Texas, Adios Blu-ray Review
Blu-ray Release: November 19, 2018 (UK standalone disc), June 1, 2021 (Double-feature with US Django 4K UHD/BDs)
Audio: Italian and English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
Run Time: 92:04
Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Sheriff Burt Sullivan (Franco Nero) and his younger brother, Jim (Alberto Dell'Acqua), journey to Mexico to hunt down the sadistic bandit Cisco Delgado (José Suárez) and avenge their father’s murder. When they fall in with a group of Mexican revolutionaries, the stage is set for a violent climactic confrontation… (From Arrow’s original synopsis)
Among the possibly hundreds of European westerns to carry the name “Django” in their title in some capacity, there were at least 30 that claimed to be a sequel to Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 film. Within that pool, only one, Ted Archer’s Django Strikes Again (Italian: Django 2 – Il grande ritorno, 1987), counts in any official capacity. Most filmmakers barely made an effort to connect their plotlines to the original, which itself owes a lot to Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961). Ferdinando Baldi’s Django Prepare a Coffin (Italian: Preparati la bara! and aka: Viva Django!, 1968) is one of very few exceptions that actually works as an extension of Corbucci’s film’s narrative, though it’s a prequel, rather than a sequel. Prepare a Coffin was developed by Django producer Manolo Bolognini and written by Django co-writer Franco Rossetti. It was even intended as part of a three film deal that Django star Franco Nero had with Bolognini. But Nero ditched the deal for a brief stint in Hollywood (John Huston’s The Bible: In the Beginning…, 1966, and Joshua Logan’s Camelot, 1967) and he was replaced by Terence Hill (aka: Mario Girotti), effectively launching the future superstar’s career.
Before all of that, Nero did end up making one western with both Baldi and Bolognini, Texas, Adios (Italian: Texas, addio, 1966), which became one of the first Italian westerns to be retitled in certain territories and upon re-release to imply it was an official Django sequel. Shot and released directly after Django and Lucio Fulci’s Massacre Time (Italian: Le colt cantarono la morte e fu... tempo di massacro; aka: The Brute and the Beast, 1966), Texas, Adios was essentially the last chance Italian producers had to cash in on Nero’s fame without having to pay post-Django prices. It was also made at a time when the Italian western was still discovering its identity, branching out from mimicking Hollywood revisionism and Sergio Leone into explicitly political Zapata westerns, surrealistic westerns, and (in the wake of Django in particular) westerns that accounted for Gothic and horror traditions. Because the spaghetti western fad moved so quickly, movies like Texas, Adios, which were still stuck in the traditional western mode, are difficult to isolate from the greater canon. As such, it’s not the best place for novice fans to begin if they really want to understand what makes Italian westerns click.
Still, Texas, Adios is one of the better ‘generic’ spaghetti westerns from this period, because Baldi’s slick and exciting direction counteracts much of the generic screenplay (written by Baldi and Franco Rossetti). Things kick off with a bang as a massive shootout plays over the opening credits and, so long as he’s focusing on stunts, chases, and (largely bloodless, but consistently sadistic) violence, Baldi keeps ahead of the boilerplate plot. In addition, cinematographer Enzo Barboni’s gorgeous photography rivals that of many beloved early spaghettis, offering up massive production value, despite the lack of budget or access to unique locations. Both director and cinematographer went on to bigger and better westerns as the genre entered its second and third phases. Among Baldi’s highlights were the aforementioned Django, Prepare a Coffin, the brutal Hate Thy Neighbor (Italian: Odia il prossimo tuo, 1968), and three collaborations with actor Tony Anthony: Blindman (1971 – the second loose spaghetti western adaptation of the long-running blind samurai-themed Zatoichi series, following Corbucci’s Minnesota Clay ), Get Mean (aka: Beat a Dead Horse and Time Breaker, 1975), and the extravagant, 3D American co-production, Comin’ at Ya! (1981). Barboni later graduated from cinematographer to direct the groundbreaking western comedy, They Call Me Trinity (Italian: Lo chiamavano Trinità…, 1971), and was hand-picked by Leone to co-direct My Name Is Nobody (Italian: Il mio nome è Nessuno, 1973).
