Tulsa (1949)

88 or 90 mins | Drama | 13 April 1949

Director:

Stuart Heisler

Producer:

Walter Wanger

Cinematographer:

Winton Hoch

Editor:

Terry Morse

Production Designer:

Nathan Juran

Production Company:

Walter Wanger Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film opens with offscreen narration, and the opening credits include a dedication to the governor and the people of Oklahoma. HR news items note that actor Rocco Lanzo and violinist Roger Haines had been added to the cast, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to a 17 Jun 1948 Var news item, some exteriors were shot at the ranch of Oklahoma Governor Roy J. Turner, near the town of Sulpher, Oklahoma. An 18 Aug 1948 HR news item reported that other location shooting took place in Tulsa. According to information contained in the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the oil well fire scene was shot in a remote section of Oklahoma. The SAB credits Walter Wanger with the original idea, but no other source lists him that way. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Special Effects category. A 12 Feb 1954 HR news item noted that Carroll Pictures had acquired the film for re-issue, but no further information about this company has been ... More Less

The film opens with offscreen narration, and the opening credits include a dedication to the governor and the people of Oklahoma. HR news items note that actor Rocco Lanzo and violinist Roger Haines had been added to the cast, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to a 17 Jun 1948 Var news item, some exteriors were shot at the ranch of Oklahoma Governor Roy J. Turner, near the town of Sulpher, Oklahoma. An 18 Aug 1948 HR news item reported that other location shooting took place in Tulsa. According to information contained in the file for the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the oil well fire scene was shot in a remote section of Oklahoma. The SAB credits Walter Wanger with the original idea, but no other source lists him that way. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the Special Effects category. A 12 Feb 1954 HR news item noted that Carroll Pictures had acquired the film for re-issue, but no further information about this company has been located. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Mar 1949.
---
Daily Variety
21 Mar 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Mar 49
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 48
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 48
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 49
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 49
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Mar 49
p. 4537.
New York Times
27 May 49
p. 25.
Variety
17 Jun 1948.
---
Variety
23 Mar 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walter Wanger Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Suggested by a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus cond
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hair styling
Hair styling
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Scr supv
Casting dir
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Assoc col dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"Tulsa," music by Allie Wrubel, lyrics by Mort Greene.
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 April 1949
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Tulsa, OK: 13 April 1949
Production Date:
late June--17 August 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Pathé Industries, inc.
Copyright Date:
13 April 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2305
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
88 or 90
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13400
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the early 1920s, in the oil-rich plains of Tulsa, Oklahoma, three ranchers, Native American Jim Redbird, Nelse Lansing and his one-quarter Native American daughter Cherokee, who is known as "Cherry," discover that some of their cattle have died after drinking from polluted streams. Jim and Nelse go to the neighboring Tanner Petroleum Corp. to complain, when suddenly, one of the wells explodes, and Nelse is crushed to death by the well platform. Later, at refinery owner Bruce Tanner's hotel room, Tanner's advisor, Winters, refuses Cherry's demand for $20,000 to replace some prize cattle killed in the explosion. On her way out, Cherry encounters her cousin, hotel employee Pinky Jimpson, who walks her out to the curb. There, drunken oilman "Crude" Johnny Brady hands Cherry a packet of papers, hops into a cab and speeds away. When Pinky tries to return the papers to Johnny the following morning, he learns that Johnny was killed in a brawl the previous night. Pinky then gives Cherry the news and explains that the papers are oil leases which grant her the right to drill on land belonging to Jim and another Native American rancher named Charlie Lightfoot. Later, Tanner arrives, apologizes to Cherry for Winters' behavior and offers her a check for $20,000 in exchange for her newly-acquired drilling rights. When Jim arrives and complains about the pollution, Cherry decides to form her own oil company and take Jim on as a partner. One day, Cherry receives a visit from Johnny's son and heir, famous Princeton athlete Brad "Bronco" Brady. Soon after, in Tulsa, Tanner overhears Brad encouraging Cherry to continue drilling and ... +


In the early 1920s, in the oil-rich plains of Tulsa, Oklahoma, three ranchers, Native American Jim Redbird, Nelse Lansing and his one-quarter Native American daughter Cherokee, who is known as "Cherry," discover that some of their cattle have died after drinking from polluted streams. Jim and Nelse go to the neighboring Tanner Petroleum Corp. to complain, when suddenly, one of the wells explodes, and Nelse is crushed to death by the well platform. Later, at refinery owner Bruce Tanner's hotel room, Tanner's advisor, Winters, refuses Cherry's demand for $20,000 to replace some prize cattle killed in the explosion. On her way out, Cherry encounters her cousin, hotel employee Pinky Jimpson, who walks her out to the curb. There, drunken oilman "Crude" Johnny Brady hands Cherry a packet of papers, hops into a cab and speeds away. When Pinky tries to return the papers to Johnny the following morning, he learns that Johnny was killed in a brawl the previous night. Pinky then gives Cherry the news and explains that the papers are oil leases which grant her the right to drill on land belonging to Jim and another Native American rancher named Charlie Lightfoot. Later, Tanner arrives, apologizes to Cherry for Winters' behavior and offers her a check for $20,000 in exchange for her newly-acquired drilling rights. When Jim arrives and complains about the pollution, Cherry decides to form her own oil company and take Jim on as a partner. One day, Cherry receives a visit from Johnny's son and heir, famous Princeton athlete Brad "Bronco" Brady. Soon after, in Tulsa, Tanner overhears Brad encouraging Cherry to continue drilling and offers to put up the additional money, with one stipulation: If she does not strike oil within three weeks, the leases will become his. Cherry accepts the challenge and soon strikes oil, but Charlie and some of the other ranchers are dissatisfied with their royalties. At an oil drillers' meeting, they demand additional drilling, dismissing Brad's warning against spoiling their grasslands. When Cherry hosts an opera company reception at her new mansion, the governor attends, and Brad persuades him to appoint a commission on environmental conservation. Later, Tanner persuades Cherry to merge her company with his to form a conglomerate called Tel Oil. Without Jim's approval, Cherry signs an agreement calling for additional drilling on his property. Later, when Jim bars Tel Oil workers from his property, Tanner contacts his friend, Judge McKay, who holds an informal hearing in his office. The judge threatens to appoint a guardian for Jim, who is a ward of the state, after which Jim returns home. There, he finds the carcasses of some of his cattle on the banks of a polluted stream. To test the water for oil, Jim strikes a match, and the stream immediately erupts in flames. After the fire creeps upstream toward the refinery, Pinky, Cherry and Brad arrive. The wells begin exploding one by one, and Jim is injured while attempting to save his remaining cattle. After Cherry rushes to his aid, and they are both trapped, Brad bravely rescues them. Later, Jim apologizes for starting the fire, and when he hears Cherry vow to rebuild with spaced wells and fences to protect the cattle, he gratefully kisses her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.