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Tales from the Picture Show

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Texas Monthly, that always fine bastion of calm, rational journalism, has teamed up with the Alamo Draft House, the Vince Young of movie theaters, to compile the ten greatest Texas films of all time. This list (No Country For Bad Movies) forms the lineup for this year's Rolling Road Show. Which is to say, they're rolling a projector, a screen and a sound system out to locations from the films and showing them on-site.

Their list, because you're really too lazy to go look for yourself:

The Searchers, Ft. Parker, June 3

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Kingsland, June 4

Blood Simple, Austin, June 5

Hud, Claude, June 11

Red River, Ft. Worth, June 17

Bonnie and Clyde, Pilot Point, June 18

Tender Mercies, Waxahachie, June 19

No Country for Old Men, Marfa, June 24

Giant, Marfa, Jun 25

The Last Picture Show, Archer City, July 1

And, all kidding aside, as a huge fan of both Texas and film, go see them.


Seriously. Go see the freaking things.

I know a third generation OU grad who says she wants to go to all these screenings. So your effing Texanness is on the line, dog. Nut up. Go see them.

That said, there's a whole lot of the summer left after July 1. And there's a whole lot of Texas movies out there that need the Rolling Road Show treatment. So I'd propose these additions.

Fandango, The Giant set in Marfa. I won't lie. When I saw this first heard of this list, this is the film I knew they were going to leave off. And I knew I was going to want to argue about its inclusion. Then I took a good look at their list. I love this film. The scene with the car and the train might have the best comedic timing of any scene ever put on film. But it's #11. The top 10's that good.

Also, as Sailor Ripley says so very often, "We could see the Donkey Lady!"

Apollo 13, Johnson Space Center. Houston has a problem. But enough about the Astros. Hey, sorry New York got your space shuttle and all. Have a nice night at the movies instead? Maybe some popcorn? No hard feelings?

The Alamo, The Alamo. I mean ... you have to. You. Just. Have. To. It's John Wayne. It's a line in the sand. It's the most Texan story anyone ever imagined. And, as I learned last week, the spot where Colonel Travis penned his famous letter is now Ripley's Believe It or Not. Which is the most San Antonio story anyone ever imagined.

Friday Night Lights, Throw a dart at a map of West Texas. When you look at the triad of the book, the movie and the TV series, this is clearly the weakest of the three. But if this doesn't drip Texas from every pore for every second it's on screen, I'm sorry for your horrible upbringing.

And while the easy answer is screening this in Odessa's Ratliff Stadium, the beauty of this film is, it's the story of every single town west of I-35 in Texas that's big enough to have a high school.

North Dallas Forty, The Wreckage of Texas Stadium. "Every time I say it's a game, you tell me it's a business. Every time I say it's a business, you tell me it's a game." Reminds me of an advertising career. But I digress. Bonus points for getting everyone's favorite Texas Ex, Dabney Coleman to this impressive list.

Dazed and Confused, Zilker Park Moontower. The summer between my senior year and my super senior year, my roommate and I must have watched this movie 78 times. What's worse, we rented it every time. Holy shit we were dumb. I also seem to recall the Moontower at Zilker not being the one in the film. But it's clearly the best for a crowd. So deal with it.

Also, on a side note, I was once in the suite next to Matthew McConaughey at a Texas football game. He'd been drinking a little bit, and ... well, I didn't want him to feel like he was drinking alone. So he comes over to introduce himself to us our ladies. He's made his way around the room when he gets to me. Now, having seen Dazed and Confused so many times, I could tell you that Melba Toast was packing four-eleven positrack out back. Seven-fifty double pumper. Edelbrock intake, bored over thirty, eleven to one pop up pistons. Turbo jet, three ninety horse power. We're talking some fuckin' muscle.

So he gets to me and I say, "Wooderson. You back here at the football field, trying to relive your old glory days?"

That's still in my top 50 most embarrassing moments at a Texas football game.

Reality Bites, Pick a liberal arts classroom at Rice. Yeah, it's a hackneyed tale whose themes were better told in Austin's own Slacker, but it's got one thing Slacker didn't have.

Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Kyle Field. Because this list needs a documentary.