"The Iron Orchard" is the story of Jim McNeely, a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields in 1939, who works his way through the ranks to ultimately become a formidable wildcatter.
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Adam S. Tellier
5 out of 5 stars
Mind-blowing and heart-rending.
January 30, 2019
I saw this special film when it premiered at the Austin Film Festival, where it deservingly won the Audience Award. Directed by Ty Roberts. I believe it is based on a local novel -- a cult classic -- of the same name, written by Tom Pendleton. Pendleton's son Ned Van Zandt is actually in the movie. It has a hometown feel, capturing the stark, musky aesthetic of West Texas oilfields. The backdrops are truly beautiful, hitting vistas imbued with both arid bleakness and Southern comfort. The casting is stellar, and impressively Texan: Austin Nichols (The Walking Dead) and Lane Garrison (Shooter, Prison Break) don roles with excellent character development.
I encourage readers to dive into the story behind the novel, which appears to be getting a re-release after many years to coincide with the movie: https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/iron-orchard/