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King of Texas


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An aging cattle baron's plan to divide his vast spread among his three daughters ignites a sibling blood feud in this volatile Wild West retelling of Shakespeare's "King Lear."

Amazon.com

It's Shakespeare with six-guns as King of Texas goes boldly where no TV Western had gone before. Transplanting King Lear to a Texas cattle ranch was a risky proposition, but as star and co-executive producer (with his wife and fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation alumnus, Wendy Neuss), Patrick Stewart brings his formidable Shakespearean training to bear on a condensed but satisfying interpretation. Whereas Akira Kurosawa's Ran required a gender-switching overhaul of Shakespeare's tragedy, this handsomely mounted TNT Original retains the feuding sisterhood of Lear's undoing. As aging cattle baron John Lear, Stewart sets his downfall in motion, dividing his land and loyalties among daughters played with stalwart fortitude by Marcia Gay Harden, Lauren Holly, and Julie Cox. Familial machinations multiply with a stellar supporting cast (Roy Scheider is the Earl of Gloucester here), and for all of Stewart's impressive fury, it's comedy veteran David Alan Grier (interpreting Shakespeare's "Fool") who quietly steals the show. --Jeff Shannon

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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Stewart, Marcia Gay Harden, Lauren Holly, Roy Scheider, David Alan Grier
  • Directors: Uli Edel
  • Writers: Stephen Harrigan, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Patrick Stewart, Art Levinson, Arturo Brito, Robert Halmi Sr., Wendy Neuss
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007AJFY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,988 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "King of Texas" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

The transition to a western setting was done very well.
Chris Gibson
I would recomend this movie to anyone who has just read "King Lear" and would like to help themselves to understand the play more fully.
"fatherdude"
Patrick Stewart plays King Lear and does a great job of it.
Wilson Rupert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 9, 2005
Format: DVD
If the immortal Bard could only have imagined the adaptations that his work would inspire! There have been numerous modernizations of Shakespeare's work. From WEST SIDE STORY to TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. There have also been various different stagings for practically all of Shakespeare's stories. So why not a Western?

We get just that in KING OF TEXAS, King Lear set in post-Alamo Texas. The story adaptations flows marvelously with Patrick Stewart starring as John Lear, a Texas patriot turned cattle baron. As with the Shakespeare original, Lear here has built an empire, complete with the pride and ego that attend it. He determines to leave his massive ranch to his daughters, Susannah (Academy Award winner, Marcia Gay Harden), Rebecca (Lauren Holly) and Claudia (Julie Cox). In a show of pseudo-love, the two older daughters charm the aging Lear, get the ranch for themselves and set in motion a chain reaction of drama and tragedy that Old William would have heartily approved of.

Some wonderful twists in the story include the part of the fool from the original play becoming a faithful black servant, Rip, played wonderfully by David Alan Grier (JUMANJI, RETURN TO ME). Keeping with the timeframe involved, it's the only natural solution. His playful banter with John Lear is wonderful and warmly draws the audience in.

The movie's depiction of the tense interplay between the Republic of Texas and Mexico is also a terrific twist as, historically, these two opponents continued to spar with each other for decades following the events that led to Texas independence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wilson Rupert on January 22, 2003
Format: DVD
The movie King of Texas is William Shakespear's play King Lear set in Texas. Patrick Stewart plays King Lear and does a great job of it. He is joined by a wonderful supporting cast that only make the movie better. Having read King Lear myself and feeling very lost and confused this movie helped greatly to put the words from the play to images in a movie. I didn't care for the play written in Shakespearean language because I couldn't follow it but once it was put into a movie like this Shakespear's plot and great story line is really brought to life. This movie helped me really appreciate Shakespear's greatness as a playwright. Although the movie was very good a few parts were done slightly different than in the original play. The main difference was in the end which involved everyones deaths. The characters were not killed in similar fashions to how they were in the play. Because of this the whole play seemed to wrap a little to short and sweet. Overall though this movie is worth while watching whether you like Shakespear or don't at all. As long as one likes a movie with a interesting plot and lessons to be tough it will be enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Atcheson on January 21, 2003
Format: DVD
Although the story may be hundreds of years old, another timeless Shakespearian tale finds its way to the silver screen in "King of Texas." Patrick Stewart plays the leading role as John Lear, a cattle baron who built his empire in south Texas on years of hard work... and blood. His on-going battle with Manchaca, a Mexican ranch owner just south of Lear's ranch, parallels King Lear's feud with the French. Keeping with the story, Claudia, who represents Cordelia from the Shakespearian work, runs off with the enemy after she is turned out by her father. Her two sisters, Susanne and Rebecca, representing Goneril and Reagan, inherit their father's land through deceitful speeches of how great their love is for him. Lear goes mad after both these daughters send him away, while Rip (Davis Alen Grier), representing the fool, provides some comedy relief. This movie is quite accurate to the original work, and the western setting and dialogue create a more tangible atmosphere for some than "King Lear" might offer. Even Henry Westover (Roy Scheider), representing the Earl of Gloucester, meets the same horrific torture as in the original work. I would recommend this movie to everyone, even if westerns or Shakespeare aren't your favorite choice of entertainment. 4 stars for "King of Texas."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laura on January 23, 2003
Format: DVD
The story begins around the same time frame as the Battle of the Alamo. Star Trek captain Patrick Stewart, plays the famous Lear whose downfall comes when tries to make his daughters prove their love to him in return for their share of his land. His first two daughters have no problem lying to their father but Claudia refuses to appease her father's pride. Lear, outraged by this, banishes her from his sight. She retreats to her father's enemy, Menchaca. After this first mistake, Lear's life crumbles beneath him. He is turned away by his two remaining daughters and eventually begins to lose his mind.
The King of Texas is the story of Shakespeare's famous play, King Lear, with a western twist. It reunites all of the characters from the play and though the names have been changed, it is easy to decipher who is who. One of the best aspects of this movie is that you don't have to have read the play to understand or enjoy the movie nor do you have to be a fan of Shakespeare. Unlike other adaptations of Shakespearean plays, the language used has been changed to more of a western dialect then the often hard to understand Shakespearean style enabling a more broad audience to enjoy this classic play. I think it's safe to say that this made for TV movie will be sought after by many to better understand this famous Shakespearean play.
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