Tex (film) Fifteen-year-old Tex McCormick and his 17-year-old brother Mason are trying to make it on their own in the absence of their rodeo-riding father. Mason takes over running the household and, to make ends meet, sells Tex’s beloved horse, Rowdy. Tex gets mad at Mason and heedlessly tumbles into scrape after scrape. When his Pop comes home, Tex is shocked to learn that he isn’t his real father. But Tex realizes that Mason and Pop do love him, and it is time to start growing up. Released on July 30, 1982, briefly, then withdrawn and released again on September 24, 1982. Directed by Tim Hunter. 103 min. Stars Matt Dillon (Tex McCormick), Jim Metzler (Mason), Meg Tilly (Jamie), Bill McKinney (Pop), Frances Lee McCain (Mrs. Johnson), Ben Johnson (Cole), Emilio Estevez (Johnny Collins). Tex represented the film debuts of both Meg Tilly and Emilio Estevez. The film is based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. Tex was an experiment by the Disney Studio to reach a new generation of teenagers who often abandoned Disney films for more “realistic” live-action fare, and this accounts for the PG rating. The movie represents a faithful adaptation of the novel where teen problems are confronted directly and honestly with no easy solutions or false hopes necessarily offered. Aware that Disney was seeking to broaden the content horizon of their films, it was director and screenwriter Tim Hunter who originally recommended Tex to the studio, suggesting Matt Dillon (a fan of Miss Hinton’s books, which included The Outsiders) as the lead. Hunter viewed the association between Disney and Hinton as “a lucky convergence that compromises neither the book nor the studio’s high standards for family entertainment.” But the experiment was not a box office success, despite the time, care and talent that went into the production. Released on video in 1983.