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Archive for August 13th, 2019

Tim Hunter’s Tex

By J.D. Lafrance

In the early 1980s, Disney struggled to become relevant and in the process decided to gamble on several live-action films that weren’t the kinds of projects the Mouse House were known for making, chief among them Tex (1982), Tron (1982), and Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983). Tex was an adaptation of the popular S.E. Hinton novel of the same name. Her first four Young Adult novels (The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, and That Was Then This Now were the others) were all set in and around Tulsa and struck a chord with young people as they refused to talk down to their intended audience. They also dealt with the class conflict between rich and poor kids in a way that not many other authors were doing at the time.

Her novels featured worlds inhabited mostly by teenagers with an emphasis on the intense friendships between them as well as the friction between siblings in an unflinchingly honest way. At first, Disney picking up the option for Tex seemed like an odd move as the book took a frank look at two brothers trying to stay together with very little money and each one heading off in different directions. However, it did fit in with the current regime’s desire to think outside the box and the end result was a smartly written, well-acted slice-of-life tale of regular folks just trying to get by.

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