6 user 8 critic

Oil City Confidential (2009)

Oil City Confidential is a movie starring Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, and John Martin. The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, sandpapered the face of rock'n'roll, leaving all that came before a burnt-out ruin - ... See full summary »


1 win. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tells the extraordinary story of legendary musician Wilko Johnson who, diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live, managed to accept his fate with uplifting ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Wilko Johnson, Roger Daltrey, Charlie Chan
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

London: The Modern Babylon is legendary director Julien Temple's epic time-traveling voyage to the heart of his hometown.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Keith Allen, Michael Gambon, Steve Jones
Glastonbury (2006)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A documentary on the 30th anniversary of Britain's best-known music festival.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: David Bowie, Björk, James Brown
My Life Story (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Is it a Drama? A Comedy? Or Music Hall dream? Director Julien Temple (The Great Rock n Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners) takes a stage show, adds some drama, archive, animation and music, ... See full summary »

Directors: Julien Temple, Owen Lewis
Stars: Perry Benson, Ashley Gunstock, Dean Mumford
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

"The Eternity Man" is as story of an Australian icon that spread hope and redemption around the country.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Grant Doyle, Christa Hughes, Lara Mulcahy
Vigo (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Based on the life of a classic french cineast Jean Vigo, the story follows his daily struggle with sanity, normal life and uncompromising filmmaking. Story also focuses on his relationship ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: James Frain, Romane Bohringer, Nicholas Barnes
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A rather incoherent post-breakup Sex Pistols "documentary", told from the point of view of Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, whose (arguable) position is that the Sex Pistols in particular ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones
Aria (1987)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Ten short pieces directed by ten different directors, including Ken Russell, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, and Nicolas Roeg. Each short uses an aria as soundtrack/sound (... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, and 8 more credits »
Stars: John Hurt, Theresa Russell, Stephanie Lane
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

'There'll Always Be an England' - named after Vera Lynn's stirring intro music - was recorded on Saturday, November 10th and captures the energy and excitement of the band and the crowd. ... See full summary »

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: The Sex Pistols, John Lydon, Steve Jones
Documentary | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

'Madness (II)' are about to release a new album after 10 years, which consists of an interrelated, song cycle about London called 'The Liberty of Norton Folgate'. Although the songs are on ... See full summary »

Directors: Julien Temple, Luke Cresswell
Stars: Suggs, Carl Smyth, Mike Barson
Requiem for Detroit? (TV Movie 2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A documentary about the decay and industrial collapse of America's fourth largest city.

Director: Julien Temple
Stars: Julien Temple, Lowell Boileau, Paul Thal
Habaneros (2017)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Julien Temple


Credited cast:
Lee Brilleaux ... Lee
... Wilko
John Martin ... The Big Figure
John B. Sparkes ... Sparko
Christopher Fenwick ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Will Birch
... Himself (archive footage)
Andy Gill
Richard Hell
Jools Holland
Glen Matlock
Jake Riviera
... Himself


The story of Dr Feelgood, four men in cheap suits who crashed out of Canvey Island in the early '70s, sandpapered the face of rock'n'roll, leaving all that came before a burnt-out ruin - four estuarine John-the-Baptists to Johnny Rotten's anti-Christ. Taking London by storm, they sped through Europe and conquered the UK with No 1 chart success, before imploding just as punk was born and America beckoned with open arms. Contributions from members of The Clash, Blondie and The Sex Pistols join Dr Feelgood with collaborators Jools Holland and Alison Moyet to tell the story of Canvey, '70s England and the greatest local band in the world. Written by Stephen Malit

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | punk rock | See All (2) »


Oil City is 100% pure below sea level, Canvey Island Noir.


