Texas Book Report or Movie Assignment
You are to select a book to read that has a Texas theme or subject or was written by a Texas author. There
are many good books that use Texas as a backdrop, and a good example of this would be Gates of the
Alamo. There is another that one could read, The Searchers by Lemay. This is an older novel, but it was set
into a movie (one that I think is John Wayne’s best performance and should have earned him an Oscar).
Other Texas authors include J. Frank Dobie, Larry McMurtry, and my favorite, Elmer Kelton.
One, you have read the book, you will want to relate the story, how the characters in the book came to life
(or didn’t), and then use the textbook or online sources to determine its historical value. Was it a historical
novel, and did the plot follow what we know, or did the author use some license in writing a book. An
example would be- In Gates of the Alamo, the author presented a theory of what occurred during the final
battle- one that I have seen in a Discovery Channel presentation of the battle.
The movie assignment, if you should choose this one, follows the same format. Relate the story, show how
the characters came to life (or didn’t). Also, use the textbook or an online sources to determine its historical
value, was it more Hollywood than real, etc.
Examples of movies include, but are not limited to:
John Wayne’s Alamo
The Alamo with Dennis Quaid
The Last Picture Show
The Streets of Laredo
San Antonio (Errol Flynn)
The Legend of Billy Jean (not a historical movie)
Friday Night Lights
Texas Chainsaw Massacre- well, mmmm, think long and hard before using this one
Four for Texas
The Searchers- my favorite, but be careful, I can say the lines of this movie by heart
All My Friends are Going to be Strangers
Terms of Endearment
The Evening Star
Hope Floats- I actually ran into Sandra Bullock at the Austin airport
This assignment should follow MLA guidelines- if you use quotes (especially from the book) recite page or
from the movie who said it to who. (For instance, John Wayne saying “That’ll be the day” to Ward Bond.
Length of the assignment should run 2-3 pages double spaced. You should also have a Works Cited page that
would include the name of the book, the textbook, and any online source you use.
Let me know if you have a book or movie, but do not know if it fits the mold.