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Black Gold (1936)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, Romance  |  20 January 1936 (USA)
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An oil-field action thriller directed by 'B' movie bad guy Russell Hopton.



(screenplay) (as Sascha Baraniev) , (story)
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Cast overview:
Clifford 'Fishtail' O'Reilly
LeRoy Mason ...
Henry 'Hank' Langford (as Roy Mason)
Gloria Shea ...
Berton Churchill ...
J.C. Anderson
Stanley Fields ...
Lefty Stevens
Frank Shannon ...
Dan O'Reilly
George Cleveland ...
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ...
Snowflake (as Snowflake)
Dewey Robinson ...


An oil-field action thriller directed by 'B' movie bad guy Russell Hopton.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama | Romance






Release Date:

20 January 1936 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Washington Post
Music by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

Apples, Chicken and Frankie Darro
15 May 2011 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

"Wildcat riggers risk their lives in the pursuit of oil. Their jobs get even more dangerous when ruthless oil baron J.C. Anderson sets his sights on their territory. When longtime driller Dan O'Reilly falls to his death from a well tower sabotaged by Anderson's strong-arm thugs, his teenage son 'Fishtail' inherits the property and the troubles that come with it. With the help of his geologist pal, Hank Langford, the boy fights to bring in a gusher before the deed to the well-site expires," according to the Alpha Video synopsis.

This was the first of two films adapted from "The Joy of Living" by Peter B. Kyne; but, after watching "Black Gold" and "Tough to Handle" (1937) back-to-back, it's difficult to believe they are sourced from the same story. Possibly, one of these credits is an error. In the other film, young star Frankie Darro is a New York City paperboy involved with sweepstakes fixers; here, he confronts a crooked oilman.

Actor Russell Hopton directed "Black Gold" with some interesting touches. Darro was often given a handsome older man to "bond" with (later changed to the ethnic comic character appearing herein as "Snowflake"), and you sometimes wonder about Darro's affections. In this one, he (as Clifford) and LeRoy Mason (as Hank) appear more bi-sexualized than usual, thanks to the way particular scenes are staged and scripted. Watch and listen especially, after Darro begins to eat Mr. Mason's apple, to their "piano duet" followed by a tea party with pretty Gloria Shea (as Cynthia), then the picnic.

****** Black Gold (1/20/36) Russell Hopton ~ Frankie Darro, LeRoy Mason, Gloria Shea, Berton Churchill

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