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Out of the Black (2001)

 -  Drama | Mystery | Thriller  -  25 July 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 2.5/10 from 241 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 5 critic

Two brothers struggle to uncover the truth behind the mining accident that killed their father and bankrupted the town.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cole Malby
Elizabeth Malby
Jason Widener ...
Patrick Malby
Sheriff Masterson
Penny Hart (as Dee Wallace-Stone)
Cait McLachlan (as Jacqueline Aries)
John Capodice ...
Dirk Hobson
Eugene Carter
Cal Malby
Tommy Lafitte ...
Sonny Hobson
Michael Marsico ...
Young Cole Malby


Set amongst the rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania's once prosperous coal country, Out of the Black is a suspensful, compelling tale of two brothers, Cole and Patrick Malby, and their quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding their father's death. Based around the true story of one of the countries worst mining accidents on record, this heartfelt drama follows the plight of two brothers' quest for the truth. Hiding from their past and keeping to themselves, the two young men afford a meager, day by day existence, working their small, dilapidated farm. But all that is about to change, when a strange woman, Cait MacLochlainn, arrives in town to find her long lost father, a man she's never met. Through a series of events, Cole reluctantly resolves to help Cait locate her father. The result proves to be a profound journey of personal truths, freedom and, Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes the smallest towns have the biggest secrets. See more »



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 July 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buried Lies  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cole Malby: From now on leave the killing, to the killers.
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User Reviews

And into the Red
6 March 2005 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

**SPOILERS** Nicely photographed and acted movie who's plot take a while to digest due to the many twists and turns in it that makes you wonder just who "did it" and who "didn't". This in regard to a deadly coal mine accident in 1975, at the Steelhead Mine, that left the entire county of Cambria Pennsylvania bankrupt.

Kindly Philip Heart, Frank Thornton, ended up owning all the residential real estate in the county and now thirteen years later he passed away. Hearts greedy wife Penny ,Dee Wallace-Stone, took over his finances together with her shyster boyfriend lawyer Eugene Carter,Tom Atkins, and is going to foreclose all of her holding leaving a number of residents in Cambria out in the cold.

Among those who are to lose their farms and homes are the Malbys brothers Cole and Patrick, Tyler Christopher and Jason Wilder, and their crippled and widowed mom Elizabeth, Sally Kirkland. Their dad and Elizabeths and husband was one of those who was killed in the 1975 coal mine accident. Into the mix comes young and pretty Kate McLachlan, Jackie Aries, from New York City searching for her dad who lived in Cambria County but left her mom before she was born.

We at first are lead to believe that Kates's father was the late Philip Heart but later we have a big surprise coming in finding out just who's sweet and lovely Kate's real dad and he's anything but a stiff in a box.

Most of the movie "Out of the Black" has to do with the two Malby brothers and their struggle to save their and their mothers home and farm from being foreclosed by Penny and Eugene. We have at least a half dozen flashbacks about the 1975 mine accident that killed their dad Cal, Miles O'Keefe. In the end we get, as well as the boys, the real story behind that tragic event and that it wasn't an accident at all.

The film lags in some places especially when it comes to the documents and insurance claims in regard to the mine accident that would take a book keeper or qualified CPA to fully understand but it. The claims, have a lot to do with the legality of the Penny/Eugene takeover of the local proprieties that in the end lead to an explosive conclusion. Where a number of the main characters in the movie end up either dead or wounded.

You get a bit of a let down at the end of the film because it doesn't really seem to tie all the loose ends together and leaves a lot of things that are in the movie up in the air. You never really know what was the reason for Cal death. Was it suicide? what was the relationship between Elizabeth and Philip Heart before and after Cal died?

You also don't get a clear understanding of what was going on in the mine between Cal and the then coal miner and now Sheriff, of Cambria County,Bill Masterson, Jack Conley,just before it blew up. There's also the shooting of Elizabeth that left her crippled for life by a young Cole. Was it a terrible accident, that's never fully explained. Still the fine acting by all involved makes you forget a lot of the plot-holes and pitfalls in "Out of the Black" and also makes the movie well worth watching.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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