from the original film.

Texasville is in color, while The Last Picture Show was filmed in black and white. The film received mixed reviews from critics, holding a 55% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes,[3] and did not do well at the box office, grossing just $2 million against its $18 million budget.


In 1984, 33 years after the events depicted in The Last Picture Show, 50-year-old Duane Jackson (Bridges) is a wealthy tycoon of a near-bankrupt oil company. His relationship with his family is not prospering. His wife, Karla (Annie Potts), believes that Duane is cheating on her, and his son, Dickie (William McNamara), seems to be following in his father's libidinous footsteps.

Ruth Popper (Cloris Leachman) works as Duane's secretary, and despondent Lester Marlow (Quaid), now a businessman, seems a prime candidate for a business crisis, a heart attack, or both.

Sonny Crawford's (Bottoms) increasingly erratic behaviour causes Duane concern over Sonny's mental health.

Jacy Farrow (Shepherd) has travelled the world and experienced its pleasures. A painful tragedy brings her back to her hometown and once again into Duane's life.




The novel was published in 1987. Cybill Shepherd was attached to the project as early as late 1986. She was then starring in the popular TV series Moonlighting.[4] Peter Bogdanovich expressed interest in directing in January 1987.[5]

""I guess what decided it for me is that it's rare in one's career to be given the opportunity to go back in time and recapture something that's important in your career, and in your life," he said. "And to approach it from another angle, to find a new way of looking at the same thing."[6]

"It seemed to me impossible to turn my back on something that was in a way personal to me," he said, "because certainly Larry had to have been influenced in the writing of Texasville by the movie. I mean, the book is dedicated to Cybill Shepherd. It just seemed that it would be ungrateful, or in some way churlish, not to attempt to deal with these people and these themes."[7]

In April 1987 Dino De Laurentiis who was making a film with Bogdanovich, Illegally Yours, paid a reported $750,000 for the film rights. The movie would be made with Bogdanovich, Shepherd and Jeff Bridges.[8]

In July 1987 Bogdanovich said they were discussing the film with several studios and planned to make the movie during a Moonlighting hiatus.[9] However, by September de Laurentiis was in financial trouble. The director said he and Shepherd "both want to make the movie, but everything is now up in the air... We have no idea when we'll make the movie - or where. Everything could get straightened out, but right now it's in limbo."[10] In November 1987 it was reported that De Laurentiis did not want to make the movie with Bogdanovich but Shepherd insisted he be director, so the producer sold the rights to Bogdanovich.[11]

In October 1988 Bogdanovich was discussing the project with the original stars of Picture Show and said he was hopeful for the sequel to go ahead.[12]

Bogdanvich said he asked McMurtry to help him with the script "but he was too busy writing novels. "And anyway, Larry tends to get bored with his books once he's written them; he really doesn't like to go back and work on a book." So the director did the adaptation. "The big problem was to figure out how to cut it down and what to emphasize," he said. "You could strip it of the comedy and have the very serious picture. The problem with the first draft was that it was a little bit too serious."[13]

Bogdanovich said a few companies, including Carolco Pictures, had expressed interest in the movie but "There certainly was some reluctance in this town about this project. I don't know that it was specifically me, but it was a difficult project."[14]

"The studios thought there wasn't enough of a narrative thread to the book," he added. "I thought there was a plot, and it was what happened to Jeff Bridges' character! Duane and everyone around him as he prepares for the town's centennial."[15]

Finance eventually came from Nelson Entertainmenet and Cine Source. It would be Cine Source's first production.[16] The company arranged finance from various investors for $24 million, which covered production, promotion and advertising costs; in exchange Cine Source took 25.5% of the gross after distribution fees and certain other costs are deducted. "How it will do critically and how it will do at the box office, no one can guess," said Cine-Source President Robert Whitmore. "But it's a great motion picture and we have every reason to believe it's going to be an enormous success."[14]

Filming was meant to begin in February 1989 but was pushed back.[17]

It was decided to make the movie in Archer City again. "The bad taste that the movie left for some folks, that's gone now," said the high-school principal, Nat Lunn. "Especially with money being short in town, they're ready for another dose of Hollywood."[18]

