B Movies and Bad History: Black Gold


January 28, 2020 7:00pm - 8:30pm

See the best (and worst) examples of Texas oil culture shown on-screen and explore the meaning behind them.

Program Details

Texas oil has produced many things, including some of the most iconic characters on film. From rowdy oil field workers to ultra rich power-hungry villains, what do these depictions tell us about real Texans and our history? Join us for an exploration of the best and worst of black gold on-screen through clips and conversation.

Prior to the program from 6:00pm to 7:00pm enjoy light bites, bar and self-guided tours of the exhibit Texas Oil and Gas

About the Presenters

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair magazine and the author of six books, including the No. 1 New York Times Best-Seller Barbarians at the Gate and his latest, Days of Rage. He is also a three-time winner of the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism. His book The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes was published by Penguin Press in 2009. The hardcover edition of the book reached No. 8 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Born in 1961, Bryan was raised in Temple, Texas, and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1983. From 1983 to 1992 he was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he reported from Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh and, during the late 1980s, covered the busy mergers and acquisitions beat in New York. He has written for Vanity Fair since 1992.


Tom Schatz is the Mary Gibbs Jones Centennial Chair (and interim chairman) of the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin, where he has been on the faculty since 1976, and is the Executive Director of the University of Texas Film Institute. He has written four books about Hollywood films and filmmaking, including Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System; The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era; and Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s. Schatz edited the four-volume collection, Hollywood: Critical Concepts, and he also serves as series editor of the Film and Media Studies Series for the University of Texas Press. Schatz's writing on film has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and academic journals, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Premiere, The Nation, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, and Cineaste.

Schatz lectures widely on American film and television in the U.S. and abroad, and he has delivered talks and conducted seminars for the Motion Picture Academy, the Directors Guild of America, the American Film Institute and the Los Angeles Film School. Schatz also is engaged in media production, has consulted and provided on-screen commentary for a number of film and television documentaries, and is co-producer of "The Territory," a long-running regional PBS series that showcases independent film and video work.

Schatz's recent publications include an essay on "Band of Brothers" in The Essential HBO Reader (2008) and "The Studio System and Conglomerate Hollywood," the lead essay in The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry (2008). Current publishing projects include a study of contemporary Hollywood and a revised edition of Hollywood Genres.


The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.