Well, on this Memorial Day weekend, with school out for the summer and the Duke's 100th birthday today, I can't help myself.
He was one of a kind and the kind of man my father was. I always wanted to grow up to be somewhat like them. Some say I did, but I don't see it. Yes, I have some traits of my father and many of the things the Duke stood for I am in line with. However, I just don't think I am the men they were. Some of that is good and some is bad. I will not go into that just now, but rest assure, I wish I could be more like them in some ways.
But, enough with this soliloquy. On with "Hellfighters."
"Hellfighters" is one of my favorite John Wayne movies. Most people don't even rate it as one of his best or favorites.
I just like the movie. Filmed in and around Houston, it shows many locations in the city and surrounding areas.
Things that I do recognize and are authentic are as follows:
- The oil fields around Baytown where the initial oil well fire in the movie occurs. I am still trying to locate the exact location when I travel to Houston.
- The Channel 2 KPRC television truck at this fire.
- The DPS (Department of Public Safety) car that escorts the truck carrying the well head to the fire.
- Cactus Pryor playing the doctor when John Wayne was in the hospital. He was in local television news in Austin in the 1970s and his brother Wally Pryor was the voice of the Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin during the same time. Cactus Pryor also appeared in "The Green Berets."
- The Hobby Airport entrance before the parking garage was build in front of the terminal. The entrance between the terminal and garage is still pretty much the same.
- The Lomax Oil Building, which I believe was the real Humble Oil Building at the time.
- In the pre-movie credits, Red Adair, Boots Hansen, and Coots Matthews are all listed as technical advisors. They are three worked together in Adair's company. Later, Hansen and Matthews branched off and founded Boots & Coots International Well Control.
- The Buckman Company Building looks like it is located off Pearce Elevated (Interstate Highway 45) just south of Houston proper or on the Southwest Freeway (US Highway 59) between IH 45 and Loop 610 West.