Oklahoma Crude (1973)

PG | 108 or 110-112 mins | Drama | July 1973

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writer:

Marc Norman

Producer:

Stanley Kramer

Cinematographer:

Robert Surtees

Production Designer:

Alfred Sweeney

Production Company:

Stanley Kramer Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The opening credits appear over still photographs of historical and cultural milestones of the early twentieth century, including the launch of the R.M.S. Titanic . As the opening credits roll, the song "Send a Little Love My Way" is heard on the soundtrack. The voice of Canadian singer Anne Murray, for whom the song became a hit, is heard as if it is emanating from an early twentieth century recording. Throughout the film, Faye Dunaway's character, "Lena Doyle," plays period songs on a phonograph in her cabin. At one point in the story, "Cleon Doyle" (John Mills) and "Noble 'Mase' Mason" (George C. Scott) sing a drunken rendition of James V. Monoco and Joseph McCarthy's popular song "You Made Me Love You--I Didn't Want to Do It," which was written in 1913, the year of the film's setting. A written acknowledgment appears in the closing credits thanking Petroleum Productions Pioneers and various oil companies. As noted in the credits, Oklahoma Crude was filmed at Ospital Ranch in Stockton, CA. Filmfacts also lists location shooting in Sonora, CA. ... More Less

The opening credits appear over still photographs of historical and cultural milestones of the early twentieth century, including the launch of the R.M.S. Titanic . As the opening credits roll, the song "Send a Little Love My Way" is heard on the soundtrack. The voice of Canadian singer Anne Murray, for whom the song became a hit, is heard as if it is emanating from an early twentieth century recording. Throughout the film, Faye Dunaway's character, "Lena Doyle," plays period songs on a phonograph in her cabin. At one point in the story, "Cleon Doyle" (John Mills) and "Noble 'Mase' Mason" (George C. Scott) sing a drunken rendition of James V. Monoco and Joseph McCarthy's popular song "You Made Me Love You--I Didn't Want to Do It," which was written in 1913, the year of the film's setting. A written acknowledgment appears in the closing credits thanking Petroleum Productions Pioneers and various oil companies. As noted in the credits, Oklahoma Crude was filmed at Ospital Ranch in Stockton, CA. Filmfacts also lists location shooting in Sonora, CA. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Jul 1973
p. 4608.
Daily Variety
4 Dec 1972.
---
Filmfacts
1973
pp. 43-46.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1972
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 1972
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1973
p. 3, 10.
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
28 Jul 1973.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Jul 1973.
---
New York Times
4 Jul 1973
p. 8.
Newsweek
16 Jul 1973
p. 86.
Time
20 Aug 1973.
---
Variety
25 Jan 1972.
---
Variety
6 Jun 1973
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Chief elec
Company grip
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec photog eff
Main title des
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod mgr
Public relations
Asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
SONGS
"Send a Little Love My Way," music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Hal David, sung by Anne Murray.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1973
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 27 July 1973
Production Date:
18 September--early December 1972 in Stockton, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 June 1973
Copyright Number:
LP42413
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
108 or 110-112
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1913 outside of the small town of Almira, Oklahoma, Lena Doyle struggles to maintain her lone “wild cat” oil derrick with the help of a her Native American employee, Jimmy. When Cleon Doyle arrives with an offer to help Lena, the daughter he abandoned as a baby, she staunchly refuses. Undaunted, Cleon offers a group of hobos employment to guard Lena’s derrick, but the men scoff at going against Pan Oklahoma Oil and Gas, known as Pan Okie, which controls most of the employment in the region and has made numerous offers for Lena’s derrick. Of the group, only Noble “Mase” Mason accepts Cleon’s proposal. Arriving at the derrick, the two men are shot at by Lena, forcing them to wait until nightfall, when they sneak up the hill into her cabin. Cleon introduces Lena to Mase, who refuses to tell her his given name because he does not like it, but declares that he is self-reliant and capable. Lena initially rejects Mase, but when he grudgingly agrees to do “light housework” in addition to guarding the derrick, she agrees to let him stay, but orders Cleon away. Over the next several days, Mase settles into his duties of watching over the derrick and cleaning up after meals. Although Lena ignores him and tends to the derrick with Jimmy, she reacts furiously when Mase pointedly refuses to help her when she catches her hand in the machinery. Later, after Mase seeks refuge in Lena’s cabin during a rainstorm, she frightens him away by declaring her wish to be a third sex so as to have no need for ... +


