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The Houston Story (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | February 1956 (USA)
In Houston, a man working as an oil driller comes up with a scheme for stealing millions of dollars worth of oil from the fields. He insinuates himself with a local mobster in order to get ... See full summary »

Director:

William Castle

Writers:

Robert E. Kent (screenplay) (as James B. Gordon), Robert E. Kent (story) (as James B. Gordon)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Barry ... Frank Duncan
Barbara Hale ... Zoe Crane
Edward Arnold ... Paul Atlas
Paul Richards ... Gordon Shay
Jeanne Cooper ... Madge
Frank Jenks ... Louie Phelan
John Zaremba ... Emile Constant
Chris Alcaide ... Chris Barker
Jack Littlefield Jack Littlefield ... Willie Lucas (as Jack V. Littlefield)
Paul Levitt Paul Levitt ... Duke
Fred Krone Fred Krone ... Marsh
Pete Kellett Pete Kellett ... Kalo
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Storyline

In Houston, a man working as an oil driller comes up with a scheme for stealing millions of dollars worth of oil from the fields. He insinuates himself with a local mobster in order to get financing for his scheme. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror Over Texas!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alarm am Ölturm 3 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Clover Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmaker spent an inexplicably and inordinate amount of footage in the terminal of what is now William P. Hobby AIrport, whose name was changed in 1967 to honor a Texas governor. It was then Houston International Airport as of 1954, when the new passenger terminal opened. The art-deco interior may have appeared aesthetically pleasing enough to have factored into the editing. The terminal even had a nursery, something one would be hard pressed to find at many airports these days. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Skullduggery in the oil fields -- pre-Enron
2 June 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Though he will doubtless be remembered as a master of creepy schlock for the pubescent audience which emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s, William Castle directed half a dozen noirs. His first, and probably his best, was Betrayed, aka When Strangers Marry, but Johnny Stool Pigeon and Undertow have their admirers, too. His last noir, The Houston Story, doesn't number among his best, but it too has its moments.

Wildcatter Gene Barry has ambitions that go beyond collecting his paycheck for working on the oil rigs. He dreams up a scheme for siphoning off oil from the big pipelines and selling it to fly-by-night distributors or foreign interests. He approaches Edward Arnold, local boss of a sinister "combine" based in St. Louis, who goes for the plan (meanwhile planning to dispose of Barry once the oil and the money start flowing). It turns out Barry is a bit smarter and more ruthless than he seemed; forty years later, he would have been a vice-president (at least) of Enron.

Along with his slithering around to evade the various minions of the complicated syndicate, he finds romantic complications as well. On the right shoulder sits good-gal Jeanne Cooper, waitress in an eatery called The Derrick. But on the left side is Temptation, in the person of Barbara Hale. Identified almost entirely with her television role as Perry Mason's loyal and efficient Girl Friday Della Street, Hale displays an unsuspected side to her talents. Gussied up in strapless gowns and a platinum "Italian" crop, she plays a shantoozie kept by a racketeer. Of course, she falls for Barry (well, sort of) and he for her (again, sort of). She's also the most memorable thing in this watchable but confusing and derivative film.


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