Stirling Silliphant (1918-1996) was a screenwriter for many TV series, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, Route 66, and Naked City, and movies such as The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and The Swarm.  He won a Best Screenplay Academy Award for In the Heat of the Night (1967).  He turned a rejected screenplay into his 1955 novel, Maracaibo, which was the basis for the movie of the same name three years later.

Cornel Wilde directed and starred in the 1958 movie, playing Vic Scott, an oil well fire fighter in Venezuela. A young Michael Landon had a role in Maracaibo, Landon’s second movie role.  There are many varieties of movie posters and lobby cards for Maracaibo; many with scenes of a burning oil well.  Note the disclaimer in the lower left of the one here; “Not suitable for children.”

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