Warner Archive released today the lighthearted 1954 Western “The Boy from Oklahoma,” starring Will Rogers Jr., Nancy Olson and Oklahoma City native Lon Chaney Jr. on DVD.
Billed as an “ahead-of-its-time anti-hero revisionist Western starring the son of America’s best beloved humorist,” it was a directed by Oscar winner Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca,” “White Christmas,” “Mildred Pierce”) and featured supporting turns by Louis Jean Heydt, Slim Pickens and Erick native Sheb Wooley, who all went on to appear in the TV series “Sugarfoot,” which was inspired by the film.
This title has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored for this DVD release. But, hey, I’m surprised and excited that it’s available at all.
Here is the synopsis:
Will Rogers Jr. tames the Old West with a rope and a grin in this breezy adventure directed by Oscar winner Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca,” 1943) and costarring Nancy Olson, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Merv Griffin in a rare screen appearance. Wandering across the New Mexico territory, law student Tom Brewster (Rogers Jr.) mails his final exam from Bluerock, a corrupt town whose sheriff was recently killed. So when the stagecoach is robbed and the letters stolen, Tom is offered the lawman’s position when it’s learned he won’t carry a gun. Armed with only a rope and his wits, Tom attempts to clean up the town and track down the killers without ending up in Boot Hill. Based on a Saturday Evening Post story by screenwriter Michael Fessier (“You Were Never Lovelier”), “The Boy from Oklahoma” was soon spun off into “Sugarfoot,” a TV series that ran for four seasons (1957-61) and starred Will Hutchins as the fledgling frontier lawyer.
To see a preview or buy “The Boy from Oklahoma,” click here.