20 September 2006 | bkoganbing
Testosterone Driven Men
4 for Texas is a much reduced Rat Pack film with only Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin representing the swinging group. But they each got girls here and what girls with Anita Ekberg and Ursula Andress paired with Sinatra and Dino respectively.
The film opens up with an attempted stagecoach holdup with Frank Sinatra riding shotgun on top and Dean Martin as one sharp shooting passenger killing six bandits of Charles Bronson's gang. Of course they don't get off Scot free because the driver and another passenger were killed.
The stage is carrying $100,000.00 of Sinatra's money which Martin eventually winds up with. And when he gets to Galveston he invests it in the posh gambling establishment Sinatra was hoping to open.
You've got two other guys who are working their angles, conniving banker Victor Buono and Charles Bronson. Their scenes together remind me a whole lot of This Gun for Hire with Laird Cregar and Alan Ladd as the businessman and the killer he hired. At least Buono though he'd have liked to, had more sense than Cregar and wasn't about to pull a double-cross on Bronson.
Of course Ekberg and Andress realize their men should be allies instead of enemies. But testosterone keeps getting in the way until the two women kind of force an alliance.
4 for Texas is funny in many spots, not as good as the ultimate Rat Pack film Ocean's 11. Of the two of them Dino has the better performance, he's far funnier naturally which his former partner Jerry Lewis never tired of pointing out. And of course Dean gets to perform with the Three Stooges which is like working with three Jerrys.
There's a small cameo inside the gambling ship with Arthur Godfrey. He was one of the biggest names in television back in the Fifties, but anyone born after 1956 will not have the foggiest idea who that is or why we should be laughing there.
Though 4 for Texas is fine, maybe it would have been nice to have given Dino or Old Blue Eyes a song to sing. Even Ocean's 11 had both Dean and Sammy Davis, Jr. singing.