The Stars Fell on Henrietta features Robert Duvall as Mr. Cox, a down-and-out wildcat oilman who in 1935 still believes he has the ability to find black gold even though he has never had a big strike.
The old man and his cat are taken in during a dust storm by Don Day (Aidan Quinn), a poor Texas cotton farmer who is one step away from foreclosure. Convinced there is oil on his property, Mr. Cox wants them to become partners. The farmer refuses. By the time the two of them finally team up to put a gleam in the eyes of Day's wife (Frances Fisher) and their two daughters, they must stand against a group of disbelievers including a banker, a bamboozled tycoon, and the irate father of a boy injured trying to save Day's daughter after she climbs a derrick.
Director James Keach capitalizes on Duvall's idiosyncratic top-drawer performance. "Hitch your wagon to a star," the oilman tells Day's daughter. This film provides a fine meditation on Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's advice: "Never despair! Never! It is forbidden to give up hope."