Waltz Across Texas (1983)

PG | 104 mins | Romantic comedy | 24 June 1983

Director:

Ernest Day

Writer:

Bill Svanoe

Producer:

Martin Jurow

Cinematographer:

Robert Elswit

Production Designer:

Michael Erler

Production Company:

Aster Productions
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HISTORY

End credits conclude with the following statements: “Our gratitude to the citizens and community of Midland, Texas”; “With special thanks to: MGF Drilling Company; Clayton and Modesta Williams; Broncho Chevrolet (Odessa); the Frank Powell Ranch; Earl M. Craig Jr. Corporation; Core Lab; Tommy White Supply; Farmer Trucking; O. H. Berry Company; Jerry Cole Drilling Company; the Button Estes Ranch; The Stardust, courtesy Graham Associates; the Bar Restaurant; Ranchland Hills Country Club; Commercial Bank of Midland; Thrifty Rent-A-Car; Nomad Safety Mat, courtesy BM; Texas Film Commission; Midland Chamber of Commerce; The Ben Hogan Company.”
       Walker-Neer 33, credited as "Dirty Sal," is an oil rig.
       In a feature article in the 29 Sep 1981 LAT, actors Anne Archer and Terry Jastrow discussed the process of financing their first independent feature. The husband and wife team spent more than a year traveling the country to raise the $4.5 million needed to finance the picture, acquiring the final investor in Jul 1981. They also used their Colorado ranch as collateral for a completion bond. Jastrow, the son of an oil prospector, conceived the original story, which was then adapted into a screenplay by a writer who researched the “wildcat” oil culture in TX. Not coincidentally, most of the film’s investors worked in the oil industry. Producer Martin Jurow, who was also Archer’s godfather, advised the couple on achieving the optimum results on a modest budget. As a result, they elected to appear in the film for union scale, deferred payment for “key” members of the cast and crew, and utilized “natural” locations to save the cost of building sets. Production took place in Midland, ... More Less

