Dallas Books & Movies
Dallas: If the words “Who shot JR?” mean nothing to you, then you obviously aren’t familiar with the cult-classic soap opera/miniseries from the late 70s and early 80s that is single-handedly responsible for securing the city with the reputation for big money, big hair, big hats, and big personalities. It was an instant hit and for years remained the show that everyone was talking about the next day. Since its television debut, Dallas has been translated into 67 languages and distributed to over 90 countries around the world, a record that still holds today for any American television series.
Walker: Texas Ranger: This Dallas-based television show that follows the adventures of a rebellious Texas Ranger is a favorite for many Texans, particularly among the older set (my own grandparents watch Walker, as they call it, religiously). The main character, played by former karate champion Chuck Norris, roots out criminals with his typical deadpan, almost sedate, good-old-boy style and believes in dealing with bad guys “the old-fashioned way,” which perhaps accounts for his popularity among certain demographics.
Prison Break: A popular series that has aired on Fox since 2005, Prison Break tells the story of two brothers, one who is wrongly imprisoned and the other who is scheming for his escape, and has since become one of the more popular primetime shows to come out of Dallas.
JFK: It makes sense that a movie about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy would set itself in Dallas. This 1991 film written by Oliver Stone and starring Kevin Costner mixes speculation and conspiracy theory with historical fact as Costner’s character investigates the so-called single-bullet-theory surrounding the assassination. If you happen to be a history buff, check out this movie before your trip and then make a point to visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza, which is not only considered the birthplace of the city but it is also the site of the President’s assassination on November 23, 1963.
Dr. T & the Women: With shots in NorthPark mall (which, by the way, just received a massive make-over and is the favorite hangout for many a Dallas woman) and other swanky hot spots around town, Robert Altman’s 2000 romantic comedy starring Richard Gere and Helen Hunt not only gives the city itself a lot of face-time in the movie, but the characters are obviously doing their best “Dallas” impersonations. Lilting, exaggerated Southern drawls and long, drawn-out “yaa’llllls” at nearly every turn are not the only ways that this movie attempts to capture the feel of this Southern metropolis. The women (and you can tell from the title that they are an important part of what this movie is all about) are characters straight out of a Neiman Marcus dream-world where everyone oozes style, hairspray, and money. That’s a Dallas girl for you.
Any Given Sunday: In the South, football is the reason that most men get out of bed in the morning, and for these folks, Sunday – game day – is the most important day of them all. Al Pacino, Jamie Fox, and Cameron Diaz bring the hype of this most precious sport, to audiences who, after watching this 1999 film, will most likely gain a better understanding of the mentality of many a Dallas sports fan . . .
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