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Sunday, October 5, 2014
Movie Review: War of the Wildcats aka In Old Oklahoma (John Wayne, 1943)
This 1943 John Wayne film shows the early oil business in Oklahoma. Jim Gardner (Albert Dekker) is the big oil tycoon and he wants to drill on the Indian land. However he wants to give them a bad deal, and they only alternative is Daniel Somers (Wayne), a cowboy, not and oilman. Add a young woman, Catherine Allen (Martha Scott) a school teacher who is run out of town after writing a romance novel. She gets stuck between the tycoon and the cowboy. Teddy Roosevelt gives his old soldier the contract, but also a time limit to deliver oil in Tulsa. Gardner sets up as a blocking stone, as he gets the contract if they can't deliver. Two characters help Somers see that the woman is in love with him, but he thinks she is with Gardner. Bessie Baxter (Marjorie Rambeau) runs the hotel. Despirit Dean (Gabby Hayes) is his old friend and side kick. This movie is exciting as Gardner buys the pipeline and the have to move their oil to Tulsa by wagon, going through fire set by Gardner's men, and with Gardner's men among the teamsters, but sabotaging things at the same time. The women have to pull a few fast ones to get the time limit extended a few minutes. Here again it comes down to a fight at the end.