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Texas Lightning (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Gary Graver (written by)
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Release Date:
June 1981 (USA) See more »
They're stormin' on the taverns... thunderin' over the roads... and just plain having a good ol' time!
A rough and tough macho truck driver decides to make his soft son more of a man by taking him hunting. They go on a holiday and go to a honky-tonk bar where the younger man falls in love with a burned out waitress. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Wait for the director's cut See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Cameron Mitchell ... Karl Stover
Cameron Mitchell Jr. ... Buddy Owen (as Channing Mitchell)

Maureen McCormick ... Fay

Peter Jason ... Frank Whitman
Jean Clark ... Leonard Simpson (as J.L. Clark)
Hope Holiday ... Mrs. Stover
Charles Dierkop ... Walt
Adam Wade ... Highway Patrolman
Danone Camden ... Donna
Sandy Charles ... Young Filly
Richard Vincent ... Roy
April Sommers ... Loretta
Tao ... Tao
David Rini ... Donna's Lover
Gary Law ... Man in Bar
Susy Martin ... Wet T-Shirt Girl
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lisa De Leeuw ... Lisa, Wet T-Shirt Contest Winner (uncredited)
Gary Graver ... Wet T-Shirt Contest Emcee (uncredited)

R. Michael Stringer ... Bar Brawler (uncredited)

Directed by
Gary Graver 
Writing credits
Gary Graver (written by)

Produced by
Sandy Charles .... associate producer
Hope Holiday .... associate producer
Jim Sotos .... producer
Edward L. Montoro .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Tommy Vig 
Cinematography by
Gary Graver (photographed by)
Bruce M. Pasternack (photographed by) (as Bruce Pastarnack)
Film Editing by
Drake Silliman 
Makeup Department
Dana Wolski .... hair stylist
Dana Wolski .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicole Scott .... assistant director
Art Department
Karen Kornbaum .... props
Sound Department
Anna R. Delanzo .... sound mixer (as Anna De Lanzo)
Mary Jo Devenney .... boom operator (as Mary Jo Devenny)
Jeff Gall .... sound effects editor
Charles McCann .... sound effects editor
Chuck Neely .... sound effects editor
John Roesch .... foley artist (as John B. Roesch)
Kendrick Sweet .... sound effects editor (as Ken Sweet)
Special Effects by
Roger George .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Carin Abramson .... still photographer
Vincent Baldino .... assistant camera (as Vince Baldino)
David Kane .... best boy
Jono Kouzouyan .... lighting gaffer
Bruce M. Pasternack .... camera operator (as Bruce Pastarnack)
Michael Uva .... best boy
Doug Wood .... key grip
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Val McDade .... wardrobe
Other crew
Sam Abbott .... production assistant
Penny James .... visual consultant
Bill Johnson .... production assistant
Walter Kane .... production assistant
Mark McNulty .... dog trainer
Paulette Pasternack .... script supervisor (as Paulette Pastarnack)
Liz Shaner .... production assistant
Helen Sotirakis .... special assistant to producer
Janet Van Ham .... production assistant
Christopher Canaan .... special thanks
Stephen G. Cheikes .... special thanks (as Stephen Cheikes)
Jon Davison .... special thanks
Michael Ferris .... special thanks
Jim Gillespie .... special thanks
Jeff Graver .... special thanks
Glenn Jacobson .... special thanks
Jeff Krebsbach .... special thanks
Carl Porcello .... special thanks
Lowell Steiger .... special thanks
R. Michael Stringer .... special thanks (as Michael Stringer)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The original version of Texas Lightning was a serious drama called "The Boys", which producer Edward L. Montoro forced director Gary Graver to re-cut and shoot additional comedic footage for. The new version was released to the theaters as Texas Lightning, while the original cut of the boys remains officially unreleased to this day. An illegitimate video was released in Finland in the early 90's. There might also be other European bootleg editions.See more »
Errors in geography: Nearly all the vehicles in this movie have California license plates, even though it's supposed to take place in Texas.See more »
Mama Don't Let Your Cowboys Grow Up to Be BabiesSee more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Wait for the director's cut, 23 February 2008
Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile

A misguided father (Cameron Mitchell) wants to make his shy, sensitive son "into a man" (and it's about damn time since the young character, played by Mitchell's real-life son, looks to be about twenty five). He decides to take him on a hunting trip with his buddies, two of the sorriest excuses for "men" around. (Even in Texas this pair would be regarded as fat, dumb, redneck losers). The hunting trip/rite-of-passage involves getting drunk and driving into the 120 degree Texas summer heat to shoot at beer bottles and bunny rabbits (if this makes one a "man", then my friends in Wyoming and I would have achieved manhood at about ten). Later they go to a honky-tonk bar where the most pathetic wet t-shirt contest you ever saw is taking place, and a Hal Needham/Burt Reynolds-style bloodless brawl breaks out every five minutes. There the boy meets a pretty young barmaid and aspiring prostitute (Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormick)and takes her back to the hotel room. They suffer some traumatic coitus interruptus, however, when the two redneck friends bust in a force themselves on "Marcia", I mean Maureen. The movie then turns into a REALLY tame and bloodless (in every sense of the word) rape-revenge flick.

This movie started out as a more serious "Macon County Line" type of a film, a labor-of-love by talented cinematographer and not-so-talented director Gary Graver based on his own script called "The boys" (which certainly must have, given the title, recognized the irony of a group of immature middle-aged butt-wipes who everyone still refers to as "boys" trying to initiate ANYONE into manhood). The distributors renamed it "Texas Lightning" possibly to fit with the wretched country-music theme song (or vice versa)and re-edited it into a sub-"Smokey and the Bandit", sub-"Dukes of Hazzard" redneck-athon with a lot of alleged comic relief and an implausibly happy ending. The uneven (to say the least) tone will give you cinematic whiplash. Cameron Mitchell, who was the only really good actor in this, refused to participate in the re-shooting and just disappears entirely near the end. It's rumored that in the original Graver cut, still floating out there somewhere in terminal litigation, the two rednecks meet a much more unpleasant, if deserving, fate. (In MY cut they would receive shotgun enemas in the first five minutes and be left rotting in a shallow grave in the desert along with the "good ole boys" responsible for the crappy theme song). You'll have to take Graver's word for it that his cut is any kind of masterpiece, but the one under consideration here is certainly worthless dreck regardless.

Most people today will no doubt see this for Maureen McCormick's brief "nude scene", but frankly you'd have better luck spotting subliminal ads for hot dogs and soft drinks from back when this played the drive ins. The only remotely sexy aspect of this movie involves a scene with the implausibly attractive young girlfriend of one of the rednecks dressed in a see-through teddy. McCormick is OK as an actress here, but she's pretty miscast as a tough honky-tonk Southern girl. She also "sings" at point, which will invoke, for those of us Americans of a certain age, traumatic and previously deeply repressed memories of the notoriously ill-advised "Brady Bunch Variety Hour" TV show (shudder!). Not recommended--at least until when (or if) the Graver cut is ever released.

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