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    EAGLE PASS

    No Country for Young Men Either
    or
    Looking for the Coen Brothers

    By Chris Adams
    Silly me. I went to Eagle Pass last week expecting to see locations used in the film No Country for Old Man. Although it has since been removed, a perfunctory check of filming locations at IMDb did indeed list Eagle Pass. And I assumed, since a hotel in the film was called "Hotel Eagle" (or was it Eagle Hotel? I've only seen this film three times now) and the events of the film and Cormac McCarthy book are set in Eagle Pass, on the Texas/Mexico border, that I would indeed find the things I expected to see.

    "Moss pulled into Eagle Pass at a quarter till two in the morning. He'd slept a good part of the way in the back of the cab and he only woke up when they slowed coming off the highway down Main Street. He watched the pale white globes of the street lamps pass along the upper rim of the window.

    Then he sat up.
    You goin across the river? the driver said.
    No. Just take me downtown.
    You are downtown.
    Moss leaned forward with his elbows on the back of the seat.
    What's that right there?
    That's the Maverick County Courthouse.
    No. Right there where the sign is.
    That's the Hotel Eagle.
    Drop me there." (No Country for Old Men, pp. 106, 107)

    But no. It turns out that most of the filming was done in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Imagine that - things in a movie not reflecting reality....So, no Plaza Hotel. No Serf Theatre. But here is what I did find in Eagle Pass. First of all, there was the decidedly tropical Maverick County Courthouse. It was constructed in 1885, and is Romanesque Revival style with Second Empire influences. The lovely paint scheme is from 1926.

    Eagle Pass TX - Maverick County Jail day view
    Eagle Pass TX - Maverick County Jail
    Eagle Pass TX - Maverick County Courthouse Looking Up
    Eagle Pass TX - Maverick County Courthouse
    I saw the name "Hesles" several times while in Eagle Pass, including on this motel near the downtown area and border crossing, complete with eclectic birdhouse collection:
    Eagle Pass TX - Hesles Motel Birdhouses
    Eagle Pass TX - Hesles Motel Birdhouses
    The Aztec Theatre, which was built around 1915 and closed in 1982. It is mentioned in the novel:
     Eagle Pass TX - Aztec Theatre

    "He loped wincing down the sidewalk past the Aztec Theatre. As he passed the little round ticket kiosk all the glass fell out of it. He never even heard that shot." (No Country for Old Men, p. 114)

    Eagle Pass had a Kress at one time, in front of which there was wooden pavement as recently as 1963:

    Eagle Pass TX - Kress Building
    Eagle Pass TX - Kress Building sign
    More recently, it appears one could shop at the "De Todo Todo Todo Todo" (promises, promises) y "Mi Casa" and what might have been a Kress warehouse(?):
    Eagle Pass TX de Todo Todo Todo Todo
    Eagle Pass TX Mi Casa Mercancia en General
    Eagle Pass TX - S. H. Kress & Co
    Back in January 2008 when these pictures were taken, the drug cartel violence, which continues today, had begun to make the national news, so it was slightly disturbing to see this:
    Eagle Pass TX - Gun Shop Sign
    Finally, the sun goes down on Eagle Pass:
    Eagle Pass TX - Maverick County Courthouse Sundown
    Eagle Pass TX - Maverick County Jail at Sundown
    Corner of Main and Bibb (note Aztec Theatre):
    Eagle Pass TX - Corner Of Main N Bibb
    Eagle Pass TX - Looking West Down Main St
    Eagle Pass TX - La Casa Hesles Evening
    Eagle Pass TX - La Casa Hesles Motel Sign
    These last two shots are my favorites of what I captured while there. It was extremely cold at this point, and I was feeling "brave" being out on Main Street at that particular hour:
    Eagle Pass TX - Main Street At Night
    Eagle Pass TX - Pretty Maids All In A Row
    Article and photos copyright Chris Adams
    October 1, 2009
    Find Chris Adams' photos in Flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/exquisitelyboredinnacogdoches

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