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Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Oklahoman (1957)

After his wife dies in childbirth on their way to California, a doctor (Joel McCrea) opts to stay in a small Oklahoma town with his daughter (Mimi Gibson) and practice medicine. But his relatively peaceful existence is interrupted when gossip about the Indian maiden (Gloria Talbott) living in his home as his daughter's nanny suggests an affair and the girl's father (Michael Pate) is arrested for shooting a trespasser (Douglas Dick) on his land in self defense. This standard western offers nothing new or particularly interesting in the genre but it's not a bad little oater either. McCrea is his usual stoic self but Brad Dexter (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) makes for a hissable villain and the lovely Talbott could turn a blind man's eye! The film gives a balanced view of the town's racial discrimination against the Native American populace. It's there without the frothing at the mouth Indian haters showing that racism is often more "discreet". Directed by Francis D. Lyon (CULT OF THE COBRA). With Barbara Hale, Diane Brewster, Verna Felton, Sheb Wooley, Ray Teal and Adam Williams.

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