A Small Town in Texas (1976)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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This car-chase programmer doesn't reinvent the genre but it delivers the goods in a way likely to please fans. The best element of A Small Town In Texas is its familiar, lived-in feel: writer William Norton and director Jack Starrett were both old hands at this sort of film and they dish it out with a craftsman's confidence. Norton's script captures the cadence of Southern dialogue with skill and anchors the often pulpy storyline with convincing small-town details. Starrett gives the film a sleek visual touch and takes obvious delight in his chase sequences, which are meticulously constructed and pack a wallop. He also gets good performances from his cast that flesh out the story's archetypal characters: Timothy Bottoms brings a nice devil-may-care charm to the film's brave but reckless hero and Bo Hopkins finds plenty of dark shadings beneath the good ol' boy exterior of the duplicitous sheriff. Susan George gets less to work with as the woman in the middle but she brings high levels of commitment and emotional intensity to her work that make her fascinating to watch. All in all, A Small Town In Texas is a solid drive-in-style outing that will take viewers back to the glory days of southern-fried b-movies.