Studio: 20th Century Fox
Screenplay: Sonya Levian and William Ludwig
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Choreographer: Agnes deMille
"Oklahoma" is a story of love told amid the backdrop of the soon-to-be state of Oklahoma in the early 1900s. As in many Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, the story focuses on two couples - Curly and Laurie and Will and Ado Annie. The couples each represent the two halves of Oklahoma society at that time, the cowboy or rancher and the farmer. In the end, the couples and the society are joined as Oklahoma becomes a part of the United States of America.
The highlights of "Oklahoma" are the music, with some of Rodgers' and Hammerstein's most beautiful songs, and the spectacular dance numbers.
Curly (Gordon MacRae), a cowboy in early 1900s Oklahoma, and Laurie (Shirley Jones), a farm girl, are in love but they don't want to admit their love for each other. Laurie and her aunt have a seedy farm hand named Jud Fry (Rod Steiger) who has his eye on Laurie and, to make Curly jealous, Laurie agrees to go to a town social with Jud.
Laurie's friend, Ado Annie (Gloria Grahame), is in love with Will Parker (Gene Nelson), but, while Will is out of town, Ado Annie falls for a Persian peddler, Ali Hakim (Eddie Albert). Will wants to marry Ado Annie but her father won't agree to a wedding unless Will has $50. Will returns from Kansas City with $50 worth of presents for Ado Annie. Ali Hakem, who doesn't want to marry anyone, buys the gifts from Will.
Laurie reluctantly goes to the social with Jud Fry but he frightens her and she rides away without him. At the social, Laurie tells Curly what happened and he comforts her and they both express their love for each other and decide to get married.
Laurie fired Jud after the ride to the social and Jud returns on the day of Laurie and Curly's wedding, seeking revenge. He sets fire to the farm's haystacks, including the one Curly and Laurie are standing on. Curly fights with Jud and Jud falls on his own knife and dies.
The film ends happily with everyone celebrating Curly and Laurie's marriage and the fact that the territory of Oklahoma will soon become a state.