Oklahoma! A movie review

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Oklahoma! A movie review

By Tim Farley

The movie “Oklahoma!” has, for generations, been a cinematic and stage hit with its themes of family, work, pride and boundless optimism. So, it was a tremendous day when the special remastering of the movie was shown at Oklahoma City Community College recently.

Long before Jane Jayroe, Carrie Underwood or Kristin Chenoweth became Oklahoma’s sweethearts, there was Shirley Jones, the beautiful young actress who played in the movie’s starring role as “Laurey.” Although she wasn’t born in Oklahoma, Jones has always had a special admiration for the state and its people. So, it was heartwarming when she took yet another bow at the special screening last month.

The remastered version of “Oklahoma!” brings to living color all of the promise and hope people felt as this territory was about to become a state. The movie brings a magical charm that shows what Oklahomans are made of and how we respond in times of crisis.

High school and college performing arts groups perform the wonderful musical. There’s also successful revivals of the stage version here in the U.S. and abroad. “Oklahoma!” carries with it messages that are never lost on any audience regardless of location. Audiences love the music such as “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and of course, the title song, “Oklahoma.”

The movie has long been a great advertisement for the state and last month’s special screening at OCCC carried on that tradition.

The movie and stage versions make audiences feel good. The performances are heart-warming and it’s always a spine-tingling experience to hear the song “Oklahoma.” Regardless of how many times a person hears it, the title track never gets old, especially if you live in Oklahoma.

Mental images of wavin’ wheat, the wind sweepin’ down the Plains, and hawks making lazy circles in the sky automatically appear. The movie is fun, refreshing and energizing while also producing a positive image of Oklahoma that will never be forgotten. The movie, the stage version and the messages found in “Oklahoma!” never get old. In fact, the lessons we learn from the movie are timeless. Regardless what happens in this state, whether tornadoes or a manmade tragedy, people always respond with the so-called Oklahoma Standard, which also can be seen throughout the movie.

As the lyrics say, “You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma.”

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