The Oklahoman

Overview

Joel McCrea stars in this leisurely paced Western from Allied Artists formerly Monogram originally released in Cinemascope. Having lost his wife in childbirth en route to California, Dr. John Brighton McCrea builds a new home for himself and his baby daughter in an Oklahoma backwater town, lodging with kindhearted Mrs. Fitzgerald Esther Dale. As the town grows up around him, Brighton becomes a well-respected local medico, championing the rights of the area's Indian population when nasty rancher Cass Dobie ...
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Overview

Joel McCrea stars in this leisurely paced Western from Allied Artists formerly Monogram originally released in Cinemascope. Having lost his wife in childbirth en route to California, Dr. John Brighton McCrea builds a new home for himself and his baby daughter in an Oklahoma backwater town, lodging with kindhearted Mrs. Fitzgerald Esther Dale. As the town grows up around him, Brighton becomes a well-respected local medico, championing the rights of the area's Indian population when nasty rancher Cass Dobie attempts to buy them out cheap. Unbeknownst to the townspeople, Dobie has discovered oil on the land belonging to Charlie Smith Michael Pate, whose beautiful daughter, Maria Gloria Talbott, is working as little Louise Brighton's Laurie Mitchell nursemaid. When Charlie is forced to kill Cass' brother, Mel Douglas Dick, in self-defense, Cass vows revenge. Aided by female rancher Anne Barnes Barbara Hale, Brighton learns about the discovery of oil and there is a final confrontation on main street.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Although clearly low-budget, Allied Artists lavished both Cinemascope and DeLuxe color on this somewhat verbose Western that borrowed plot number five from the catalogue of B-Western writing: the discovery by the villain of oil (gold, water, borax, et. al) on the property belonging to a lowly Indian (settler, nester, homesteader, etc.). Happily, this time the old wheeze is acted by a cast of competent veterans who had done this sort of thing many times before, but rarely better. As always, Joel McCrea makes a believable frontiersman, although he clearly isn't hailing from Oklahoma. Barbara Hale is her competent self as the inevitable heroine, and Brad Dexter makes a credible villain, whose motives are clearly drawn. But the real joy of the film remains its supporting cast: Verna Felton as Ms. Hale's feisty mother; Esther Dale as the no-nonsense boarding-house proprietress; and the townspeople, who, for once, are depicted as mostly caring individuals trying to make the best of a bad situation. Among them, surprisingly, is I. Stanford Jolley, usually the blackest of blackguards, but here portraying a sympathetic storekeeper. On the debit side, the Native Americans are white actors with much pancake makeup -- science fiction favorite Gloria Talbott is stunning nonetheless -- and the denouement seems strangely hurried.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2009
  • UPC: 883316125403
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 27,171

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joel McCrea Dr. John Brighton
Barbara Hale Anne Barnes
Brad Dexter Cass Dobie
Gloria Talbott Maria Smith
Verna Felton Mrs. Waynebrook
Douglas Dick Mel Dobie
Michael Pate Charlie Smith
Anthony Caruso Jim Hawk
Esther Dale Mrs. Fitzgerald
Adam Williams Bob Randell
Ray Teal Jason Stableman
Peter J. Votrian Little Charlie
John M. Pickard Marshal Bill
Gertrude Astor Woman
Scotty Beckett Messenger at Ranch
Diane Brewster Eliza
Watson Downs
Bill Foster Dobie Henchman
Lennie Geer Bushwacker
Mimi Gibson Louise Brighton
Robert Hinkle Ken the Driver
Earl Hodgins Sam the Bartender
I. Stanford Jolley Storekeeper
Doris Kemper
Allen Kramer Wild Line
Harry Lauter Grant
Jennifer Lea Girl
Rankin Mansfield Doctor
Don Marlowe Rider
Kermit Maynard Townsman
Laurie Mitchell
Dorothy Neumann
Wheaton Chambers Lounger
Sheb Wooley Cowboy/Henchman
Technical Credits
Francis D. Lyon Director
Carl Guthrie Cinematographer
Dave Milton Art Director
Walter Mirisch Producer
Hans Salter Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Dan Ullman Screenwriter
George White Editor
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