Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Stars Fell on Henrietta

James Keach, 1995 (8.6*)
This small indie film is the best film that is not available on dvd. I'm putting this review out as a hope to generate some interest in getting it released. The problem is that is grossed only 100k in the U.S., and at IMDB only 490 people have rated this movie - unreal.

Robert Duvall has one of his more likeable roles as a veteran oil man named Cox, who has been down on his luck in finding oil. He travels around with his pet cat, and comes across small rancher Aidan Quinn (as Don Day) and his family near Henrietta, Texas, who needs a miracle to survive. Cox tells everyone that he can "hear oil" deep underground, but only Day's very young daughter feels the same - Cox tells her that "she has the gift" as well. Frances Fisher is Quinn's disgruntled wife, and Brian Dennehy also has a major part.

This film reminded me of Frank Capra's optimistic depression-era films, and was directed by actor James Keach. We need more films like this sleeper nowdays, and it's a crime that it's still not out on dvd. Film companies owe it to the public to occasionally preserve an important piece of Americana without regard to profitability. I'm surprised that Robert Duvall hasn't used his clout in Hollywood to get this released, it's a minor classic to me and most who have seen it.

This is a much better oil drilling story than There Will Be Blood or Giant. I'm putting this out on Christmas because it's in the Capra tradition, and the story makes a good holiday gift to the world.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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