Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Critics Rave: A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS (1976)

To celebrate the first home video release of Jack Starrett's A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS in its proper Panavision 2.35:1 aspect ratio (available now from the MGM Special Edition DVD-R library), and to observe the 23rd anniversary of Starrett's passing (March 27, 1989), we've collected a few review quotes from the film's theatrical release.

“A pleasantly jolting surprise, A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS is a reminder that an unpretentious movie, cleverly made, can be one of the true pleasures of filmgoing.”
                                                    --After Dark

“…a tightly paced little melodrama distinguished by excellent acting.”
                                                    -- Louisville Courier-Journal

"The fine acting by Bottoms and Hopkins as two strong egos pitted against each other puts this film a notch above others of the genre."
                                                    -- Boxoffice

“While it deserves a generous helping of abuse for its all-around shoddiness, ‘A Small Town in Texas’ has a curious sort of appeal.”
                                                    -- Grand Rapids Press

"...starts off as a potentially interesting modern western character study, but veers off into cheap B-picture elements."
                                                    -- Variety

“If you dig action films with chase scenes, like to see cars smashed up, don’t mind beatings and stompings and want to see the cops get what’s coming to them, this is probably your cup of tea.”
                                                    -- Albuquerque Journal

“…addresses itself to the corruption of a sheriff and the destruction of so many cop cars with their flashing lights that you begin to wonder if Texas has any left.”
                                                    -- New York Post

“For a small town in Texas, they sure have a well-equipped police force. At least that’s what this reviewer thought after watching an even dozen cop cars bite the dust during the 90 minute running time.”
                                  -- John H. Fahey, Charleston News and Courier

“The best performances are those by the crashing police cars.”
                                                    -- Boston Globe

“…long on screeching tires and short on believability.”
                                                    -– Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

“I’m just a crushed fender or two away from grouping these car crash epics along with pornos, kung-fu flicks and blaxploitation on my Don’t Even Bother to Review list.”
                                                    -- Eric Gerber, Houston Post

“…another piece of grisly trash…wastes its not inconsiderable talents in a deplorably brutal way.”
                                                -- Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

“All you need to know about the story are the first names of some of its characters: Poke, Duke, Boogie, Lenny, Cleotus, Tiny, Bull, Junior.”
                                                    -- Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

“A few questions remain, as we slog through what looks like a long, hot summer of Good Ol’ Movies. Are all Southern lawmen inevitably corrupt, venal, sadistic and bad drivers? Do Southern girls ALL look wide-eyed and clean-scrubbed and have two first names? Is it a union requirement that one bluegrass band appear in every film?”
                                                    -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

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