Fort Worth holds premiere for film with deep roots in city, Texas

Iron Orchard film premiere

Fort Worth held a movie premiere on Wednesday night for the film version of a book with deep, oil drilling deep, roots. The premiere was held at the downtown AMC Theatre. The movie opens Friday in the area and will open statewide in early March. 

THE IRON ORCHARD is the story of Jim McNeely (Lane Garrison), a young man thrust into the vibrant and brutal West Texas oilfields in 1939. In a state gushing with oil and filled with ambition, McNeely settles into a small-town community that is slowly overcoming the trauma of the Great Depression. The formidable path before him is riddled with obstacles – overbearing bosses who try to keep him down, powerful oilmen who are reluctant to invest in a fresh face, and women who see salvation in his charms – but he finds a glimmer of hope with his first loves: new wife Lee Montgomery (Ali Cobrin) and drilling for oil. With everything falling into place to ascend to the top of the oil chain, McNeely stumbles upwards through his success and in turn jeopardizes his desperate longing to conquer this brave new world of influence and wealth. What will define his legacy in building the rich oil tradition of West Texas?

Based on Tom Pendleton’s 1966 novel of the same name that defined generations of Texans to follow, THE IRON ORCHARD harkens back to a time of unfulfilled dreams and tarnished spirits that would either break men unworthy of admiration or shower them with riches that could corrupt even the most righteous of us all. Pendleton was a pseudonym for Edward Van Zandt of Fort Worth’s Van Zandt family.

Director: Ty Roberts

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Writer: Gerry De Leon

Producers: Houston Hill, Camille S. Chambers, George Sledge

Cast: Lane Garrison (Jim McNeely), Ali Cobrin (Lee Montgomery), Austin Nichols (Dent Paxton) Lew Temple (Ort Cooley), Hassie Harrison (Mazie Wales), Temple Baker (Pluto), Ned Van Zandt (Thomas Van Zandt), Allan McLeod (Barry Wakely), Timothy Lee DePriest (Peaches), Donnie Boaz (Charlie Dupree), Rooster McConaughey (YY Puckets)

February 22nd

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Dallas / Fort Worth, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, Big Spring

March 1st

Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Amarillo, El Paso, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Wichita Falls, Longview, Abilene, Burleson, Bryan, Temple, New York & Los Angeles


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For more on the book and the film: