American Frontier.

This film documents the coming of oil drilling to North Dakota and it's effects on the people living there. Farmer Nils Halverson (Warning! This film is full of Norwegian Lutherans!) tells the story of petroleum representatives coming to his wheat farm and offering to buy the mineral rights of his land. The coming of oil is shown to bring hope to hard-bitten farmers like Nils, giving them a steadier, more dependable income to supplement what they make from farming. Of course, this film was sponsored by the Petroleum Institute, so you know this picture is skewed in the rosy direction. Still, there's something very real and touching about this film. It's made more in the style of the classic documentaries of the 30s than in the style of industrial films, thus its inclusion in this category. The people in the film, and their concerns, are very real and convincing. The film gives us a slice-of-life view of rural North Dakota in the 50s, which gives it historical value. All in all, it's not too bad a deal, though. It could be worse.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

Popular posts from this blog