6.6/10
847
21 user 9 critic

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:

Albert S. Rogell

Writers:

Thomson Burtis (original story), Ethel Hill (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Daniel F. Somers
Martha Scott ... Catherine Elizabeth Allen
Albert Dekker ... Jim 'Hunk' Gardner
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Despirit Dean
Marjorie Rambeau ... Bessie Baxter
Dale Evans ... Cuddles Walker
Grant Withers ... Richardson
Sidney Blackmer ... Teddy Roosevelt
Paul Fix ... Cherokee Kid
Cecil Cunningham ... Mrs. Ames
Irving Bacon ... Ben
Byron Foulger ... Wilkins
Anne O'Neal Anne O'Neal ... Mrs. Peabody
Richard Graham 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

Taglines:

Wildcat Men and their Wildcat Women! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

War of the Wildcats See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rhonda Fleming's film 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

Fairly ordinary western with some interesting moments.
16 June 2008 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

One of Poverty Row studio Republic's intermittent big-budget efforts, War of the Wildcats is a lively, if fairly routine, western notable for its early 20th-century setting. Wayne plays Daniel F. Somers, formerly one of Teddy Roosevelt's rough riders, who finds himself entangled in a love-and-oil battle with Albert Dekker. Wayne is fairly amiable here, representing the old west and the little man forced to adapt in the face of modern technology and the dawn of big business. Dekker, of course, represents this future. He drives one of them new-fangled auto-mobeels and is erecting oil wells just as fast as he can. He is also dismissive of the native population – he even has one, a Cherokee, scrub his back as he takes a bath – while Wayne shows them respect and receives it in return. I'm not quite sure how that stacks up today, given our knowledge that the treatment of the native American by the old west fell somewhat short of what can be considered fair.

Anyway, possibly the best aspect of this film is that Dekker's character isn't portrayed as an out-and-out villain, driven only by greed. He is smart and relatively sophisticated, and also brave. Anyone who has ever had the experience of working with or for a 'captain of industry' (for want of a better term) or a self-made man, will probably recognise oilman Gardner's characteristics exactly as those that account for the success of these people. They aren't necessarily bad people, just ruthless enough to do whatever is necessary in pursuit of their goals.

Martha Scott is a fairly bland heroine – it's difficult to see why such rugged individuals as Somers and Gardner would both be so keen to bed her. Gardner's frankness in this matter is also refreshing given the times in which this film was made. He makes no secret of what he desires from Catherine and doesn't resort to any particular underhand tactics to make his desires come true. Of course, he doesn't succeed – it would be another quarter of a century before Hollywood would allow a character like Jim Gardiner to win the girl (and the oil).


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