In 1913 outside of the small town of Almira, Oklahoma, Lena Doyle struggles to maintain her lone “wild cat” oil derrick with the help of a her Native American employee, Jimmy. When Cleon Doyle arrives with an offer to help Lena, the daughter he abandoned as a baby, she staunchly refuses. Undaunted, Cleon offers a group of hobos employment to guard Lena’s derrick, but the men scoff at going against Pan Oklahoma Oil and Gas, known as Pan Okie, which controls most of the employment in the region and has made numerous offers for Lena’s derrick. Of the group, only Noble “Mase” Mason accepts Cleon’s proposal. Arriving at the derrick, the two men are shot at by Lena, forcing them to wait until nightfall, when they sneak up the hill into her cabin. Cleon introduces Lena to Mase, who refuses to tell her his given name because he does not like it, but declares that he is self-reliant and capable. Lena initially rejects Mase, but when he grudgingly agrees to do “light housework” in addition to guarding the derrick, she agrees to let him stay, but orders Cleon away. Over the next several days, Mase settles into his duties of watching over the derrick and cleaning up after meals. Although Lena ignores him and tends to the derrick with Jimmy, she reacts furiously when Mase pointedly refuses to help her when she catches her hand in the machinery. Later, after Mase seeks refuge in Lena’s cabin during a rainstorm, she frightens him away by declaring her wish to be a third sex so as to have no need for either men or women. Some nights later in another downpour, Mase dozes by the derrick as a group of men led by former army captain Walter C. Hellman arrive in stealth. After knocking Jimmy out, the men drag Lena from her bed. Her screams rouse Mase, who fires at Hellman, but the pistol malfunctions. Hellman informs Lena that he represents Pan Okie which is displeased that she has not responded to their numerous letters. Unafraid, Lena insists she has no interest in selling and when Hellman offers to sub-lease the derrick and pay her a small percentage of the profits should oil be found, her response is to write an obscenity on the contract. Hellman then orders his men to beat Lena and the now-revived Jimmy. Watching anxiously, Mase approaches Hellman and asks for two hundred dollars to depart. Declaring the sum outside of his budget, Hellman orders his men to thrash Mase as well. The next day Cleon takes the unconscious Lena and Mase to the house of a farmer and there nurses his daughter back to health. Recovering from broken ribs, Mase tells Cleon that he has had enough and, refusing the pay owed him, departs. When Lena fully revives and learns that Jimmy has died in Hellman’s assault, she and Cleon go into Almira to meet attorney W. H. Atkins to demand an injunction against Pan Okie. Informing Lena that as an individual she has no real recourse against the might of a powerful, wealthy corporation, Atkins refuses the job, but privately suggests hiring armed men to beat back the company representatives, then claim the attack was in self-defense. Having taken a temporary job doing road construction in town, Mase witnesses the exchange between Atkins and Lena. Later Mase confronts Lena, pointing out that she needs help retaking and keeping her derrick. Revealing that he fought in Cuba and knows something of military tactics, Mase offers to resume his guard job for twenty-five percent of Lena’s well. Scornfully, Lena offers him two percent and Mase walks out. Nevertheless, a few days later, Cleon drives his wagon out to the derrick pretending to make a delivery to Hellman’s armed guard, while Mase and Lena creep up the unguarded, steep side of the hill behind the well. When a guard offers to help Cleon unload the wagon and finds several crates of explosives and guns, Cleon shoots him. A battle ensues with Lena, Cleon and Mase using grenades and shotguns to drive away Hellman’s startled men from the derrick. Lena immediately resumes drilling, but the next day Hellman returns with Pan Okie representative Henry H. Wilcox, the son of the company’s head, and a larger group of armed men. Under a white flag, Hellman and Wilcox approach the derrick where Hellman announces they will lay siege to the derrick unless Lena signs a contract. When Lena again declines, Hellman and Wilcox return down the hill and set up a tent city below, but Wilcox insists that, on the orders of his father, no further violence be used against the Doyles. Later, Mase brings Lena the latest dirt sample from the drill and, smelling it, Lena declares they are close to reaching oil. When Cleon is unable to cross Hellman’s line to get fresh supplies, Mase boldly sneaks into Hellman's camp one evening and pretending to be a hired hand, steals supplies. Grateful, Lena offers to pay Mase in the future, but he merely asks for a kiss and her acknowledgement that he is decent. The next evening a spark on the derrick causes a brief fire which breaks the drill cable. Pleased that this situation will drive Lena out at last, Hellman orders several of his sharpshooters to fire at the derrick tower to prevent the Doyles from making repairs. The next day, despite Lena’s protests, Cleon, using a makeshift sheet of metal as a shield, laboriously climbs to the top of the derrick tower to rethread the cable. On his descent however, the metal shield falls off and Cleon is shot and killed as Lena and Mase watch in horror. After burying her father, the bereft Lena turns to Mase for solace. The next day the couple work diligently to restart and maintain the derrick’s motor. Lena informs the exhausted Mase that he can have the twenty-five percent, then later tells him that he is free to leave if he wants. In response, Mase confides that his first name is Noble, which causes Lena to burst into laughter. The next morning, Lena, Mase and the members of the Hellman camp are awoken by a deep rumbling and after several minutes, Lena’s derrick gushes oil. As Hellman and members of smaller oil companies rush to Lena to make a flurry of offers, the oil gush abruptly ceases. Smiling ruefully, Hellman declares the well a “bust” and after bidding farewell to Lena, takes his men, and departs. Packing his few belongings, Mase says he may go to Mexico. Undaunted, Lena declares she intends to start again, and as Mase turns his back and starts to walk away, he stops when she calls out, "Noble." +

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

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