"Texasville is about certain aspects of my life," said Bogdanovich. "But those characters are really Larry's characters. And I feel empathy and sympathy and interest in them as human beings."[19]

He added the film was "more chaotic, less structured, more fragmented, more insane, more desperate [than Picture Show]. There's something intrinsically tragic about coming-of-age. But there's something inherently funny about a mid-life crisis. It can be sad, but not tragic. I think `Texasville' will be lighter on the surface, but down below even sadder."[6]

The original movie cost $1.3 million. For the sequel, Shepherd's fee was $1.5 million and Bridges was paid $1.75 million. Tim Bottoms only agreed to make the film once Nelson Entertainment financed a $100,000 documentary by Bottoms about the making of the film. "I didn't want to do this movie, because I don't like any of the people in it," said Bottoms. "I didn't like `The Last Picture Show.' I didn't like the script. I didn't like the people I was working with. I didn't like the way they treated each other - without compassion or care. I felt like I saw Hollywood at its worst."[6]


Filming began August 1989.[20]

Bridges put on 35 pounds to play his role. ""I usually approach a role by figuring out what the guy I'm playing looks like physically," he said. "Then I try to mold my body along those lines. Duane, after all, was 10 years older than I am. I needed weight for the age factor and for the shape he would be in after the kind of food he must have been eating. I put on 35 pounds, getting my weight up to about 210. The weight was uncomfortable. I didn't feel well, which is enough reason to keep my weight down. But it was worth it because it helped me believe in Duane."[21]

Annie Potts was filming episodes of Designing Women during the shoot and had to commute from Los Angeles to the location every week.[22]

While making the movie, a documentary was being made about The Last Picture Show called Picture This directed by George Hickenlooper.

"The most difficult thing about filming Texasville was confronting everything that has happened in my own life," Bogdanovich said. "I expected my own ghost to walk around the corner and say, 'Hey, things have changed since you were 31, haven't they, bub?"'[23]

"Everything was totally different," Bogdanovich said. "And yet the essential things remained. We all liked and respected one another."[23]

Before the film was released the director said "The picture I think has a kind of rhythm to it. Thomas Hardy said character is plot. This is really a character-driven piece. There is a plot and you do wonder how it's going to turn out with these characters. I don't think you know until the very last scene what's going to happen with Jacy and Duane and Karla."[13]

Release and reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Texasville performed poorly at the box office. It opened at number eleven making $900,000.[24] It made 2.2 million its first 38 days. The budget was reportedly $20 million.

One exhibitor said he felt the film "was destined to die. It was a picture, from the word go, that all the reports we heard were negative. It didn't screen well, there were problems with the story, problems with Bogdanovich. Originally there were reports they couldn't sign Timothy Bottoms. I just don't think that there was anything more that they could have done. It just was not a good motion picture."[25]

The film could also have been hurt by the fact that The Last Picture Show was one of the few major films of the last 20 years not available on VHS. It was only released after Texasville. "It took a great deal of trouble to get the video rights for the 28 songs that are in The Last Picture Show," Bogdanovich said. "During the time that Columbia was owned by Coca-Cola, they didn't want to reissue it because it contains so many references to Dr. Pepper. But the current Columbia hierarchy is very supportive of the video release."[23]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 55% with the critic consensus: "An impressive array of talent on either side of the camera helps compensate for Texasville's inability to live up to its classic predecessor, but it isn't quite enough."[26] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "C+" on scale of A+ to F.[27]


In 1992 Bogdanovich recut the film for the Movie Channel so it ran 28 minutes longer. "This is the way `Texasville' should have been seen when it was originally released," he said. "We had to take out a lot of the dramatic scenes between Jeff (Bridges) and Cybill and between Jeff and Timothy Bottoms. There was also a wonderful scene at the Centennial when Cybill sings a hymn. The balance between comedy and drama was off, so when the movie turned out to be a drama, people were thrown. Whereas the correct version, the longer version, has a better balance." Bogdanovoch said the film was originally cut "under a lot of pressure. It didn't turn out like we wanted -- at all. It was rather sad. So now we're glad to have this second chance."[19]


