What a shame that one of the only three films co-starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart is not nearly as good as THE ROARING TWENTIES or ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES. THE OKLAHOMA KID feels like a bunch of guys at Warners had nothing to do, said "Let's make a western!", grabbed director Lloyd Bacon and a bunch of tough mugs and great character actors and bashed one out in a week. The sets ands scenery are all fine, but there's nothing that separates THE OKLAHOMA KID from hundreds of other westerns except the Cagney-Bogart novelty, and it's not nearly as strong a hook as it was in the other aforementioned films. Cagney is fine, if a little subdued as an outlaw with a heart of gold. Bogart spent much of the decade playing heavies, but here on the eve of his becoming a star in his own right, it is sad to see him a such a Johnny One-Note black hat bad guy part.
It's far from being a terrible film, but THE OKLAHOMA KID is not a film that will often be mentioned with other Cagney classics, and certainly is merely an interesting footnote in Bogey's career. ½ - JB