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Dallas: The Early Years

Trivia, Nitpicks, and Comments page


1. Who warns Ellie that Digger has a gun?

2. What was Willard's father's name?

3. Into what creek does Jock toss the drifter who tries to take Digger's boots?

4. Who is Seth Foster's daughter?

Click here for answers.

BEST LINE: "Next time get a dress that fits better if you want to keep your man awake."  Jock's comment to Ellie's stuffed dress.


Well, I watched it.

This was a movie only a Dallas fan could love. It was boring for a while there. And confusing as heck. I had trouble making notes for the first hour and a half because I couldn't tell what the heck was going on some of the time.

Whoever wrote this was definitely a Jock fan. This movie would have totally sucked if it were not for Dale Midkiff, who I found to be a very imposing figure as DA MAN. I would have chalked this up as simply being because JR is the one telling the story, but no one else is portrayed in a very favorable light - not even Ellie. If JR had any idea what really happened here, I daresay he'd think twice before he'd call Sue Ellen a tramp.

And you know what else? Something else I didn't care for was the fact that Jock and Digger's fallout was treated rather casually. They never once argued face-to-face over Ellie. It seemed like Digger decided that Jock wasn't fit to partner with just because he poured out his booze on Saturday night. That's a bit on the wimpy side, even for Digger.


The rewriting history corner:

There are a whole lot of things which happen here that are completely contradictory to information we obtain during the series run. Here goes:

1. In 1985, it was clearly established that Jock, Jason, and Digger founded Ewing Oil in 1930, and Jock gained complete control of it in 1932 - before he met Ellie. This is impossible given that in the movie Jock and Digger didn't meet until 1933.

2. Ellie told Lincoln Hargrave that she and Jock were married in 1936, not 1933. At first, I thought this was a major inconsistency until Bill Withrow pointed out the following:

> Yes, the movie opens in 1933. But Digger then leaves South Fork, goes out and meets Jock, and the oil company is started, and 6 successful wells are drilled. This could have taken 2-3 years. Digger may not have returned to South Fork with Jock until 1936. Jock and Ellie could have been married in 1936, with J.R. being born in 1937 (Although, I had read 1939.) It depends upon how long Jock, Digger, and Jason were together.
I suppose it's possible but we're not really given that impression - are we? It doesn't seem like it's been that long. Certainly it is possible and maybe it answers some questions. Yeah, you know what - I think you're right. Jock asks himself what brough Digger back after 15 years, so it must have been 1936. I wish they had given us the date, just to orient us. Just one problem I'd have with that - Ellie, Digger, and Jock don't look three years older. I mean, Ellie was probably eighteen or so when we first see her, so now she might be twenty-one. She should look a LITTLE different.

3. JR was born in 1939 or so and Bobby in 1949 or 1950 depending on what point in the series we are at. That would make JR twelve at the 1951 Ewing barbecue [not "almost 16"], or fourteen at best, and Bobby wouldn't even be big enough to play in the sandbox.

4. The most egregious contradiction lies in cute little Pam. Her father Hutch McKinney was shot in 1952 and she had not even been born - so how is it that she is able to attend the 1951 barbecue?

5. According to most official sources, and I believe it is mentioned at some point during the series run, Southfork Ranch was in a lot of trouble during the Depression because Aaron Southworth had died, making Ellie's situation even more desperate than we see in the movie. So I find it hard to believe that Aaron's still around in 1951.

Other nits:

- My first questions are about Ellie. In 1933, she drives? A woman drives? A YOUNG woman drives? I think not.

- And Ellie has some REALLY nice earrings for the Depression. Especially the ones she wears when pledging her love to Digger.

- When Aaron and Jock try to get Digger to accept a piece of Southfork, Digger is about to light up a cigarette. Near an oil well? Seems rather unwise, especially after what happened to the Klansmen.

- Maggie's nametag says "Maggie Barnes" - that's not a nit, it's just kind of interesting. So that means she got married after the 1951 Ewing barbecue.

- When Digger discovers that there was oil on the land that he just sold away, he smears a whole lot of it on his face. Then he heads over to the barbecue. Suddenly there's a lot less oil. Did he wipe it off? Or did he spill the alcohol all over his face to dissolve it?

- Not a nit, just a comment: Digger's oil dance sort of reminds me of the way Cliff tends to wave his hands when agitated, in later seasons.

From Matt Becker:

- The Southfork house in 1951 is the same as the most recent one. So they moved, then moved back?

- Doesn't Sam Culver look like Dave Culver? The resemblance is great...I was almost wondering if Sam was played by Tom Fuccello.

AHN Jason's corner:

- Speaking of the BBQ, in 1951, they refer to it as on a holiday.  I am not sure if they mean an official holiday-like the 4th of July- or if the BBQ itself is a holiday.   I guess it could be considered this. The signs say "Armistice Day" which is now called Veterans Day. So it is a holiday.

- Just a note.. those Texans must have some great beauty secrets because all of the 1933 actors didn't age a day for their 1951 scenes.  I mean they could have tried to age them a bit.. a little white powder in the hair or something.

- Ellie sure looks thin in 1951 for a woman that had 3 boys, one of them within the last two years.

- I am not sure of the legal issues involved and I may have missed something on the tape but I failed to see how Jock and company could sell their leases to drill oil on land that they don't own.  I understood their position as a deal with the sharecroppers to split the profits of them drilling on the land.  Why would Petrolux even bother with Jock and friends when they could just ask the sharecroppers if they could drill on the land. I may have missed something here..just a point if someone else was to watch and comment on it. I'm not too sure about this either. Jason tells Newman that they sub-leased the land from the sharecroppers, which is analogous to subletting an apartment from someone. You can use it and do what you want with it, but technically the original lessee still owns it.

- The firetruck on the oil field gets there within seconds of the fire. Very unrealistic, even today.. certainly not in 1933.

From Bill Withrow:

- If we're going to have Sam Culver, then we also needed Punk Anderson and Harve Smithfield. Ideally, yes. It's unclear when Punk and Jock met but Harve says he's been with Ewing Oil from the beginning. Of course, because of the history rewrite...

- Certainly, Jason's wife could not have been the mother of Jack and Jamie since they were married in the mid-30's. Another woman must have been the mother of Jason's children. I suppose that's possible - the woman is not named.

- I didn't hear Jock use the name Ewing Oil during the whole movie. As proud as he is of that name, I would have thought he would have named the company first thing. That's a very interesting point. Hadn't considered that.


1. Jean

2. Henry

3. Stills Creek

4. Priscilla.

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