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Black Gold (1936)

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



(screenplay) (as Sascha Baraniev), (story "The Joy of Living")

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Cast overview:
Clifford 'Fishtail' O'Reilly
Henry 'Hank' Langford (as Roy Mason)
Cynthia Jackson
J.C. Anderson
Lefty Stevens
Dan O'Reilly
Snowflake (as Snowflake)


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:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-46. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast; its earliest documented telecast was Wednesday 22 September 1948 on WATV, New York City. See more »


Dig, Dig, Dig
Written by Didheart Conn
Sung by oilfield workers at the Wooden Derrick bar
See more »

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User Reviews

Apples, Chicken and Frankie Darro
15 May 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – 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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