End credits conclude with the following statements: “Our gratitude to the citizens and community of Midland, Texas”; “With special thanks to: MGF Drilling Company; Clayton and Modesta Williams; Broncho Chevrolet (Odessa); the Frank Powell Ranch; Earl M. Craig Jr. Corporation; Core Lab; Tommy White Supply; Farmer Trucking; O. H. Berry Company; Jerry Cole Drilling Company; the Button Estes Ranch; The Stardust, courtesy Graham Associates; the Bar Restaurant; Ranchland Hills Country Club; Commercial Bank of Midland; Thrifty Rent-A-Car; Nomad Safety Mat, courtesy BM; Texas Film Commission; Midland Chamber of Commerce; The Ben Hogan Company.”
       Walker-Neer 33, credited as "Dirty Sal," is an oil rig.
       In a feature article in the 29 Sep 1981 LAT, actors Anne Archer and Terry Jastrow discussed the process of financing their first independent feature. The husband and wife team spent more than a year traveling the country to raise the $4.5 million needed to finance the picture, acquiring the final investor in Jul 1981. They also used their Colorado ranch as collateral for a completion bond. Jastrow, the son of an oil prospector, conceived the original story, which was then adapted into a screenplay by a writer who researched the “wildcat” oil culture in TX. Not coincidentally, most of the film’s investors worked in the oil industry. Producer Martin Jurow, who was also Archer’s godfather, advised the couple on achieving the optimum results on a modest budget. As a result, they elected to appear in the film for union scale, deferred payment for “key” members of the cast and crew, and utilized “natural” locations to save the cost of building sets. Production took place in Midland, TX, home of Jastrow’s parents, who provided lodging for the couple while photography was underway. Archer praised the people of Midland for their cooperation and generosity, including one resident who offered the use of a dance hall, and an investor who supplied oil rigs. The 13 Oct 1982 LAT noted that the couple first approached Warner Bros. Pictures with the project, estimating the budget at $2 million. The studio declined, saying it would cost “at least $6 million.” The 6 Oct 1981 DV announced the start of principal photography on 7 Oct 1981.
       According to the 5 Oct 1982 HR, Waltz Across Texas premiered 12 Oct 1982 at the USA Film Festival in Dallas, TX. The 9 Jun 1983 HR reported the picture’s Los Angeles, CA, opening at the Cineplex on 24 Jun 1983, adding that it would available for pay television the following month.
       The 28 Jun 1983 LAHExam estimated receipts from the opening weekend at $1,003, and the Sep 1983 Box reported earnings of $1,500 for the entire first week. However, Archer expected they would “break even” from cable television and foreign sales. Distributor Atlantic Releasing had not yet determined whether the film would get a national release.
       Waltz Across Texas garnered lukewarm reviews, although the 21 Jun 1983 HR described it as “the celebration of the little guy, the independent underdogs who take on the big companies." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Sep 1983.
---
Daily Variety
6 Oct 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Oct 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 1983
p. 3, 43.
LAHExam
28 Jun 1983.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Sep 1981
Part VI, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 1982
Part Vi, p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jun 1983
p. H14.
Variety
29 Jun 1983
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Aster Film Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3rd asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
Grip
Grip
Best boy
Elec
Cam, Assisting unit
Cam asst, Assisting unit
Cam, Assisting unit
Cam asst, Assisting unit
Loader, Assisting unit
Spec photog
Still photographs by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Asst ward
Asst ward
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus coord
Addl orch
Mus ed
Mus mixer
SOUND
Prod sd by
Prod sd by
Sd rerec at the
Supv sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff asst
Sd eff asst
VISUAL EFFECTS
Title des by
Opticals by
DANCE
Dance coord
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod accountant
Scr supv
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Loc scout
Scr supv, Assisting unit
Tool pusher
Driller
Tool dresser
Chapman driver
Cinemobile tech
Texas casting, Midland
Texas casting, Dallas
Actor liaison
Extra coord
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Tech consultant
Tech consultant
Ranch consultant
Caterers/Honeywagon
Craft services
Driver
Driver
Driver
Loc by
STAND INS
Stunt coord, Assisting unit
Stunts, Assisting unit
Stunts, Assisting unit
Stunts, Assisting unit
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Waltz Across Texas," written by E. Tubb, sung by Waylon Jennings, produced by Chips Moman
"Look At Us Now," written by M. Brown & S. Dorff, sung by Terri Gibbs, courtesy MCA Records
"Don't Let It Go To Your Heart," written by M. Brown, S. Dorff, L. Henley, J. Silbar, sung by Michael Johnson, courtesy EMI/America Records
+
SONGS
"Waltz Across Texas," written by E. Tubb, sung by Waylon Jennings, produced by Chips Moman
"Look At Us Now," written by M. Brown & S. Dorff, sung by Terri Gibbs, courtesy MCA Records
"Don't Let It Go To Your Heart," written by M. Brown, S. Dorff, L. Henley, J. Silbar, sung by Michael Johnson, courtesy EMI/America Records
"I Stepped Into A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me," written by R. Levinson, R. Cate, S. Dorff, R. Mainegra, sung by Nick Masters
"One Hot Juke Box," written by R. Levinson, sung by Richard Edwards. ["Home On The Range," written by Brewster M. Higley and Daniel E. Kelley.]
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 June 1983
Premiere Information:
USA Film Festival premiere: 12 October 1982
Los Angeles opening: 24 June 1983
Production Date:
began 7 October 1981
Copyright Claimant:
Atlantic Releasing Corporation
Copyright Date:
13 September 1983
Copyright Number:
PA194585
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In an oil field near Midland, Texas, Gail Weston, a geologist for AMCO Petroleum, narrowly avoids a violent confrontation with petroleum landman John Taylor, who is angered by her decision to move his oil rig. Later, John visits Gail at her home and apologizes for his behavior, then asks the reason for what she was doing. Gail explains there was no petroleum where the rig stood and she ordered it moved to a ranch owned by Frank Walker. John accepts Gail’s explanation, but is openly annoyed with her belligerent attitude, prompting her to slam the door in his face. Gail’s coworker, Bill Wrather, informs her that Frank Walker opposes oil drilling on his land, and John Taylor is the one person who could change his mind. Gail arrives at John’s ranch as he bathes in his outdoor shower. He agrees to negotiate a lease with Frank in exchange for a two percent override on proceeds from the well. He emerges from the shower to seal the agreement with a handshake, but Gail is shocked by his nudity and runs to her car. After spending a day reminiscing with Frank Walker, John secures a lease agreement. That evening, Gail joins fellow geologist Kit Peabody at a tavern. While Kit instructs Gail in the use of Texas colloquialisms, John enters with his date, Modesta Davis. John and Gail exchange scornful remarks, leading Kit to suspect a latent attraction between the two. Days later, Gail’s authority at the job site is challenged by drill operator Luke Jarvis, who believes women are bad luck on an oil rig. When Gail’s ... +


