McCord’s gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw “The Oklahoma Kid” Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a “sooner” claim on land which is to be used for a new town; in exchange for giving it up he gets control of gambling and saloons. When Kincaid’s father runs for mayor, McCord incites a mob to lynch the old man whom McCord has already framed for murder..
Hell's Kitchen Goes West
The Oklahoma Kid is a curio, more fun to think about than actually see. It is a western with James Cagney as a cowboy and Humphrey Bogart his black-clad nemesis. There is some humor in it, but it was made too early to be consciously campy; and as it was produced by Warner Brothers it has a fast, urban pace, but alas lacks the sophistication its dynamic star duo need to elevate it to clasic status, or even make it a good movie. It is not, by the way, a comedy, and is played straight much of the time. Neither star is at home on the range, and Cagney looks silly in a cowboy hat. On the other hand James Wong Howe's photography has some stunning compositions, and has about it, in its contrasting use of black and gray, a twilight quality that is very appealing but, like so much in this movie, not too appropriate for a western.
One Of My Favorite Classic Westerns
I may be in the minority here - at least with a couple of my classic-movie-buff friends, but I really liked this western. I thought it was one of the most interesting and entertaining classic westerns I've ever seen. Of course, having Jimmy Cagney in the lead didn't hurt. He's usually very entertaining and this is no exception. He plays his normal cocky self, but instead of gangster or something else modern-day, he was cowboy. To those too rigid fuddie-duddies who can't see their favorite actors trying different genres - too bad. Cagney as a cowboy?? Why not? He' still the same, great actor and entertainer. Same goes for Bogey.
Humphrey Bogart, as he so often was before he became a mega-star with Casablanca, played the bad guy. He looked like he had a bad toupee, too. I hope that wasn't his real hair!
This was fun to watch right from the get-go and also featured some excellent black-and-white cinematography (where is the DVD on this?), which made it all the better. At 82 minutes, this is a quick night of entertainment, but I liked that short running time.
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