THE DOOLINS OF OKLAHOMA. Columbia Pictures, 1949. Randolph Scott, George Macready, Louise Allbritton, John Ireland, Virginia Huston, Charles Kemper, Noah Beery Jr., Dona Drake , Robert Barrat, Lee Patrick. Director: Gordon Douglas.

   Suffice it to say, there’s nothing new under the Western skies in The Doolins of Oklahoma. Starring Randolph Scott as real life outlaw Bill Doolin, this docudrama/Western has its moments, but is an overall average movie that begins and ends pretty much as you would expect it to.

   What makes it worth a look, particularly for those with fond memories of this type of movie that they certainly don’t make anymore, is the presence of co-star George Macready as the U.S. Marshal on Doolin’s trail. Character actors John Ireland and Noah Beery (Jr.) feature prominently as members of Doolin’s gang. Scott, not yet the star of films directed by Andre De Toth and Budd Boetticher, portrays Doolin as a man who wants nothing more than to leave his criminal past behind him and start a new life working the land as a farmer.

   Problem is: Scott’s Doolin is just too darn nice. One can hardly imagine him as a bank robber or the leader of The Wild Bunch, let alone a killer. As far as Doolin’s wife, as portrayed in the film by Virginia Huston, she hasn’t a clue. She’s nice and pretty, but that’s about as far as it goes. Still, if you happen to like Scott as a Western star – and I very much do – he’s not all bad here and does his best with the rather mediocre script.

   There’s some dry humor, genuine pathos, and wit here, all delivered in Scott’s distinguished Southern gentleman’s accent. It’s just not enough to make this movie particularly memorable.