In an oil field near Midland, Texas, Gail Weston, a geologist for AMCO Petroleum, narrowly avoids a violent confrontation with petroleum landman John Taylor, who is angered by her decision to move his oil rig. Later, John visits Gail at her home and apologizes for his behavior, then asks the reason for what she was doing. Gail explains there was no petroleum where the rig stood and she ordered it moved to a ranch owned by Frank Walker. John accepts Gail’s explanation, but is openly annoyed with her belligerent attitude, prompting her to slam the door in his face. Gail’s coworker, Bill Wrather, informs her that Frank Walker opposes oil drilling on his land, and John Taylor is the one person who could change his mind. Gail arrives at John’s ranch as he bathes in his outdoor shower. He agrees to negotiate a lease with Frank in exchange for a two percent override on proceeds from the well. He emerges from the shower to seal the agreement with a handshake, but Gail is shocked by his nudity and runs to her car. After spending a day reminiscing with Frank Walker, John secures a lease agreement. That evening, Gail joins fellow geologist Kit Peabody at a tavern. While Kit instructs Gail in the use of Texas colloquialisms, John enters with his date, Modesta Davis. John and Gail exchange scornful remarks, leading Kit to suspect a latent attraction between the two. Days later, Gail’s authority at the job site is challenged by drill operator Luke Jarvis, who believes women are bad luck on an oil rig. When Gail’s car fails to start, John invites her to dinner at his home. As they get acquainted, he recounts his family’s history in Midland’s petroleum industry, and Gail tells of her travels around the world with her geologist father, who also works for AMCO. After dinner, John takes Gail dancing at a country music tavern, and a romance develops between them. They return to the house, and as John plays “Home On The Range” on the piano, Gail falls asleep on the couch. In the morning, they return to the oil rig, where Gail and Luke Jarvis engage in another heated argument. John comes to Gail’s defense, resulting in a fistfight between the two men. The defeated Luke quits his job, and Gail blames John’s interference for the loss of the drill operator. When the well fails to produce oil, Gail meets with AMCO executives Bill Wrather, Harry Jamison, and David Foster, and all but Gail agree the site should be abandoned. Gail argues the point and is fired for insubordination. Exhilarated by her newfound freedom, Gail becomes an oil prospector. She studies geological maps and chooses a plot of land with great potential for oil production. Gail arrives at the site to find John surveying the land for the purpose of drilling, and they form a business partnership. He arranges a bank loan for the venture, using his home, his airplane, and his insurance policies as collateral. Gail secures the necessary permits and rents an oil rig, nicknamed “Dirty Sal” by its owner, A. J. Profit. As drilling commences, Luke apologizes for his past behavior and offers his assistance. Later, Gail is attacked by a swarm of fire ants and John rushes her to the hospital. She awakes in his home the next day, grateful to John for saving her life. They make love that night, but in the morning, both express an aversion to committed relationships. Gail and John return to the oil well as a gas explosion shakes the ground. Luke and John cap the well, certain that it will produce 100 barrels of oil per day. However, as the day progresses, the well’s production steadily declines and John becomes despondent over his failure. He dismisses Gail’s efforts to encourage him and declares an end to their relationship. The following day, Gail tells Kit Peabody of her plans to leave Texas. Kit argues that she should stay, believing Gail and John belong together. Gail realizes Kit is right and spends the night assisting John on the oil rig. They strike oil the next day and celebrate that evening with champagne, while planning their future together as both lovers and business partners. +

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

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