There’s been some speculation on this one. Is it actually coming? Will it be widescreen? Has Fox dumped it MOD program? Movies Unlimited now has it listed for pre-order with a release date of December 16. And they say it’ll be widescreen — good news, since the CinemaScope picture is unwatchable pan-and-scan.
From Hell To Texas (1958, also known at The Hell Bent Kid and The Manhunt) is a very good late-50s Western from Henry Hathaway, one that has never received the attention it deserves. Don Murray is excellent as the young man on the run, and he’s backed by a terrific cast: Diane Varsi, Chill Wills, Dennis Hopper, R.G. Armstrong and Jay C. Flippen.
This is the film that lead to Dennis Hopper being blackballed in Hollywood for nearly 10 years.
Dennis Hopper: “[Hathaway]’d give you line readings. I was now trying to ‘live in the moment’ and doing things without preconceived ideas, and I walked off the picture three times on location. He’d beg me to come back… So the last day on the picture… He said ‘We’re gonna do this scene till you do it my way’… we started about eight o’clock in the morning. Around eleven at night, after 85 takes, I finally cracked, and said ‘Okay, tell me what you want to do.’ I did it, then I walked out. It wasn’t like somebody sent a black ball around after that, but word got around that I wasn’t somebody you wanted to work with. Soon after that, I was dropped from my contract at Warner Bros. I went back to New York and I studied with Strasberg for five years. I didn’t have another major role in a studio picture for nearly 10 years, until Hathaway hired me again for The Sons Of Katie Elder in ’65.”*
* From an interview that appeared in Venice magazine.