The Doolins of Oklahoma , When the Daltons are killed at Coffeyville, gang member Bill Doolin arriving late escapes but kills a man. Now wanted for murder, he becomes the leader of the Doolin gang. He eventually leaves the gang and tries to start a new life under a new name. But the old gang members appear and his true identity becomes known. So once again he becomes an outlaw trying to escape from the law.
Fine mainstream western from era before High Noon
As has been generally observed, John Ford was making adult westerns long before the release of the high profile ‘adult western’ High Noon, and he was doing it under the radar of 99% of the critics of his day.
While no Ford, Gordon Douglas directed lots of highly watchable films that likewise never got their due in their time. Doolins is one of these. As a well-known director for hire, Douglas once credited the existence of his entire oeuvre to having a family to feed.
–Fair enough, and a pretty bravely self-deprecating and self-aware attitude in a town of pretentious auteur-wannabes. I’d offer the opinion that Douglas was the average intelligent man making films for his peers. Because of that, his films remain worth a sit-through. (His Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye rivals Walsh’s White Heat in energy and noir viciousness as a late Cagney vehicle.)
This is the best Randolph Scott western after the Boetticher films. Place it alongside other fine non-Ford westerns of the era, including Angel and the badman, Winchester 73 and Yellow Sky. It’s definitely worth a watch.
The Doolins of Oklahoma review