In Old Oklahoma (1943)

102 mins | Western | 6 December 1943

Director:

Albert S. Rogell

Cinematographer:

Jack Marta

Editor:

Ernest Nims

Production Designer:

Russell Kimball

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was War of the Wildcats , which was also the title of the viewed print. According to DV and HR news items, the New York Theatre Guild sued Republic over the use of the title In Old Oklahoma , arguing that it was "unfair competition" for their musical Oklahoma . The case was settled when Republic agreed to withdraw the film from distribution in the United States by 1 Jan 1945, and not re-release it under the same title. HR also noted that Leonard Fields was originally scheduled to produce the picture and that Albert Dekker was borrowed from Paramount. News items about location shooting conflict, but an 18 Jun 1941 HR item stated that scenes would be shot in Cedar City, Kanab and other Utah locations and the Kaibob National Forest of Arizona. Other possible locations mentioned in earlier HR items were Modesto, Bakersfield and Taft, CA. Although a 3 Jun 1941 HR item stated that real-life "early-day oil field characters" Tom Slick, Jake Hammond and J. B. Joyner would be portrayed in the film, they are not mentioned in the finished picture. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: George Chandler, Curley Dresden, Yakima Canutt, Shirley Jean Rickert, Linda Scott, Jess Cavan, Pat Hogan, Charles Agnew, Fred Graham, Oril Taller, Juanita Colteaux, Bonnie Jean Harley, and Bob Reeves. The film received Academy Award nominations in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic of Comedy Picture) and Sound Recording categories. A Lux Radio Theatre version of ... More Less

The working title of this film was War of the Wildcats , which was also the title of the viewed print. According to DV and HR news items, the New York Theatre Guild sued Republic over the use of the title In Old Oklahoma , arguing that it was "unfair competition" for their musical Oklahoma . The case was settled when Republic agreed to withdraw the film from distribution in the United States by 1 Jan 1945, and not re-release it under the same title. HR also noted that Leonard Fields was originally scheduled to produce the picture and that Albert Dekker was borrowed from Paramount. News items about location shooting conflict, but an 18 Jun 1941 HR item stated that scenes would be shot in Cedar City, Kanab and other Utah locations and the Kaibob National Forest of Arizona. Other possible locations mentioned in earlier HR items were Modesto, Bakersfield and Taft, CA. Although a 3 Jun 1941 HR item stated that real-life "early-day oil field characters" Tom Slick, Jake Hammond and J. B. Joyner would be portrayed in the film, they are not mentioned in the finished picture. Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: George Chandler, Curley Dresden, Yakima Canutt, Shirley Jean Rickert, Linda Scott, Jess Cavan, Pat Hogan, Charles Agnew, Fred Graham, Oril Taller, Juanita Colteaux, Bonnie Jean Harley, and Bob Reeves. The film received Academy Award nominations in the Music (Music Score of a Dramatic of Comedy Picture) and Sound Recording categories. A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story was broadcast on 13 Mar 1944 and starred Roy Rogers, Martha Scott and Albert Dekker. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Oct 1943.
---
Daily Variety
20 Oct 43
p. 3, 6
Daily Variety
24 Dec 43
p. 2.
Film Daily
25 Oct 43
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Dec 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 43
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 43
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 43
p. 3, 6
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 43
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 43
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 43
p. 9.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Oct 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Oct 43
p. 1593.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Dec 43
p. 1655.
New York Times
6 Dec 43
p. 21.
Variety
27 Oct 43
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
George "Gabby" Hayes
Eddie Chandler
Al Hill Sr.
June Terry Pickerell
Charles "Slim" Whitaker
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story and adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
PRODUCTION MISC
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
War of the Wildcats
Release Date:
6 December 1943
Production Date:
late July--early September 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 October 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12329
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
102
Length(in feet):
9,204
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
9542
SYNOPSIS

