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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Black Gold (1962)

Set in the oil boom of 1920s Oklahoma, a wildcatter (Philip Carey) joins forces with a beautiful woman (Diane McBain) in drilling for oil on her property without much success. But that doesn't stop a ruthless oil baron (Claude Akins) from wanting control of their oil properties. This rather lackluster programmer shot in B&W on the Warner Brothers backlot plays like an unsold television pilot cobbled together to make a feature film though it was, in fact, made for cinemas. The second string cast consists of early 60s TV regulars. In addition to Carey, McBain and Akins, there's Fay Spain and James Best. There are a myriad of reasons why Carey and Best never broke through to the "A-list" and they're all on display here. Akins and Spain fare best since their roles allow them a little more detail in their characterizations while McBain, looking like she stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine, is eye candy. It's the kind of film where one is always a step ahead of the predictable screenplay. Directed by Leslie H. Martinson. With William Phipps, Dub Taylor and Iron Eyes Cody.

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