The setting is early America during the oil boom. An elderly, down on his luck 'oil man', Mr. Cox finds himself in the town of Henrietta. Using unconventional methods, he convinces himself ... See full summary »
The setting is early America during the oil boom. An elderly, down on his luck 'oil man', Mr. Cox finds himself in the town of Henrietta. Using unconventional methods, he convinces himself and local Don Day that there is oil on Day's land. The financially strapped Day puts everything into finding oil...but at what cost? Written by
P. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, I've seen this fairly-unknown film three times now and perhaps that's enough, but I'm sorry that in late 2006 it is still not out on DVD. It deserves being seen on disc and discovered. Why this is so "unkonw," I don't know.
Robert Duvall, who almost never gives a bad performance, is excellent in here, too, as the ever-optimistic "Mr. Cox." He's a self-described oil man but in truth has never done anything noteworthy in the business. However, after finding himself in a small Texas town called "Henrietta," (which really exists) he thinks this one residence has a lot of oil on its property. The tough part is trying to convince the literally-poor landowner (Aiden Quinn) that he should invest $5,000 on a well.
All kinds of obstacles ensue - an nonsupporting wife (Frances Fisher), an antagonistic and hot-tempered villain who runs things in the area (Brian Dennehy) and just plain bad luck.
Duvall and his pet cat who sticks by him like glue throughout much of the film, keeps this story together.
When I first saw this, the whole movie fascinated me. Now, I don't enjoy the middle third where everything goes wrong. It's just too unpleasant, especially seeing a nice guy like Quinn's character be treated so coldly by his wife. I also to see the good guy, "Cox," doing what he did late in the film, although it certainly adds life to the story.
Nonetheless, it's definitely worth a look if you like a good drama and appreciate Duvall's talents.
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