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The Meanest Man in Texas (2017)

Based on the book, "The Meanest Man in Texas" is the true story of Clyde Thompson. In 1928, near Cisco, Texas, a young Clyde finds himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the ... See full summary »


Justin Ward
18 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mateus Ward ... Clyde Thompson
Jamie McShane ... Captain Colt
Alexandra Bard ... Julia Perryman
Casey Bond ... Marvin Harper
Ben Reed ... Rees Thompson
James Morrison ... Sheriff Kilborn
Michael Monks ... O.B. Ellis
Isabella Acres ... Ruthie Welsey
Richard Riehle ... Mr. Kilpatrick
Anthony Guerino ... Barney Allen
Amy Kay Raymond ... Myrtle Perryman
James Eddie ... Ralph Fults (as James Edwards)
Darren Richardson ... Donald
Adam Cropper ... Reuben Welsey
Ian Stanley ... Everett Melvin


Based on the book, "The Meanest Man in Texas" is the true story of Clyde Thompson. In 1928, near Cisco, Texas, a young Clyde finds himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong company. A fight breaks out, and after shooting two men in self-defense, Clyde is convicted of murder, and sentenced to death. Just hours before execution by electric chair, the Governor spares him the death penalty, and sentences Clyde to life in prison. Before he is shipped off to the Texas Prison Farm to serve hard labor, where he gains the moniker "The Meanest Man in Texas." After several escape attempts, 2 more murders, he becomes unruly, and the Captain of the Guards locks him away in solitary confinement in an old prison morgue. With three life sentences and no hope, he finally learns redemption, and his life changes. He corresponds, and eventually falls deeply in love with a woman, Julia Perryman, who is also a prisoner of her physical handicap, scoliosis. Through their love of each other,...

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Release Date:

2018 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


This film is 39 years in the making. Don Umphrey spent 39 years trying to get this story made into a film, and it was 27 years after he wrote the book that it was finally made. See more »

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User Reviews

Wow...what a terrific inspirational film!
11 July 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

During the last few years, there have been quite a few Christian inspirational films that have made their way to theaters. Some were pretty good and some were awfully bad (such as the rather mean spirited "God is Not Dead"). Well, one of the latest and best is "The Meanest Man in Texas"…a true story that is unusual in that it is great for all audiences…not just church goers.

Mateus Ward stars as Clyde Thompson, a man once termed 'the meanest man in Texas' by prison authorities. While I have never heard of young Ward before, based on his terrific performance, I think it's a lock we'll be seeing a lot more of him! Also quite impressive is Jamie McShane as Captain Colt. He has a lot of credits, but I can't recall having seen him. All I know is that I was blown away at their performances and both left me wanting more.

The film begins with a senseless double murder. Three young men are the culprits and Clyde is sentenced to death for this. At this point, you can't help but feel a bit sorry for him….as he's incredibly young and the folks in town are screaming for his execution. Shortly before the execution, however, the governor commutes the sentence to life of hard labor. And, hard it is…with Clyde living a hellish existence which helps make him a vicious, bitter young man. He soon is shot while trying to escape and later ends up killing an inmate who tried to sexually assault him. Now, he's a thrice convicted murderer…and not the least bit repentant as well as very angry. He also has another escape attempt to his credit as well as an attempted murder of another inmate! This is when he's given the moniker 'The Meanest Man in Texas'….and he certainly lives up to this. In fact, he's so violent that the prison decides to put him in solitary confinement…where he remains for many years. What's next? See the film.

There is just so much to admire about the film. In addition to the terrific acting, the story is very engaging and I appreciate that it sticks very close to Clyde's real life—something all too rare with bio pics. In addition, the film looks very professional throughout— with excellent direction, editing and production values. Most importantly, while the story is about eventual redemption and Clyde's conversion to God, it is never heavy-handed and the message is handled exceptionally well. I could see Atheists, Buddhists or anyone else enjoying this film and aside from very young children, the movie is something I heartily recommend for everyone. So, it's not surprising that the film was recognized as the Best Feature Film for the Influx Magazine Film Awards. See this one.

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