My first movie at the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival was The Iron Orchard, a movie with a true Texas feel because it was made in Texas by Texans. The Iron Orchard was directed by Ty Roberts and stars North Texas native, Lane Garrison.
Based on Tom Pennington novel of the same name, The Iron Orchard follows the rise to power and success of Jim McNeely (Lane Garrison). Jim is a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields in 1939, who works his way through the ranks to become a powerful wildcatter.
Jim leaves everything behind, including his beautiful, young girlfriend Mazzie. He sets off to go seek his fortune in the hot and dusty West Texas oil fields.
Black Gold, Texas Tea
Spending his days digging ditches and laying out the pipes in the oilfields under the hot Texas sun with the other wildcatters, Jim meets a bunch of rough and rowdy guys who work hard and drink hard. But they all dream of the day when they will make their fortunes in oil.
Along the way, Jim learns the oil business and eventually becomes friends with a few of the locals and an eclectic bunch of wildcatters.
After a chance encounter with Lee, his abused boss’ wife, Jim develops a friendship that will change his life.
Success in the oil business means you have to be a risk taker and a deal maker. Risk BIG the oil comes gushing out of the ground. That is how Jim lives. It doesn’t matter who or what you have to do to make it happen.
With help from his friend and business partner Dent Paxton (Austin Nichols), Jim’s ambition takes him to the heights of success in the oil business.
Even with the best of luck you never know if the well will be worth all the hard work and money invested. Years pass and Jim learns the art of shady deal-making and his fortune continues to grow.
But will that be enough?
Devastating disaster, betrayal, and loss will lead Jim to realize what’s important in his life and what he truly values.
Will success make you happy?
How much money is enough?
The Iron Orchard was filmed in Big Spring and other locations including Austin. There’s plenty of Texas landscapes, as well as some lovely Art Deco decor, and cute 1950’s fashion.