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Kevin Sorbo brings comedy to big screen in “Miracle in East Texas”

Family-friendly entertainment is returning to theaters in late October. “Miracle in East Texas,” a comedy directed by Kevin Sorbo, is based on a true story from the early 1930s.

Sorbo (“Hercules,” “God’s Not Dead”) also stars in the film as conman Doc Boyd, alongside his fellow swindler Dad Everett (John Ratzenberger of “Cheers” and “Toy Story”), pretending to be oil wildcatters. Filling out the cast are Louis Gossett Jr. (“Officer and a Gentlemen”) who narrates part of the tale; Tyler Mane (“X-Men”) as landowner Thurman Dialand; and Sam Sorbo (“Chicago Hope”), Kevin’s real-world wife, who plays Flora May Simms, one of many widows Boyd seeks to cajole into investing in his sham business.

The movie has a similar feel to the classics “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting,” both starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Dan Gordon, the screenwriter of “Miracle in East Texas,” had written it for Redford and Newman 30 years ago, but the two Hollywood icons never were able to get together to make it happen. Sorbo, a friend of Gordon, read the “Miracle in East Texas” script and loved it.

“It’s a wonderful true story about two conmen in Oklahoma and Texas who would woo widows out of their money and then build fake oil wells,” he told “The Western Journal.” “These are total flimflam artists You know, what makes it worse with what they did, it was right in the heart of the Depression.”

Eventually, the con catches up with Boyd and Everett when they accidentally strike oil in East Texas. Their wells tapped into part of the largest oilfield in the contiguous United States. The miracle isn’t really finding the oil, Sorbo said, but rather “what happens in these gentlemen” afterward as they grapple with the web of lies they’ve woven and come to find redemption.

Miracle in East Texas” is a PG-rated movie and will be in theaters on October 29 and 30. However, if the film performs well, the theatrical run will be extended.

“Theater owners don’t care what they show,” Sorbo said. “They want to sell popcorn and soda, or whatever is making money for them, that’s what they’ll put out there and keep putting out there. So I’m hoping that people jump on board and help make this thing a hit.”

In the Kansas City area, the movie will be shown at the AMC Independence Commons 20 and the AMC Town Center 20. Theater and ticket information are available at www.sorbostudios.com

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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