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.

Director:

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:

Thundering Violence! the earth explodes as untamed men fight for power and a woman! (original poster) 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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 13, 1944 with Martha Scott and Albert Dekker reprising their film roles. 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

 
The Duke Goes Wildcatting
25 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Spanish American War Veteran John Wayne hitches a ride on oil magnate Albert Dekker's private railroad car just as he's putting the moves on traveling school teacher Martha Scott. That sets off a rivalry between them both professional and personal as Wayne gets under Dekker's skin.

Dekker's the big kahuna in Oklahoma territory which would soon be admitted under President Theodore Roosevelt to the union. He's crowding a lot of the small operators out of the field and they see in Wayne a leader and savior.

Later on when Wayne and Dekker compete with the rival proposals for leasing Indian oil lands they go to the White House where Dekker thinks he's got an inside track with the Interior Department. This leads to one of the three best scenes in the film. It turns out that the Duke served in the Rough Riders. The reunion of Wayne and Sidney Blackmer as Theodore Roosevelt is pretty good, who'd have thought Wayne would have had the ultimate inside track.

Dale Evans is in the film, she has a brief role as a saloon entertainer and sings a couple of period songs. She had not yet met her future husband Roy Rogers on the Republic lot, but in fact she was more the westerner than he in real life. He was from a rural Ohio town and she was from Uvalde, Texas. Dale also sang with Anson Weeks band before coming west both literally and figuratively.

Martha Scott is a good crinolined heroine wooed by both Wayne and Dekker. You will also see Grant Withers in one of his few roles in which he wasn't a villain.

Second best scene in the film, John Wayne emptying his pistol into Paul Fix who played one of Dekker's henchmen who actually goes a bit too far because of his personal hatred for Wayne.

Third best scene, the climatic rush to deliver oil by covered wagons and tankers when Dekker buys the pipeline to fulfill the contract. The normally parsimonious Republic studio and its boss Herbert J. Yates broke the piggy bank to stage this one in what was obviously their big budget film of the year. Still plays quite well today.

This is one of John Wayne's better films of the forties. He's given good production values in this western and a perfect role for him. Fans of the eternal Duke should not miss this one.


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