Texas Forever

Celebrating the greatest Texas films of all-time.

A project by Carra Sykes and John Mata, with a little help from their Lone Star friends.

The Searchers (1956)

Directed by John Ford

"I had never seen The Searchers before, but chose it because it’s considered “one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.”

Unlike a typical Western, with a plot that follows good versus evil, The Searchers subverted my expectations. Its main character, Ethan Edwards (played by John Wayne), is lonely, tainted with racial prejudice, and his obsessive quest is fueled by revenge.

Although the film is markedly dark, its cinematography is gorgeous, and John Ford serves some dazzling shots of the tall rock formations in Monument Valley. I wanted to illustrate this backdrop of beauty, which was twisted into a setting for an uncomfortable story marred by an imperfect hero." 

Design by Cristina Moore

Urban Cowboy (1980)

Directed by James Bridges

"Gilly's Nightclub, the main set for this film, was one of the most 'Texas' places in the world during it's heyday. It was a place where the real cowboys and the urban honky tonkers from Dallas would come together just outside of town for nights of bull ridin, boot scootin revelry and this film perfectly captures Gilly's essence through a little tale of love, loss, and redemption. It'll always be a classic in my book."

Design by Zachary Wieland


Directed by Wes Anderson

"Rushmore is an early Wes Anderson film that I’ve never watched til now, which was my motivation to pick it. Going in with fresh eyes, it’s cool to see his trademark style develop through the interesting characters he creates and all of the artistic visuals. This quirky coming-of-age story is an enjoyable journey that manages to come full-circle. It’s based on a private school in Houston that Wes Anderson attended and it’s the perfect location for one of his films."

Design by Dingbat Co.

Days of Heaven (1978)

Directed by Terrence Malick

“I had never heard of the movie Days of Heaven before choosing to watch it for the Texas Forever Project. My wife suggested watching it because it was her late grandmother's favorite and neither of us had seen the film. Days of Heaven was sad and beautiful and made me feel closer to a woman I never got to meet.”

Design by Carra Sykes


Directed by Richard Linklater

“When I think of the best stoner movie my first thought is Dazed and Confused.  I cant think of a movie I have watched more times.  Just about every line is quoteable.  If you haven’t seen this movie- what the heck are you waiting for, seriously?! “

Design by John Mata


Directed by Terrence Malick

“I love Terence Malick's approach to movies overall - they're big and heady and leave a ton of room for self-reflection, even while the movie's still playing. As a science geek, I also love any story that explores the origins and ends of the universe.

Movies like this breeze into your world, make themselves known, don't ask many questions or offer too many answers, and then they're gone. As a viewer you ride the wave, maybe not completely understanding everything you're seeing, but hopefully you connect with it in some way anyway. I kinda wanted my poster to feel that way too.”

Design by Simon Walker


Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

“The Cohen brothers have always given a great element of imagination and unique thought to their films. They’re the opposite of predictability. I loved the cast, the western 80's setting, and the beautiful landscapes of Texas scenery.

Every time I watch this movie, there is something new that I pick up and learn from. I don’t think there is one explanation for this movie, which makes it so interesting and something I will continue to watch. “

Design by Ryan Sprague


Directed by Tobe Hooper

“Not only is it one of my favorites but that movie was a game changer. It works today just as well as it did in ’74. It’s a worldwide phenomenon created right here in the great state of Texas. “

Design by Paul Sirmon

RED RIVER (1948)

Directed by Howard Hawks

“Sure, Red River might be dated in a lot of ways but it's widely known as a classic in the genre. It explores a ton of the Texas landscape, and it's one of John Wayne's best and most complex roles. Red River is pretty much everything a Texas based western should be and gave a lot of epic scenes to think about when creating the poster. “

Design by Tyler Anthony

Hud (1963)

Directed by Martin Ritt

“Hud is one of those movies where the villain is played with such nuanced dimension that the audience might understandably wrestle with empathetic feelings. Paul Newman’s Hud couldn’t fool Patricia Neal, though. The best part of her Oscar-winning portrayal of Alma Brown was when, unscripted, she stared Newman down and called him a “cold-blooded bastard.”

Design by Trent Walton


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