Texas, Adios may have been relegated to the recycling bin of history as little more than a faux-Django sequel, had it not been rescued from obscurity by Anchor Bay, who put it out on anamorphic DVD alongside Damiano Damiani’s Bullet for the General (Italian: El Chuncho, Quien Sabe?, 1966), Corbucci’s Compañeros Blu-ray (Italian: Vamos a Matar Compañeros, 1970), Fulci’s Four of The Apocalypse (Italian: I quattro dell'apocalisse, 1975), and Enzo G. Castellari’s Keoma (1976), both as a standalone disc and as part of the Once Upon A Time In Italy: The Spaghetti Western Collection set. As tended to happen, the disc was recycled by Blue Underground when founder Bill Lustig left Anchor Bay. Of those five films, Blue Underground retained rights to two for Blu-ray upgrade, while Arrow landed two: Keoma and, obviously, Texas, Adios. The Arrow Blu-ray features a 2K scan of the original camera negative and is a sizable upgrade over the perfectly acceptable DVD. Most of the notable artifacts can be attributed to the condition of the negatives (such as the random dot, scratch, or emulsion streak) or Barboni’s delicate anamorphic photography, which has occasional issues with chromatic aberration or focus pulling. Grain quality appears largely natural (if not occasionally mushy) and details are reasonably tight without edge enhancement, but the image’s biggest improvements are in color quality and dynamic range. This helps the brighter scenes pop and to differentiate objects during nighttime sequences.
Originally, Arrow planned on including Texas, Adios as a special feature on their remastered Django 4K UHD/BD, but found themselves wrapped up in a legal battle for the release rights to Django for almost three years. Texas, Adios was a bit of collateral damage and, until very recently, could only be purchased via the UK. Considering the effort put into this restoration, I assume there will eventually be a solo release in the US.
Texas, Adios comes fitted with English and Italian language LPCM 1.0 soundtracks. As a reminder, the Italian westerns were shot without synced sound, often with international casts who are speaking multiple languages on-set. All language tracks are dubbed and the choice as to which dub to listen to can change from film to film and is largely one of personal taste. As in the case of Django and Massacre Time, Nero did not dub himself on either track and the English voiceover is particularly wrong for the actor/character. In terms of one track sounding better than another, the results are typical, with the English dub sounding slightly more balanced and featuring less dialogue hiss. Anton Abril’s Morricone-esque score is a highlight in both cases. The music works as a subtle underscore and as a big, brash exclamation point.
Commentary with author/journalists/filmmaker C. Courtney Joyner (also the screenwriter of From a Whisper to a Scream , Prison , and Doctor Mordrid ) and True West Magazine contributor/screenwriter Henry Parke – Joyner and Parke, who can also be heard on Blue Underground’s Compañeros Blu-ray and Grindhouse Releasing’s The Big Gundown Blu-ray (Italian: La Resa dei Conti; Sergio Sollima, 1966), talk about the making of the film, its cast & crew’s larger careers, context in the spaghetti western canon, similarities to American-made revisionist westerns, and the things that make it definitively European, despite what people like myself and Nero (see below) say.
The Sheriff is in Town (20:19, HD) – Franco Nero refers to Texas, Adios as the only “typically American” western he ever made in Italy, then recalls the production processes, playing a lawman, (re)meeting Clint Eastwood at an Oscar party, and experiences with the cast & crew.
Jump into the West (33:46, HD) – Co-star Alberto Dell'Acqua chats at length about his work as an actor, stuntman, and acrobat, from his earliest gigs, through Texas, Adios and other westerns.
That's My Life, Part 2 (9:19, HD) – The second part of an archival interview with co-writer Franco Rossetti. Part 1 is included with Arrow’s Django 4K UHD and Blu-ray.
Hello, Texas! (16:24, HD) – Spaghetti western scholar and author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema (I.B. Tauris, 2014) Austin Fisher discusses Texas, Adios’ sort of middle-child status in the Eurowestern pantheon.
Image Galleries – Stills, posters, lobby cards, press, home video
The images on this page are taken from the BD and sized for the page. Larger versions can be viewed by clicking the images. Note that there will be some JPG compression.