The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

1992, Society  -  Playlist 68 Comments
Ratings: 7.97/10 from 36 users.

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and PowerThis exciting and entertaining eight-part series, based on Daniel Yergin's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, captures the panoramic history of the biggest industry in the world.

Shot on location in Azerbaijan, Egypt, England, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Russia, Scotland, Turkey, and the United States, the series features fascinating characters, archival footage, and interviews with the people who shaped the oil industry.

Yergin appears on camera throughout the series to discuss oil's impact on politics, economics, and the environment.

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10 years ago

10/10 I couldn't stop watching. Superbly factual without any of the usual hidden aggenda. It's long - nearly 8 hours, but well worth the watch all the way to the end! A good follow up for the years that follow (by the same youtube user):

"Oil, Smoke and Mirrors" (2006)


"Commanding Heights - The Battle for the World Economy" (PBS) (2002)
- by the same team who made "The Prize", very biased towards economic globalisation (which I am not), but on the upshot gives an insider view of those that promote it.

Thanks Vlatko!

11 years ago

I wanted to watch this again because I remember when it was on PBS back in the early 1990s. Netfilx does not have it and I no longer have a VHS player, so I am not going to buy it on amazon. com. Is the DVD for sale on this site? Available anywhere?

11 years ago

What kind of perverted concepts are these 'oil consessions'. Who thinks they have the right to sell the earth off to greed monsters like it was their own personal property? Like a pimp with his whore. The things some people do while the 99% don't even have a clue how little they matter.

11 years ago

Great movie with a lesson for us all: Sound Money, Free Enterprise, Constitution as laid out by the founding fathers of the United States of America should see us through.... Unless?

Unless our republic has been hijacked by financial terrorists. Thieves that can buy Presidents, Congressman, Senators who swear an oath to the Constitution.... and break it, daily!

Time to hold people accountable who break the law: Presidents, Congressman, Senators, citizens, police, military, etc.

Not complicated.

I will be voting for Dr. Ron Paul for President of the United States of America.

Lord help us ALL if Dr. Ron Paul does not get the Presidency.

11 years ago

Thanks for a top documentary, although it's a shame there wasn't a follow-up to take in the next 2 decades as well.

The footage of electric cars running around 100 years ago proves there was an alternative to the internal combustion engine - it would be interesting to find out whether Big Oil suppressed alternative technologies as folk have claimed.

Any comments?

11 years ago

Thanks Dominic. I'm afraid that I, like many others, sometimes resort to smart ass comments. I am trying to be more respectful and I have been reminded more than once by az (azilda). Plenty of grammar and spelling mistakes are made because English is not the first language of many commenters, but if there is wisdom or insight shown it should not detract from their post. Please continue commenting when you have something to say!

11 years ago

Congrats to Topdocumentaryfilms for posting this documentary. Iduplicated a copy on vhs from the local library. i searched and searched for a dvd for the longest time, couldn't find it and vhs editions on ebay were about 325. dolls. for the set.
Good old Tarbell! Rockefeller(s) wasn't AND are still not nice people. they've diversified into everything, you won't see their name though!They operate in the shadows of POWER, they will never give it up.

Dan ken
11 years ago

yet another link between religious ideology and elitism

11 years ago

"King Henry VIII would drool with envy at the lifestyle the average American lives" And that we have forgotten so completely that we could live any other way should give us pause.

11 years ago

I watched segments 1-7.
It was a great history of the oil industry and I have learned many things even after being in the oil & gas industry for over thirty years.

I have lived and worked on rigs, electrical engineering, for 28 years in Louisiana and now in Abu Dhabi for 7 years.

When I got to #8! Greenpeace is the first person to be presented? What a complete shock!!
How does a fact based documentary come to a fantasy based Hollywood conclusion?
I do not have a problem with alternative energy, but how can you balance (if that was the intent) this documentary based in history and reality to the world of Los Angeles, left wing hippie mindset?

Electric cars (Edison batteries) were a good idea. GE, where I worked for 25 years, has been developing the technology in Salem, VA for many years.
No it is not new, but there is still a lot of work to be done with the "battery" engineering and technology and production of the proper hardware.
(e.g. the Chevy "Volt", what a joke!)

BTW: I just got off a land rig here in Abu Dhabi and the actual cost to drill for a barrel is $14.00!!

Anyway, great documentary up to #8.
Cheers, Tom

11 years ago

I've got a new heroine - Ida Tarbell - nemesis of John D. Rockefeller, the world's first billionaire.

The first part of this doc is excellent. For instance, who knew there were electric cars 100 years ago?

I'm looking forward to watching the rest...

11 years ago

Put this on for company even though I thought it might be a bit dry, the narrator has a nice voice, the photos are lovely and the music is too. Especially like the fiddle at the start. Sucked in again, if only I had 7 hours to spare I could sit all day and still feel that I'd spent my time well.

11 years ago

Considering this doc surrounded J.D. Rockefellar and his business transgressions, I thought they would have atleast mentioned Ludlow.

11 years ago

Surprisingly entertaining, I am usually not interested in auto-biographies of business men or the origin of this or that sector of industry- just not my cup of tea. This was really good though, informative and interesting. These types of tactics and policies are what I fear from unregulated, pure capitalism. It sets the stage for the rich and powerful to get more rich and powerful, to be able to get together and set prices or control supply, to gain even more powerful influence in our government, the list goes on and on. With no regulation what is to stop them, their sense of fair play? Give me a break. Now, not only do they want to deregulate markets, they want to privatize primary and secondary education, privatize the military, privatize our entitlement programs like medicare, privatize everything basically. This means you have no money- you get no services, not even a high school education for your children.

I catch a lot of heat for saying this as an American, but I think socialism and capitalism working together is the best answer we currently have a working model of. Not this service based capitalism we have int he U.S. either, I mean manufacturing a real product. All these investment, credit, and financial services are what got us in the trouble we are currently in. These things don't create jobs for the average middle class worker, they don't create a product that we can export to other countries, they simply keep prices high and improve the standard of living for the upper one percent. At the same time we have a huge trade deficit with countries like China, soaring unemployment, and a declining middle class- all of which could be fixed by recreating a manufacturing sector.

I would like to see an experiment with a resource based economic system, like the zietgiest movement advocates. I have my worries, but if it could work it would be wonderful. I just am not sure how we would transition, if technology is really that advanced, and if people can overcome human nature enough to accept such an equal and balanced system.

11 years ago

I read somewhere it takes 3 barrels of oil just to make 1 tire for a car. Its what they referred to in Mad Max as 'The Precious Juice'. These cunning businessmen have no problem whatsoever starting wars over business interests, its part of the process to them. It doesn't really matter what the product is someone always wants it for themselves or the greater part of it and deals are never 50-50. The British and the Dutch had a war over the Mackeral fishery in the English Channel. Mackeral for fack sake! Looking at the wealth that can be accrued through oil these business tycoons probably go home at night and bathe in the stuff while they play around with rubber duckies and stare Rockefeller like at maps of global tar pits/warzones wondering who to screw over next. Precious juice indeed.

11 years ago

Henry Ford had the right idea, should have stuck with hemp oil.

11 years ago

in-depth & very informative...interesting for all concerned !