McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" ... See full summary »
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McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" claim on land which is to be used for a new town; in exchange for giving it up he gets control of gambling and saloons. When Kincaid's father runs for mayor, McCord incites a mob to lynch the old man whom McCord has already framed for murder.. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was James Cagney's first western. He would appear in only 2 more westerns ("Run For Cover" and "Tribute To A Bad Man") much later in his career during the 1950's. See more »
In the bar room, shortly after Whip McCord tells The Oklahoma Kid to give him back the Indian money, the Kid shoots Curley in the belly. A few moments later, Curley walks out as if he had never been shot. See more »
What's your proposition?
You go right ahead and build your town and attract settlers.
So you can take away their money at faro and roulette, eh?
Yeah, that's the idea. You take care of their virtues, I'll take care of their vices. Simple, ain't it?
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"The strong take it away from the weak and the smart take it away from the strong."
One of my favorite movie lines of all time is from The Oklahoma Kid where James Cagney expounds on his philosophy of life to Donald Crisp in a saloon as the land rush is starting.
The rest of the film is your usual fast paced Cagney film, just set out west instead of the big city. It was the first western for both Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. Cagney did a fine western in the Fifties Run for Cover and replaced Spencer Tracy in another one, Tribute to a Bad Man.
Bogey did one other western, Virginia City, and next to that Whip McCord of the panhandle is an Oscar winning part. I'm not denigrating his work on Oklahoma Kid, but Bogart used to cringe whenever Virginia City was mentioned and that chintzy Mexican accent he was forced to adopt for that film.
In Oklahoma Kid, he's the leader of a group of outlaws who've jumped the starting gun and put up a claim at the spot Hugh Sothern and son Harvey Stephens want to start a town. Rather than go to court which would tie them up for years, they agree to Bogart's terms to give him control of the vice industries of the town that would become Tulsa.
Bogart's actions are those of a what was called a Sooner, one who jumped the starting gun and cheated in the land rush. The term is what gave Oklahoma its state nickname of The Sooner state. Although I've never understood why the state nickname glorifies illegal activity.
So good and honest Hugh and Harvey just take it on the chin until the corruption gets way out of hand.
But Hugh has another son, a lone wolf sort of character that's taken the outlaw path. That be James Cagney who settles things in his own way, the way Cagney usually does in films.
The western after a period of doldrums in the early thirties when it was mostly B picture fare was making a comeback as a feature attraction. All the studios were starting to make them.
Warners had two big ones in 1939, this one and Dodge City. Errol Flynn in the latter scored better with the public than Cagney did, so Flynn got to do more westerns. Cagney and Bogey went back to the city streets except for Bogey's ill conceived visit to Virginia City.
But Oklahoma Kid is not a bad film and fans of the two stars will not be disappointed.
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