In 1906, Easterner Catherine Allen scandalizes her community by writing a racy romance novel and deciding to quit her job as a schoolteacher to seek adventure in the West. As Catherine boards the train, she meets oilman James E. Gardner, who immediately takes a liking to her. Believing her to be as experienced as her romantic heroine, Jim makes advances toward her, which Catherine indignantly spurns. The train stops when cowboy Daniel Somers flags it down, and Catherine gets him to sit near her to discourage Jim. Catherine intends to go to Kansas City, although Jim asks her to go to Sepulpa, Oklahoma, where he has discovered oil. Her choice is made for her when she is put off the train for being in Jim's private car. Dan also gets off the train and is greeted by his old pal, stagecoach driver Desprit Dean. Desprit warns Dan that their hometown of Sepulpa has changed drastically during Dan's absence, as Jim's oil discoveries have caused much dissension. Catherine also boards Desprit's coach, and Jim is picked up when his car breaks down. They then stop at one of Jim's oil rigs, and Catherine is impressed when the well comes in. Less happy is farmer Wilkins, who used to own the land on which the rig stands. Although Jim did buy the land, Wilkins feels that he has been cheated, and Dan is forced to stop them from fighting. Later, Jim asks Desprit to help him negotiate with Chief Big Tree, as the well's main oil pool lays underneath Indian lands. Dan also attends the next day's meeting, and when Jim offers Big Tree 12.5 ... +


In 1906, Easterner Catherine Allen scandalizes her community by writing a racy romance novel and deciding to quit her job as a schoolteacher to seek adventure in the West. As Catherine boards the train, she meets oilman James E. Gardner, who immediately takes a liking to her. Believing her to be as experienced as her romantic heroine, Jim makes advances toward her, which Catherine indignantly spurns. The train stops when cowboy Daniel Somers flags it down, and Catherine gets him to sit near her to discourage Jim. Catherine intends to go to Kansas City, although Jim asks her to go to Sepulpa, Oklahoma, where he has discovered oil. Her choice is made for her when she is put off the train for being in Jim's private car. Dan also gets off the train and is greeted by his old pal, stagecoach driver Desprit Dean. Desprit warns Dan that their hometown of Sepulpa has changed drastically during Dan's absence, as Jim's oil discoveries have caused much dissension. Catherine also boards Desprit's coach, and Jim is picked up when his car breaks down. They then stop at one of Jim's oil rigs, and Catherine is impressed when the well comes in. Less happy is farmer Wilkins, who used to own the land on which the rig stands. Although Jim did buy the land, Wilkins feels that he has been cheated, and Dan is forced to stop them from fighting. Later, Jim asks Desprit to help him negotiate with Chief Big Tree, as the well's main oil pool lays underneath Indian lands. Dan also attends the next day's meeting, and when Jim offers Big Tree 12.5 percent of his profits, Dan advises the chief to refuse the deal. Jim is infuriated by Dan's interference, but the small ranchers and Indians oppose the greedy Jim and support Dan, asking him to go to Washington, D.C. to ask President Theodore Roosevelt for the oil rights. Dan at first refuses, as he is not an ambitious man, but when it becomes clear that Catherine is attracted to Jim's wealth and power, he decides to beat Jim at his own game in order to compete for her. Catherine does flirt with Dan, but hotel owner Bessie Baxter, Dan's friend, realizes that she is doing it only to make Jim jealous enough to propose. The factions travel to Washington, where Dan, who fought with Roosevelt in Cuba, reveals his plan to give the Indians a fifty percent share of the profits. Roosevelt gives Dan four months in which to deliver ten thousand gallons of oil to a Tulsa refinery, and if he does not make the deadline, the oil rights will go to Jim. Dan returns home and gets to work, but as his well nears completion, Jim's half-breed servant, The Cherokee Kid, deliberately sets off an explosion that kills a worker and destroys the rig. Catherine, who has fallen in love with Dan, pleads with Jim to leave Dan alone, but when Dan sees them together, he assumes the worst and breaks off his relationship with Catherine. Later, Dan and his men steal Jim's portable rig and bring in the well, but because Jim has bought the only pipeline to Tulsa, they must build giant barrels and race to the refinery to meet the deadline. The next day, Bessie brokers a reconciliation between Dan and Catherine during the massive campaign to get the oil to the refinery. Despite more sabotage by Jim and his men, Dan gets the oil to Tulsa on time, and after besting Jim in a fistfight, Dan embraces Catherine and begins plans to build their house. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.