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‘Miracle in East Texas’ Tells True Story of Two Con-Men Who Accidentally Strike Oil

The following article, 'Miracle in East Texas' Tells True Story of Two Con-Men Who Accidentally Strike Oil, was first published on Flag And Cross.

“Miracle in East Texas” is a family-friendly comedy directed by Kevin Sorbo, based on a true story from the early 1930s.

Sorbo (“Hercules,” “God’s Not Dead”) also stars in the film as con man Doc Boyd, alongside his fellow swindler Dad Everett (John Ratzenberger of “Cheers” and “Toy Story”), pretending to be oil wildcatters.

Filling out the cast are Louis Gossett Jr. (“Officer and a Gentlemen”) who narrates part of the tale, Tyler Mane (“X-Men”) as landowner Thurman Dialand, and Sam Sorbo (“Chicago Hope”), Kevin’s real-world wife, who plays Flora May Simms, one of many widows Boyd seeks to cajole into investing in his sham business.

The movie has a similar feel to the classics “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting,” both starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

Sorbo told The Western Journal there’s a good reason for that.

Dan Gordon, the screenwriter of “Miracle in East Texas,” had penned it for Redford and Newman 30 years ago, but the two Hollywood icons never were able to get together to make it happen.

Some of Gordon’s other projects include “The Hurricane,” (1999) for which Denzel Washington received an Academy Award nomination for best leading actor.

Gordon also wrote “Wyatt Earp” (1994), which starred Kevin Costner, and over 30 episodes of the television series “Highway to Heaven,” featuring Michael Landon.

Sorbo, a friend of Gordon, read the “Miracle in East Texas” script and loved it.

“It’s a wonderful true story about two con men in Oklahoma and Texas who would woo widows out of their money and [then build] fake oil wells. These are total flimflam artists,” Sorbo said.

“You know, what makes it worse with what they did, it was right in the heart of the Depression,” he added.

Eventually, the con catches up with Doc Boyd and Dad Everett when they accidentally strike oil in East Texas. Their wells tapped into part of the largest oil field in the contiguous United States.

Many complications follow.

The miracle isn’t really finding the oil, Sorbo said, but rather “what happens in these gentlemen” afterward as they grapple with the web of lies they’ve woven and come to find redemption.

Sorbo noted one interesting historical tidbit is that the oil these and other wildcatters discovered in East Texas in the early 1930s would help the Allied powers win World War II a decade later.

A 1,200-mile pipeline called the “Big Inch” was built from East Texas to New Jersey to move the oil across the country and then by ship to Western Europe.

Nazi German U-boats had been sinking American oil tankers off the coast of Texas. The Allied navies were able to better protect shipping going from the East Coast to Europe.

Wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill later said the war in Europe was won “on a sea of East Texas oil,” KLTV reported.

“Miracle in East Texas” is a PG-rated movie and will be in theaters on October 29 and 30.

However, if the film performs well, the theatrical run will be extended.

“Theater owners don’t care what they show,” Sorbo said. “They want to sell popcorn and soda, or whatever is making money for them, that’s what they’ll put out there and keep putting out there. So I’m hoping that people jump on board and help make this thing a hit.”

The actor shared that the film has a broad audience appeal. “I get stopped all the time, people say they’re so tired of the woke and craziness of what’s going in movies and TV.” They often ask him, “Can’t we just have a fun, family movie?”

“Well, this is it,” Sorbo said regarding “Miracle in East Texas.”

Find theater locations and order tickets here.



This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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