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A young widower named Sam Crockett returns from Kansas City to his small hometown in rural Texas, bringing with him his feisty grandfather and two young sons, Steve and Yoyo. He tries to make a go of the old family homestead but faces financial problems and pressures from his well-to-do neighbor, Rod Marshall. He also begins an on-again-off-again romance with Rod's sister-in-law, even though she's engaged to wed the town's doctor. Events come to head when Sam's grandfather suffers a stroke. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
A "modern" western by a specialist of the genre,"return of the Texan" is an endearing film,if only for its simplicity and for Dudley Nichols's interesting script.The writer walks a fine line between drama and a happy-go-lucky attitude,epitomized by the rather dull hero (the Texan who returns home after his wife's death in the city) and his reckless grandpa ,roguishly portrayed by Walter Brennan.The generation gap in reverse.Besides ,every time the plot seems to turn tragic (shots in the woods,the old man's stroke,the threat of seizure -the banker's letter is not what we expect-),dramatic impact is immediately defused.The rivalry between the hick and the doctor always remains friendly,never the two men show any animosity or hard feelings.The villain,Richard Boone,is the only real flaw of the story,the part being underwritten to a fault:what's even more puzzling is that the wealthy woman he married ,Joanne Dru's sister, never appears :she's probably dead (?) but , except at the beginning ,the characters never make the slightest allusion to her.
The tragedy only happens at the very end ,but all in all ,it's not really one,after all,c'est la vie.The next to last scene is the best:Delmer Daves' s love for nature -which was radiant in "broken arrow"-shines as grandpa explains to his two little boys,Steve and "Yo-Yo" how precious life is.
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