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Film poster
Directed byStuart Heisler
Written byCurtis Kenyon
Frank S. Nugent
Richard Wormser (story)
Produced byWalter Wanger
Edward Lasker
StarringSusan Hayward
Robert Preston
Pedro Armendáriz
Narrated byChill Wills
CinematographyWinton C. Hoch
Edited byTerry O. Morse
Music byFrank Skinner
Color processTechnicolor
Walter Wanger Productions
Distributed byEagle-Lion films
Release dates
  • April 13, 1949 (1949-04-13) (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
  • May 26, 1949 (1949-05-26) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,340,336[1]

Tulsa is a 1949 American Western action film directed by Stuart Heisler and starring Susan Hayward and Robert Preston, and featured Lloyd Gough, Chill Wills (as the narrator), and Ed Begley in one of his earliest film roles, billed as Edward Begley.

The film's plot revolves around greed, conservation, and romance.[2] It was nominated for an Oscar for its special effects at the 22nd Academy Awards in 1950. The film is no longer copyright protected, and has entered the public domain in the United States.[3]

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  • The tunnels of downtown Tulsa



The film tells a story about the Tulsa, Oklahoma oil boom of the 1920s and how obsession with accumulating wealth and power can tend to corrupt moral character.[2] The tale begins with the death of rancher Nelse Lansing, who is killed by an oil well blowout while visiting Tanner Petroleum to report that pollution from Tanner's oil production has killed some of his cattle.[4] Lansing's daughter, Cherokee, initially in an effort to punish Tanner for her father's death, acquires drilling rights on her land; she meets Brad Brady, a geologist, who wants drilling to be limited to minimise oil field depletion and preserve the area's grasslands.[4]

Jim Redbird is a native American who has long been drawn to Cherokee and, being persuaded by Brady that cattle men can live and work alongside oil men, buys into her oil business and becomes wealthy. As Cherokee succumbs to power and greed, and becomes a partner of the ruthless Tanner, Jim renounces his holdings. Overcome with anger after a humiliating meeting with Tanner, Cherokee and some of their legal and governmental associates, Jim accidentally starts a fire in a derrick trailing pool. In its aftermath, in recognition of the destruction caused by improper oil drilling, and how money and power can corrupt even those who love the land, the oil drillers and the geologist vow to start over and to ensure conservation is their top priority.[2].The film received its Oscar nomination[2] for the resulting impressive scenes of the rampaging flames.



The film earned an estimated $1.6 million in the US.[5] It recorded a loss of $746,099.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Matthew Bernstein, Walter Wagner: Hollywood Independent, Minnesota Press, 2000 p444
  2. ^ a b c d Tulsa Plot Synopsis (accessed June 7, 2010).
  3. ^ "Tulsa Films: Films made in Tulsa & the Surrounding Area". September 26, 2022. Archived from the original on October 8, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2022. In addition, this film is in the public domain and may be viewed legally online.
  4. ^ a b Tulsa (1949) Synopsis (accessed June 7, 2010).
  5. ^ "Top Grossers of 1949". Variety. January 4, 1950. p. 59.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 May 2024, at 15:33
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