MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS is a delightful comedy about two con men in Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression in 1931 who prey on widows to build phony oil wells. The two men encounter a dilemma when their latest well strikes oil. Will they pull a disappearing act before they’re sent to jail?
MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS starts off slowly because it begins with a flashback and a summary of the two con men’s early lives. Also, their turn to crime doesn’t endear their story to viewers. However, once they get to East Texas, the story picks up. Some of the plot twists are pretty hilarious. A poignant subplot raises the stakes when it’s revealed the two men have actually fallen in love with two of their female victims. Kevin Sorbo (who also directs) and John Ratzenberger as the two con men are delightful. All this leads to a wonderful, inspiring, evangelical ending that culminates in a wonderful church scene and a great courtroom scene that resolves the plot conflicts. The ending in MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS is funny, emotional and redemptive.
(CC, BB, M)
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, moral worldview about two con men who prey on widows during the 1930s in East Texas, but who have a change of heart when they fall in love and help out a church
One strong profanity, and a man takes the Lord’s name in vain when he lies, and says the sudden breakdown of a wagon is a sign from God that the oil people are looking for is near the site of the breakdown, and man also misuses the Lord’s name when he pretends to be a Christian while he’s trying to con people, but man eventually repents and becomes a true believer
Some light violence
Some innuendo about sex in a couple scenes near the beginning of the movie (a gushing oil well is called “orgiastic”)
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Two men lie to defraud some widow
MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS is a delightful comedy about two con men during the Great Depression in 1931 East Texas who prey on widows to fund phony oil wells, but who come across a dilemma when their latest well suddenly strikes oil for real. MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS begins a little slow and has some mature innuendo that’s not for little children, but it picks up steam after the first plot point and has a wonderful, inspiring, evangelical ending with appealing performances by Kevin Sorbo, John Ratzenberger and the rest of the cast.
The movie opens with an older man (Lou Gossett, Jr.) telling the story of Doc Boyd (Kevin Sorbo) and Dad Everett (John Ratzenberger) to two young reporters. Doc Boyd started off running a medicine show, then teamed up with Dad Everett, a wildcat oil man who’s had nothing but bad luck when it comes to drilling for oil.
In the beginning of the Great Depression, Doc and Dad go to Oklahoma to bilk recent widows out of their money while pretending to drill for oil at another widow’s farm. They don’t ask the farmer’s widow for any money, they just want her permission to drill, with a promise of sharing the wealth if they hit paydirt. Of course, the well turns up dry, so no one’s the wiser, because the well was a gamble anyway.
Doc and Dad travel to East Texas, where they approach another recent widow about drilling for oil on her land. The woman’s husband had disappeared in Mexico years ago, and she’s just declared him dead. So, Doc and Dad decide to give her a phony story about meeting her husband in Mexico, where he supposedly told them that a fortune teller had told him there was oil on his farm.
When they get back to the widow’s farm, however, they discover that her husband has suddenly turned up alive and well. When the big man appears in the doorway, Doc and Dad decide to just skedaddle out of there, until they learn that the poor man suffers from amnesia. So, no wonder he doesn’t remember meeting them!
Doc and Dad are all set to pull the same scan they pulled in Oklahoma in East Texas. In addition to getting money from other widows around the countryside, they attract the interest of a super-nice young black man with a wife and son, who becomes their wood carter and business partner, despite racial tensions in the area. There is a wonderful sub-plot about the integration of races that mutually benefits everyone.
The stage is finally set for Doc and Dad to tell everyone the well is dry when, suddenly, the preliminary test for oil turns out to be positive! Dad is ecstatic about the find, until Doc reminds him that they’ve promised all the widows more than 500% of the profits from the well. “You can only sell 100% of anything,” Doc Boyd reminds him.
Will Doc Boyd and Dad Everett pull a disappearing act? The answer to that question produces plenty of surprises and some fun plot twists.
MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS starts off a little slowly because it begins with a flashback and a summary of the two con men’s early lives. Also, their turn to crime and fraud doesn’t actually endear their story to audiences. However, once they get to East Texas, the story picks up. The plot twists about the missing husband suddenly showing up, with amnesia no less, are pretty hilarious. The sequence starts the viewer to wonder whether these two rascals will get their comeuppance, or will they change their ways and make up for the wrong they’ve done? A poignant subplot raises the stakes when the movie reveals that the two con men have actually fallen in love with two of their female victims. In addition, Orin McCusker as the young family man who innocently helps the two con men turns in a very sympathetic performance that also raises the stakes in the story. Kevin Sorbo (who also directs) and John Ratzenberger as the two con men are delightful. Finally, Kevin’s wife, Sam, delivers a very poignant performance as the widow with whom Kevin’s character has fallen in love.
All this leads to a wonderful, inspiring, evangelical ending that culminates in a wonderful church scene and a great courtroom scene that resolves the plot conflicts. The ending in MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS is funny, emotional and redemptive. If you’re looking for a good time at the movie theater, MIRACLE IN EAST TEXAS just may be your cup of Texas tea. That’s oil to you city slickers, aka black gold!
We are a crowdfunded organization, supported by people like you. These are some of the reasons why our supporters choose to give.
"I appreciate seeing who is supportive of Christian values in the industry. "
You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax-deductible.
A New Way To Experience Family Night
A family devotional that combines your favorite movies with Gospel truths!
An exciting and fun way to grow spiritually and together as a family
Download for FREE right now and transform your family movie nights
Enter your email to download your free devotion for families!