  1. ^ Robert Medley (September 11, 1989). "Town Real to Reel Archer City Says Cheese To Film Sequel". News OK. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Texasville (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  3. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/texasville/
  4. ^ SHEPHERD JOINS `PICTURE SHOW' SEQUEL; FILM DELAY THWARTS LANE: New York Daily News. Sun Sentinel 19 Dec 1986: 20.
  5. ^ $4.5-million ransom to 'save' preacher: [FINAL Edition] Camilli, Doug. The Gazette; 15 Jan 1987: D8.
  6. ^ a b c THE RETURN TO TEXASVILLE By Nina J. Easton. Los Angeles Times.16 Oct 1989: 04.
  7. ^ Deep in the heart of bogdanovich By John Anderson. Newsday 23 Sep 1990.
  8. ^ NY CLIPS Finally, another movie... We're waiting, Mr. Kubrick O'Toole, Lawrence. The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]03 Apr 1987: D.3.
  9. ^ Plastic surgeons' noses are out of joint over `Roxanne' Series: Headliners: [CITY Edition] St. Petersburg Times; 20 July 1987: 2D.
  10. ^ `Last Picture Show' sequel shaky: Beck, Marilyn. St. Petersburg Times 15 Sep 1987: 3D.
  11. ^ Bit actress puts squeeze on Danza: [Final Edition] Camilli, Doug. The Gazette 21 Nov 1987: J3.
  12. ^ Big plans for `Texasville': [FINAL Edition] Williams, Jeannie. USA TODAY 26 Oct 1988: 02D.
  13. ^ a b Sequel lures Bogdanovich back to Texas: [FINAL Edition] MacCambridge, Michael. Austin American Statesman 28 Sep 1990: 5.
  14. ^ a b Apodaca, Patrice (7 August 1990). "Financing the 'Next Picture Show' When Major Studios Balked, Tiny Cine-Source Put Itself on the Line". Los Angeles Times. p. 9A.
  15. ^ THE NEXT PICTURE SHOW Sequel to a tragic past: Peter Bogdanovich looks beyond fame, failure, passion and death Schruers, Fred. The Globe and Mail 7 Sep 1990: P.84.
  16. ^ Cine-Source Stock Falls as `Texasville' Falters Los Angeles Times 16 Oct 1990: 9C.
  17. ^ LA CLIPS Tried and true: teamwork on the set Deans, Laurie. The Globe and Mail; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]24 Mar 1989: C.3.
  18. ^ 1st picture show won't be town's last: [FINAL Edition] Lamb, David. Austin American Statesman; Austin, Tex. [Austin, Tex]06 July 1989: F3.
  19. ^ a b RIBBON OF DREAMS SURVIVING PERSONAL NIGHTMARE HELPS DIRECTOR REGAIN FOCUS: [THIRD Edition] Longsdorf, Amy. Morning Call; Allentown, Pa. [Allentown, Pa]05 Apr 1992: F01.
  20. ^ MOVIES: [Home Edition 1] Puig, Claudia. Los Angeles Times 17 July 1989: 2.
  21. ^ Bridges Plays `The Heavy' in New Film: [P.M. Final Edition] Los Angeles Times 27 Aug 1990: 10.
  22. ^ Annie Potts: Deep in the Heart of `Texasville' Movies: Los Angeles Times 28 Sep 1990: 17.
  23. ^ a b c Bogdanovich man of myth: [1* Edition] Wuntch, Philip. The Province 3 Oct 1990: 52.
  24. ^ `Pacific Heights' Tops Box Office; `GoodFellas' 2nd Movies: `Ghost,' third place in ticket sales, shows no signs of dying.: [P.M. Final Edition] BROESKE, PAT H. Los Angeles Times (1 Oct 1990: 10.
  25. ^ Trouble with `Texasville' // Theories abound on why Bogdanovich film failed at box office: [FINAL Edition] MacCambridge, Michael. Austin American Statesman; Austin, Tex. [Austin, Tex]30 Nov 1990: 6.
  26. ^ "Texasville (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.

External links[edit]