Wildcatter: A Story of Texas Oil

Director: Robert Tranchin

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Wildcatter is about the wily and roaming oilmen who venture forth into the wasteland for the costly and hazardous crapshoot of digging deep into the earth to tap a motherload of oil. This film chronicles the rich history of the Texas oil boom of the early 1900’s using rare archival footage and eyewitness accounts by the last of the early pioneers. Intermixed is the modern day drama of a Houston wildcatter drilling a well picked over by his predecessors. What results is a nicely structured, swiftly moving and historically illuminating film about the beginnings of America’s oil industry. It is a tale full of stubborn dreams, calculated risks, and men who amass large fortunes and squander them overnight.

Screening Details


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