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‘The Iron Orchard’ is a Must-See Texas Movie of Oil, Riches, & Love

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Based on the novel of the same name, “The Iron Orchard” is a film centered around Texas oil drilling of an earlier time. Tom Pendelton (the pen name of late author Edmund Pendleton Van Zandt Jr.) wrote the novel which was favored by those in the industry itself. Variety stated that this was most likely attributed to “its brutally authentic yet unmistakably sympathetic portrait of a West Texas wildcatter who traverses a dramatic arc of rags to riches to really bad behavior.” Thankfully, the movie version has its own Texas ties that will lend it the air of authenticity viewers will want to see, and that’s thanks in no small part to Camille Scioli Chambers, co-producer and native of Lubbock.

Of the film and the process of bringing it to fruition, Chambers recently explained to kcbd.com, “The director had it even before I came aboard. It’s been a labor of love. About 8 years to finally get it to this point on the screen. The book was written in the late ’60s. So really 55 years in the making.” Despite the fact that the book was penned 54 years ago, Chambers noted that its message is still on-point. “We love that its resonating. It’s not just an oilfield story, not just a Texas story, it’s a universal story about love and loss and going for your dreams and messing up that journey and getting it back. It’s a pretty universal story about struggle and achievement,” she told kcbd.com.

Shared on their YouTube channel by the Santa Rita Film Co., the official trailer for “The Iron Orchard” is captured from some great West Texas settings. Despite prior attempts to bring this picture to reality over the years, the independent production company succeeded where larger outfits couldn’t, incorporating Texas talent in the process. Following an inaugural tour of film festivals, the movie opened in Texas on February 22, 2019. For the most part, it was filmed in West Texas, with the Hotel Settles in Big Spring as its main backdrop. Filming also took place in the Texas Hill Country, in addition to Midland, Forsan, Coahoma, and Mitchell County.

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