Magnificent Roughnecks


1h 13m 1956

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 22, 1956
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
6,528ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Geologist Frank Sommers and engineer Bix Decker, who are both employed by Zenith Oil Co., have toiled in South American oil fields for the last six years. As his contract with the company is about to expire, Bix, tired of the primitive conditions of life in a small, back-water town, notifies Zenith Vice President Ernie Biggers that he is quitting. Biggers, who has thwarted all of Bix's previous attempts to leave the company, magnanimously agrees to release Bix from his contract, but when the Zenith plane lands carrying Bix's replacement, engineer Jane Rivers, Bix has second thoughts about putting a woman in charge of the oil fields. Jane responds to Bix's skepticism by calling him "an old fashioned roughneck with a butch haircut." Their squabbling is interrupted by Pepi, a member of Bix's crew, who has come to report a crisis in the field. When Jane suggests calling "emergency," Bix chortles and follows her back to the office. After Jane hand him his final check, Bix begins to feel regret over his decision to leave and goes to the local bar to commiserate with his friend Frank. Soon after, Werner Jackson, a wildcat oilman who has a long-standing feud with Bix, arrives at the bar and gives Bix a hard time about Bix being replaced by a woman. Werner's jibe leads Bix to believe that Biggers deliberately sent Jane so that he would have second thoughts about leaving. Proceeding to the Zenith office, Bix accuses Jane of "setting him up." Affronted, Jane points a gun at Bix, and after he wrests it away, he kisses her. Jane then slaps Bix, after which he agrees to allow her to "work for him." At Julie's café, Frank is talking to Julie, Bix's girl friend, when Werner enters and insults her. When Frank, who is famous for never winning a fight, objects to Werner's slur, Werner slugs him. The next day, Bix reads Jane's resume and discovers that she is a qualified engineer. After Bix apologizes to Jane and they reach an agreement to work together as equals, Señor Ramon Serrano, a representative from the government petroleum industry, informs them that unless Zenith Oil produces their allotted amount of oil within six months, his government will cancel their oil lease. Motivated by adversity, Bix, Jane and Frank work day and night to meet the deadline. Weeks later, their efforts to develop new wells have put them ahead of schedule, and to celebrate, Bix kisses Jane and calls her a "real roughneck." At that moment, Julie comes to the office, sees them embracing and storms out. When a ground sample indicates there is oil below, Bix orders drilling to commence, despite the warnings of Chuck Evans, one of the Zenith crew, that the drill casing might fail, creating a situation that could lead to a fire. As drilling begins, Frank, Bix, Jane and Julie celebrate at the cantina. There Bix asks Jane to dance while Frank consoles the dejected Julie. Still dubious about the safety of the operation, Jane mentions the casing, sparking an argument with Bix. After Jane storms out of the cantina, Frank and Bix start quarreling about the casing and Bix slaps Frank. Just then, Chuck rushes in to announce that the casing has failed and the well has erupted in flames. While Bix and Frank rally the men to extinguish the fire, Pepi goes to notify Jane about the situation. Driving a skip loader, Bix and Frank lead two trucks loaded with men carrying nitroglycerin to blow up the fire, but they are stopped by Werner, who has blocked the road with his skip loader. Pushing Frank aside, Bix charges at Werner, who throws a wrench at Frank, knocking him to the ground in front of the now driverless skip loader. After pulling Bix out of the vehicle's path, Frank climbs onboard and buries Werner in a load of dirt. With Werner immobolized, the Zenith crew proceeds to the fire and is met there by Jane. While Frank and Bix don fire-resistant suits, Julie tells Jane that she and Bix are "just friends." Frank and Bix then brave the fire to throw a cable into the well through which the nitroglycerin will be lowered. Once their task is accomplished, Jane helps Bix off with his suit while Julie comforts Frank. Soon after, the well explodes, extinguishing the fire and drenching everyone in oil. With the deadline met, Bix and Jane prepare to leave for the United States where they will be married and scout sights for Frank and Bix's new oil venture. Frank and Jane drive Bix and Julie to the airfield where they are to meet Biggers and fly out on the company plane. After Biggers' plane lands, Jane prepares to board, but Biggers informs her that she cannot leave because she still has eight months remaining on her contract. Biggers then generously offers to extend Bix's contract for eight months so that the newlyweds can stay in South America together.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 22, 1956
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Allied Artists Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 13m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
6,528ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The opening and closing cast credits differ slightly in order. Actor Joe Locke's name appears in the opening, but not the closing credits. The film opens with a tongue-in-cheek voice-over narration describing how oil transformed South America from a quaint to a modern country.