A couple of young cowboys win the hearts of their sweethearts in the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the century, despite the interference of an evil ranch hand and a roaming peddler.
“Oklahoma!” is a spectacle of costumes and sets and scenery depicting the old west. It features a talented cast including Shirley Jones, Gordon MacRae, Eddie Albert and Rod Steiger. There are some very talented singers in this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
Having stated that, the film does appear pretty dated today. If one likes musicals, this lavish production will probably please, but the casual observer will find it slow going in parts. The basic plot is the love story of Curley McClain (MacRae) and Laurey Williams (Jones), and the jealous vendetta of hired hand Jud Fry (Rod Steiger). There is singing aplenty in this film and it is, overall, family friendly. However, there are a few mild scenes which parents should keep in mind concerning young viewers. The hired hand gets fresh with Laurey while they are riding on a wagon, and there is a scene near the end where hay stacks are set on fire, and a man threatens another man with a knife. There is also a scene in which the character of Laurey skinny dips but there is nothing graphic in any way. The film does have its moments and it is considered a classic, but young viewers with short attention spans will have a hard time following it through to the conclusion.