6.5/10
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In Old Oklahoma (1943)

Passed | | Romance, Western | 6 December 1943 (USA)
In 1906, on Oklahoma's Indian lands, a cowboy fights for oil lease rights against a greedy oilman while a pretty schoolteacher steals both men's hearts.

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Writers:

(original story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Daniel F. Somers
...
Catherine Elizabeth Allen
...
Jim 'Hunk' Gardner
...
Despirit Dean
...
Bessie Baxter
...
Cuddles Walker
...
Richardson
...
...
Cherokee Kid
...
Mrs. Ames
...
Ben
...
Wilkins
Anne O'Neal ...
Mrs. Peabody
Richard Graham ...
Walter Ames
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Storyline

Cowboy Dan Somers and oilman Jim "Hunk" Gardner compete for oil lease rights on Indian land in Oklahoma, as well as for the favors of schoolteacher Cathy Allen. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

indian | oklahoma | cowboy | oil | fight | See All (44) »

Taglines:

A new kind of dramatic production ! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

War of the Wildcats  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Jane Croft's debut. See more »

Goofs

As Wayne's character builds his oil rig and races to strike oil, the words of the months appearing on screen to show time passing are in an art deco font--a strange choice, seeing as the film's story is set in the early 20th century before the Roaring 20s. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of John Wayne (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Move Over Texaco, The Duke Is Coming
6 October 2014 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Plot-- Business tycoon Gardner wants drilling rights on Indian land and he'll use about every trick to get it. But he's up against the local little guys who've pooled their assets to get the same rights. Luckily they see in cowboy drifter Dan Somers a guy with the potential to lead them even if he doesn't see that potential himself. Plus, Dan and Gardner become rivals over the affections of winsome writer Catherine.

That climatic wagon stampede across the flat prairie still has me dizzy. Great action effect that must have employed every stuntman in Hollywood, to say nothing about every wagon. Now, if Dan (Wayne) doesn't get to the government office first, then the scheming Gardner (Dekker) gets the oil millions. Okay, so Dan's got an edge since the government man likes the ladies more than his duties. But, what great rivals Wayne and Dekker make. Each is an imposing presence, even if Wayne puts on his best "aw shucks" act, while Dekker keeps an icy calm. And I love it when they duel gimlet-eye to gimlet-eye. Still, sweet-face Martha Scott gets as much screen time as the guys, so likely Republic was trying to build her into a star. And, of course, where there's Wayne, Gabby Hayes can't be far behind, doing his unforgettable crusty old coot bit. And catch the pre-Roy Dale Evans bringing down the house with as charming a stage number as many an A-musical. No wonder Roy grabbed her.

All in all, it's a spectacular action flick, even if the romantic interludes get a little tiresome. Wayne sure shows his acting chops, more animated than I've seen him. His cowboy Dan goes from just another prairie drifter to hard-driving trail boss in really convincing fashion. And though he'd probably hate the word, he does it in what amounts to winning fashion. And catch that opening sequence in Gardner's private car. It's unusual and superbly done. Republic popped a bundle for this, and it shows up in the colorful crowd scenes (thanks to director Rogell) and big oil well gushers, along with that final stampede.

I'm not sure why this unusual oater is so obscure in the Wayne canon. But in my book it's as good entertainment as any of his many horse operas. And for fans of crashing buckboards, this is the Promised Land.


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