It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a movie, but I was invited to preview Miracle in East Texas, and the trailer intrigued me. So while my daughter was in town visiting, we settled in for a girls’ movie night. I can’t say the movie bowled us over, but it provided a few laughs.
Miracle in East Texas Plot Summary
According to the Miracle in East Texas movie website, the story is inspired by the improbable but true story of two aging con men at the dawn of the Great Depression and the biggest oil strike in the history of the world. Being history sticklers, we tried to research how much truth was mixed in. At first, all we could find was a great oil strike in East Texas in 1901. But, according to the Texas State Historical Association, there was, in fact, a 1930 oil strike led by two dubious oil men.
With that said, the movie is far more tall tale than truth, and that’s ok. Miracle in East Texas movie opens with two young reporters interviewing Irving Tanner, Jr (Lou Gossett, Jr.) about the 1930 legend. He was a young boy when the unluckiest wildcatter in the world, Dad Everett (John Ratzenberger), teamed up with Doc Boyd (Kevin Sorbo), a charming snake oil salesman. He shares with the journalists the crazy tale of how the two con men accidentally struck oil in East Texax.
Then, the unthinkable happens! They actually strike oil. This provides a new challenge. Should they declare another dry hole for a clean escape, or bring the well in like genuine oil men and likely spend the rest of their lives in jail?
Meanwhile, some of their investors are angry and fixing to do something about it.
What happens next? Doc preaches, the Good Lord teaches, and a judge reaches a surprising conclusion.
Miracle in East Texas Movie Review
Miracle in East Texas is a hokey comedy that employs a number of gimmicks to add to the silliness of the story. These include silent movie style title cards, sepia toned still shots, and period music. It’s over the top slapstick silly. Sophisticated it is not. But it’s not attempting to be serious. It’s all about play.
The movie is well produced. Great sets, costumes, cinematogrophy. It’s well cast, and the acting is good. The only production quality that bothered me was the color. It wasn’t consistent between shots, and that kept distracting me. I’m not sure, however, that the average viewer would ever notice.
The biggest complaint both Brittany and I had was the spiritual aspects. Throughout the movie, scripture is constantly quoted out of context and for laughs. The con artist pair knows their Bible and use it to their advantage. Other characters use over the top scripture as emphasis as well. Several times it came across as bordering on blasphemy. I’m sure that was not the filmmakers’ intent. However, neither of us felt comfortable with the way scripture was mocked at times.
According to the movie website, the story has a message of forgiveness and redemption. But the message is so light that you’ll miss it is you’re not looking for it.
All in all, Miracle in East Texas is a lighthearted faith-based flick intended to entertain, and it does that. You can watch it on the big screen tomorrow and Monday in theaters across the country. Check out the website to find a location near you.
Miracle in East Texas Website
Miracle in East Texas on IMDb
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary screener of this movie. Opinions expressed are my own.