The Old West Comes Alive
Release Date: November 30, 2001
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Dylan
McDermott, Usher Raymond,
Ashton Kutcher, Rachel Leigh
Cook, Randy Travis, Vincent
Spano, & Tom Skerritt
Audience: Teenagers & adults
Rating: PG-13 for western violence
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: Dimension Films
Director: Steve Miner
Executive Producer: Bob Weinstein, Harvey
Weinstein & Cary Granat
Producer: Alan Greisman & Frank Price
Writer: Scott Busby & Martin Copeland
Address Comments To:
Bob Weinstein & Harvey Weinstein
99 Hudson Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 219-4100
Fax: (212) 941-3836
(CC, BBB, LL, VVV, A, M) Christian worldview with a strong moral message mitigated by strong western violence; 15 light obscenities & 6 light profanities used by the bad guys; lots of western violence but very little blood & gore such as several big battles where people get shot, several hangings, several point blank shootings, & threats of violence; no fornication, but brief kissing & chaste romance; natural upper male nudity with no erotic connotations; alcohol use & medicinal alcohol use; no smoking; and, lying rebuked & treachery rebuked.
TEXAS RANGERS is an old-fashioned western morality tale built on a strong Christian foundation but revealing the violence of the Old West. The low budget shows at times, but the leads do a good job with their roles, there is a clear storyline, and the characters are well-developed.
The movie opens with a voiceover telling the audience that the Texas Rangers were disbanded during the Civil War. After the war, the governor of Texas needs to re-commission them because bandits, who mostly Mexicans crossing the border, are terrorizing the settlers. The governor wants one man to head up the Rangers, Leander McNelly, who is a preacher and a lawman.
Leander, however, came home from the war to find that his wife and children had been killed by the bandits. Thus, he is not the same man who left for the Civil War; however, he eventually agrees to form a new unit.
One of the recruits is Lincoln Rogers Dunnison. The film shows Lincoln’s family being shot ruthlessly by bandits. Although Lincoln is an Easterner who can’t ride, rope or shoot, Leander accepts him into the Rangers because Lincoln can write English, French and Latin. Every night, Leander dictates his strategic briefings and reports to Lincoln.
The leader of the bandits is a Mexican with the Anglo name of John King Fisher. He is totally ruthless and is trying to goad the Mexican Army into reclaiming Texas by force. He draws the 30 Texas Rangers into a trap. Leander is devastated by the loss of many of his men. Instead of taking the prisoners to justice in Brownsville, he kills them. Lincoln objects.
Eventually good does triumph over evil, morality wins out, Leander rediscovers his Christian focus, and the meek inherit the earth.
Based on true stories, TEXAS RANGERS is an old-fashioned type of movie. It has a clear storyline, well-developed characters and a strong moral punch. It’s clear, however, that it was shot on a low budget. Although the leads do a good job with their roles, the thinness of the budget shows at times.
Even so, this movie could have reached a larger audience if it was marketed properly. Regrettably, it doesn’t seem to be marketed at all. Unlike most movies of this nature, which go into the dustbin of history, this movie should be rediscovered when it comes out on video by parents who want their children to see a more accurate portrait of the Old West.
How do we know that the portrait was more accurate? Well, for several reasons. One, my family settled in Texas during the early 1800s, along the Guadalupe River, and I’ve heard their stories since I was young. Many of them lived into their 90s and remember quite well the days of the frontier. Furthermore, in his career as a cowboy star, my father was friends with several of the stuntmen and character actors who were in fact cowboys who went to Hollywood when the ranges disappeared. My uncle Ira was on the last cattle drive from Texas to Oklahoma. These people understood that you could only survive in the Old West through a strong faith in God. They also understood the fallen nature of man. Unlike many contemporary westerns, which portray these people as immoral 21st Century hooligans, most of the real settlers were trying to create a better life and believed in the importance of establishing law, justice and a compassionate Christian culture.
In the movie, Lincoln stands up for all of us and brings Leander back to the Bible. It is unfortunate that these heroic tales are no longer appreciated. Perhaps they will be rediscovered in the future.
TEXAS RANGERS is an old-fashioned western morality tale built on a strong Christian foundation, but revealing the violence of the Old West. After the Civil war, the Texas governor wants one man to head up the reconstituted Texas Rangers, Leander McNelly, who is a preacher and a lawman. Leander hires Lincoln Rogers Dunnison to write down his strategic briefings and reports. A Mexican bandit tries to goad the Mexican Army into taking Texas back by force. When he draws 30 Texas Rangers into a trap, Leander kills some prisoners rather than bring them back to justice. Lincoln objects. Eventually, good triumphs over evil, morality wins out, Leander rediscovers his Christian focus, and the meek inherit the earth.
TEXAS RANGERS is an old-fashioned type of movie. It has a clear storyline, well-developed characters and a strong moral punch. It’s clear, however, that it was shot on a low budget. Although the leads do a good job with their roles, the thinness of the budget shows at times. Based on true stories, this movie should be rediscovered when it comes out on video by parents who want their children to see a more accurate portrait of the Old West