31 August 2009

Listless Tuesdays: Top 5 Films from Big 12 States- South Edition

Continuing the Big 12 Football Theme,,, each school will be listed next to the Top 5 in order to explain the placement of the film. The films are still listed in descending order according to quality.

5. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State: The Outsiders

The Outsiders was filmed in Tulsa, not a terribly long drive from Stillwater. This film was directed by Francis Ford Coppolla and one of the first for the Brat Pack. Coppolla is said to have enacted a great sociological experiment with this film as the actors who portrayed the Socs were given tremendous accomodations and first rate treatment, while those who portrayed the Outsiders were treated contemptuously by the hotel staff and given poor equipment. Coppolla attempted to create a real rivalry between the two groups with the experiment, which worked tremendously.

4. Oklahoma-Oklahoma: The Grapes of Wrath

The ghost of Tom Joad lives on from this adaptation of the Steinbeck novel. While accompanied by the same criticisms as the novel (communist sympathies), Tom Ford and Henry Fonda recreate the Oklahoma dust-bowl during one of the toughest times for our nation.

3. Texas-Texas A&M: Dazed and Confused

It was surprising to me that Texas had so many non-western style films in the list of best films from this state. That is primarily because two of the modern great directors hail from the state and love to return to it to make amazing films. Richard Linklater is actually from the Houston area, and even though he attended Sam Houston State, you can feel a little bit of his animosity for the Texas A&M style characters in O'Bannion. One of my favorite films of all time and a definite on the list of the best from Texas.

2. Texas-Texas Tech: No Country For Old Men

Finally, a western from the state of Texas (kind of). The recent Oscar winner for best film by the Coen Brothers takes place in the wilds of west Texas. In between the Rio Grande, the plains, and the small towns resides the unexpected. If you have ever been to the liquor stores just past the county line outside of Lubbock (dry county) you will know what I mean.

1. Texas-Texas: Rushmore

While Bottle Rocket may be a better vehicle for explaining what modern Texas is all about, director Wes Anderson's (University of Texas graduate) masterpiece, and one of my favorite films of all time happens to contain one of the greatest characters of all time and perhaps the best performance by Bill Murray. In this one he is moodier than Lost In Translation, more devious that Stripes, and more lovable than the end of Ground Hog's Day. A winning combination of hilarity and poignancy that also perfectly matches content and form.

Baylor: No movie until you get to a bowl game!!!! Actually, there is one extremely underrated cinematic gem that does remind me of Baylor, The Apostle. Check it out, it is actually pretty powerful and one of the favorite films of Dr. Blum.

I really wanted to put a high school football film in this list to tie together the football themes and the state of Texas stuff. Alas, Friday Night Lights was average at best.


  1. This is a cool idea, but no Varisty Blues? Come on... You can't have a list tying Texas movies to football and leave off that!

  2. I agree, to a large extent. In a list about football movies from Texas I would definitely include it.... along with Friday Night Lights, Necessary Roughness, and Junction Boys,,, oh wait, was that last one an ESPN original?

    I would have to think for a while about some of the others. There are a lot of good college football movies. Lately, the trend has been toward high school football films, which I think are easier to make. There are a lot more politics, money, (big toes to step on)and demographics in college football.