In 1973 I saw this film when it first came out accompanied with my father. We saw it in a movie house out in the Coney Island section in Brooklyn, and it was on a rarity these days - a double bill with a film from France (I believe it was TRAFFIC by Jacques Tati). The movies were entertaining for a change. OKLAHOMA CRUDE was an unexpectedly good film - not a great western but an unusual one.
The plot is similar to the plots of many westerns. A woman owns a small parcel of land which is the subject of interest by powerful local interests. Instead of it being land where the local water hole is located (as in THE BIG COUNTRY) it is potentially rich oil land. The woman here (Faye Dunaway) is very independent and very bitter - her father (John Mills) has always been distant and never helped her or her mother. But circumstances force her to rely on Mills and on drifter George C. Scott. Scott is quite a slippery type - out for himself. So Dunaway proceeds to keep him on a tight leash.
The local Oil Company represents the big land owner in traditional westerns. And, taking a leaf from SHANE, it's "gunslinger" is Jack Palance. But Palance is a smoother villain (and at times a funnier one) than his classic killer in SHANE. When Scott offers to sabotage Dunaway's attempts at fighting the big, bad corporation, Palance, calmly smoking a cigar motions Scott over to him. "I don't think I can use you for that.", our Jack says in a typically deadly confidential whisper of that gravelly voice of his, "but I'll tell you what. I'll give you $10.00 if you'll kiss my ass!" Scott doesn't reply immediately, but later on he gets a little back at Jack - at a particularly dark threatening moment, Scott pulls his shotgun up against Palance's groin (lower section). Caught off guard and frightened, we see a river come out of Jack's midriff. When he is "emptied out", he looks disgustedly at his ruined overcoat, strips it off him gingerly, and dumps it on the floor of Dunaway's homestead before he leaves.
The film had many choice moments - like John Mills and one of Palance's army of thugs confronting each other, both firing their guns, and both discovering that they have no ammo in their guns. They then have to race to arm their weapon first...and it becomes a really close thing.
The slapstick moments enliven the film - and even last to the last moments when (much to Palance's amazement) his bosses are ready to meet any demand to get that oil. All in all a pretty good and unusual movie, and one that should be seen by people who like western films.
Comedy / Drama / Western
Comedy / Drama / Western
It's oil boom time in Oklahoma, and Lena Doyle (Faye Dunaway), a hard-bitten, cyncial feminist has a fight on her hands. The big oil companies don't like the fact that she's working a potentially profitable wildcat rig. Reluctantly, Lena must accept the aid of her estranged father Cleon Doyle (Sir John Mills), and Noble Mason (George C. Scott), the man he hires to help. The three form an unlikely team: Lena hates men, Mason is out for himself, and Lena's father is trying to make up for a lifetime of neglecting his daughter. But together, they take on the big guys and put up a terrific fight. —A.L.Beneteau
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 17, 2021 at 04:35 AM