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Texas, With An Animal Out Back

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Chapter Summary

Texas has the largest population of feral hogs-nearly two million. Of course they move in packs and are not normally to be found near major highways. In Texas, there's always an animal in front of you-or out back. You could conceivably be killed by some animal. You might even have to kill one. This chapter, among other things, considers the presence of animals in some of the great classic Hollywood films about Texas. One is Home from the Hill, where Robert Mitchum plays the rancher father, George Hamilton his whimpy son, and George Peppard his unacknowledged bastard son. The formula is so venerable as to be embarrassing: a man becomes a man by virtue of becoming a hunter. Giant has presented a symbolic struggle between horses ("Eastern," feminine, refined) and cattle (Texan, masculine, practical). Cattle win.

Keywords: Giant; Home from the Hill; Texas's signature animals



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