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Keys to Tulsa is a 1997 film directed by Leslie Greif, and starring Eric Stoltz and James Spader. It is based on the novel of the same name by Brian Fair Berkey.

Keys to Tulsa
Keys to tulsa.jpg
original film poster
Directed byLeslie Greif
Produced byLeslie Greif
Harley Peyton
Written byHarley Peyton
Music byStephen Endelman
CinematographyRobert Fraisse
Distributed byGramercy Pictures
Release date
  • April 11, 1997 (1997-04-11) (U.S.)
Running time
113 mins
Box office$57,252


The story revolves around a perpetual loser and slacker named Richter Boudreau (Eric Stoltz). Richter is from a privileged background in Tulsa, Oklahoma and works as a movie reviewer at a local newspaper only because his sour mother Cynthia (Mary Tyler Moore) pulled strings for him to land the job. He is dissatisfied with the direction that his life has taken; his girlfriend Trudy (Cameron Diaz) breaks up with him in the opening scene after another disastrous date, he is about to be fired any day from his job because he can't meet deadlines, he lives in a dilapidated farmhouse, he uses and sells drugs behind the scenes for some extra cash, and he is so irresponsible with life in which he has gotten so far behind on his bills that his electricity has just been cut off.

Richter also owes money to Ronnie Stover (James Spader), an abusive drug dealer who he deals with. Ronnie is married to Vicky (Deborah Kara Unger), a beautiful woman who was disowned by her socially prominent family for her involvement with Ronnie. Richter is still in love with Vicky despite having ended their relationship many years before. Vicky is the sister of Keith (Michael Rooker), a misogynistic alcoholic whose large inheritance fails to soothe his anger, loneliness, and depression. Cherry (Joanna Going) is an exotic dancer from Chicago who buys drugs from Ronnie and gets romantically involved with Richter.

Ronnie plans to blackmail Bedford Shaw (Marco Perella), the son of a socially prominent businessman named Harmon Shaw (James Coburn), after Cherry tells him that Shaw murdered her friend, a stripper/prostitute, in a motel room and that she took photographs. Ronnie attempts to involve Richter by having him hold on to a mysterious black pouch and by exploiting Richter's newspaper connections. Richter wants no part of the blackmail scheme. But he gets in over his head when Keith discovers that Richter has been sleeping with Vicky.

Principal CastEdit

Actor Role
Eric Stoltz Richter Boudreau
James Spader Ronnie Stover
Deborah Kara Unger Vicky Michaels Stover
Joanna Going Cherry
Michael Rooker Keith Michaels
Randy Graff Louise Brinkman
Mary Tyler Moore Cynthia Boudreau
James Coburn Harmon Shaw
Peter Strauss Chip Carlson
Cameron Diaz Trudy
Marco Perella Bedford Shaw
Dennis Letts Preston Liddy
Josh Ridgway Billy Boudreau

External linksEdit