When inventor and movie studio pioneer Thomas Edison wanted to
capture western magic on film in 1904, where did he send his crew?
To Oklahoma's 101 Ranch near Ponca City. And when Francis Ford
Coppola readied young actors Tom Cruise and Matt Dillon to portray
teen class strife in the 1983 movie "The Outsiders," he took cast
and crew to Tulsa, the setting of S. E. Hinton's acclaimed novel.
From Edison to Coppola and beyond, Oklahoma has served as both
backdrop and home base for cinematic productions. The only book to
chronicle the history of made-in-Oklahoma films, John Wooley's
"Shot in Oklahoma" explores the variety, spunk, and ingenuity of
moviemaking in the Sooner State over more than a century.
Wooley's trek through cinematic history, buttressed by
meticulous research and interviews, hits the big films readers have
heard of--but maybe didn't realize were shot in the state--along
with lesser-known offerings. We also get the films' intriguing
backstories. For instance, President Theodore Roosevelt's
fascination with a man purportedly able to catch a wolf in his
hands led to "The Wolf Hunt," shot in the Wichita Mountains and
screened in the White House in 1909. Over time, homegrown movies
such as "Where the Red Fern Grows" (1974, 2003) have given way to
feature films including "The Outsiders" and "Rain Man" (1988).
Throughout this tale, Wooley draws attention to unsung aspects of
state and cinematic history, including early all-black movies
lensed in Oklahoma's African American towns and films starring
American Indian leads.
With a nod to more recent Hollywood productions such as
"Twister" (1996) and "Elizabethtown" (2005), Wooley ultimately
explores how a low-budget slasher movie created in Oklahoma in the
1980s transformed the movie business worldwide. Punctuated with
photographs and including a filmography of more than one hundred
productions filmed in the state, "Shot in Oklahoma" offers movie
lovers and historians alike an engaging ride through untold
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