Documentary | Music


See all certifications »


Official Sites:

facebook | Official site |  »



Release Date:

2 February 2010 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Feelgood: Oil City Confidential  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


£450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Features Odd Man Out (1947) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Feelgood documentary looking at the lives and times of those in and around a certain Feelgood band.
5 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

At the very end of this 2010 documentary about a popular rock group of the 1970s named Dr. Feelgood, the lead guitarist and appointed guide for the entire piece Wilko Johnson stands outside a casino with his guitar with an aim to seemingly 'play us out'. Just above him and behind him, the word 'amusements' flickers sporadically, advertising the gambling machines within the building behind; it flickers, but it is not entirely unlit – a sort of visual representation of this once great, once famous band on behalf of the maker who's a certain Julien Temple: the members that are still alive are always up for it; they speak throughout the documentary of the band and the days that made them famous in an upbeat and loving manner and everybody in the contemporary crowds still seem to enjoy seeing the guys doing their thing on stage. The 'amusements' sign flickers, it's still going, it might very well be on its last legs but it's still ticking over.

Oil City Confidential is the documentary all about a British band whom ploughed through the boundaries of what was expected of them and became all but household names as they played out in Britain and America to packed and usually somewhat riotous audiences. They were Doctor Feelgood. The best thing about the piece is that it never pretends these people were anything other than normal, everyday guys of whom you feel you could just casually bump into, doing what they loved. Having gone in knowing nothing of the band, I came out rather enthralled and entertained at their story of just over thirty years ago; the tale of what it was that made each of them who they are today and most of whom have carried on with degrees of success since. Temple keeps everything low-key and understated, there's a knowing sense about their humble beginnings, a location on the Thames known as Canvey Island; a place that is shot through grey hues but is adored by those that came from there and made good accordingly; the documentary isn't so much into selling a downtrodden place as something that it isn't as much as it is interested in looking at the beauty and the goodness amidst all the other stuff most people would use as fodder against it. Oil refineries on the distance spewing out flames from its funnels; grey, unwelcoming beaches and caravan parks set up in the oddest of locales: it's all part of the charm.

The anchor of the piece is a certain Wilko Johnson, the band's guitarist. Later on, we'll come to learn of his stage exploits; a free-roaming and somewhat eccentric figure whom waltzed around the stage in a flurry of creative mannerisms, his most iconic moment being the one in which he supposedly riddled the audience with bullets out of his machine gun-come-guitar. Nowadays, he seems quite humbled by what it was he did; such an attitude capturing what most of the guys feel. Nobody really knew what they were doing or where it would lead them, they just went with the flow and loved it – the watching audiences loved it as well. These days, there seems to be a knowing sense of what was then and what is now. Johnson stands, guitar strap around his neck, at a lonely bus-top on Canvey Island; he plays a few cords and you can see the school boy-like glee it fills him with as he begins to jolt and move around to the tunes he creates. He seems sweetly embarrassed.

Placing Johnson at the heart of the film sees us guided through the life and times of Doctor Feelgood by a force of great charisma; a sort of knowing eccentric, a man who it's established even the other members were somewhat in awe at when they first met him. One other member gives a roaming tour of some Canvey Island coastline; documenting some of the band's exploits but most of the other members, or people connected to the group, are kept away from any sort of limelight to proceedings. One is shot in an enclosed and relatively low-key barber shop; another inhabits the confides of a darkened public house bar area while Johnson's mother sits in her living room and recounts her experiences at some gigs. Each person chips in with their own musings on the band and its history but each are kept to a far more routine documentary infused interview technique as opposed to Wilko. Johnson leads proceedings; the tale of the group, of which various members have come and gone, and his eventual feud with a certain Lee Brilleaux, the lead singer. These guys were most certainly with the crowd they performed to; never pretending to be anything they weren't and that comes out in the documentary.

They were never into psychedelic music or modifiers. This wasn't a case of having hordes of dumb kids turning up to scream at the latest singer that rolled off of the production line, dopily churning out the latest track of old to be covered by way of synthetics, this was a case of guys grabbing those microphones and instruments and belting out what they thought was good, fun music to play to a good, fun time. The film is curiously inter-cut with footage of various gangster films, but done enough so as to not annoy or distract; films about young guys ploughing on ahead with what it was they were good at, but having a blast in the process and always coming home with the swag and a bit of a reputation in the process. While Doctor Feelgood were never criminal in that sense, although one American thought they turned up to a gig once looking a bit like gangsters, that same carefree sense of getting on with what comes naturally to oneself is present, hovering above all involved, and it would seem the world is better off because of it.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial