6.2/10
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7 user 6 critic

The Houston Story (1956)

In Houston, a man working as an oil driller comes up with a scheme for stealing millions of dollars worth of oil from the fields. He insinuates himself with a local mobster in order to get ... See full summary »

Director:

William Castle

Writers:

Robert E. Kent (screenplay) (as James B. Gordon), Robert E. Kent (story) (as James B. Gordon)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Barry ... Frank Duncan
Barbara Hale ... Zoe Crane
Edward Arnold ... Paul Atlas
Paul Richards ... Gordon Shay
Jeanne Cooper ... Madge
Frank Jenks ... Louie Phelan
John Zaremba ... Emile Constant
Chris Alcaide ... Chris Barker
Jack Littlefield Jack Littlefield ... Willie Lucas (as Jack V. Littlefield)
Paul Levitt Paul Levitt ... Duke
Fred Krone Fred Krone ... Marsh
Pete Kellett Pete Kellett ... Kalo
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Storyline

In Houston, a man working as an oil driller comes up with a scheme for stealing millions of dollars worth of oil from the fields. He insinuates himself with a local mobster in order to get financing for his scheme. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror Over Texas!


Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1956 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

De ratten van Houston See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Clover Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmaker spent an inexplicably and inordinate amount of footage in the terminal of what is now William P. Hobby AIrport, whose name was changed in 1967 to honor a Texas governor. It was then Houston International Airport as of 1954, when the new passenger terminal opened. The art-deco interior may have appeared aesthetically pleasing enough to have factored into the editing. The terminal even had a nursery, something one would be hard pressed to find at many airports these days. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Put the blame on Hale
29 March 2016 | by XhcnoirXSee all my reviews

Gene Barry works in the Texas oil fields but he's got other plans... He's come up with a plan to steal oil from the fields and sell it on the grey market. To get the plan financed, he identifies a jane doe suicide as the former name of torch singer Barbara Hale, who knows the local underground. Not wanting trouble, she gives in, and Barry meets up with local boss Edward Arnold and his #1 man, Paul Richards. They agree to the plan, and soon Barry is rolling in money. But Barry wants to climb higher in the organisation, while Arnold and Richards want to get rid of him.

Lee J. Cobb was originally planned to play the lead role, but I really can't imagine him in this role. Barry ('Naked Alibi') does a great job and also has nice chemistry with Hale ('The Clay Pigeon'), who is an almost unrecognizable platinum blonde femme fatale here. The rest of the cast are good, but it's Barry and Hale who excel here. Hale even pulls off a convincing 'Put The Blame On Mame', altho she's no Rita Hayworth.

A bit of a derivative story (and title), but who cares when it's executed this well. This was director William Castle's last noir ('Johnny Stool Pigeon', 'New Orleans Uncensored') and he keeps things interesting, aided by some nice cinematography by Henry Freulich ('Chicago Syndicate', 'The Miami Story'). I was more than pleasantly surprised by this late noir. Recommended! 8/10


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