Wayne Goes Wildcatting
After the train briefly stops in town, oil magnate Jim 'Hunk' Gardner (Albert Dekker - Once Upon a Honeymoon) sweeps school teacher Catherine Elizabeth Allen (Martha Scott - ben-hur) of her feet and takes her back to his personal carriage where he sets about seducing her. It is just then the train comes to a sudden stop and horseless cowboy Daniel F. Somers (John Wayne - The Spoilers) boards, making himself at home in Gardner's personal carriage and flirting with Catherine. Of course it gets under Gardner's skin but that is just the first time as Gardner and Sommers find themselves rivals when it comes to getting oil lease rights on Indian land in Oklahoma.
John Wayne in a western set in the 20th century where industrialism is taking over the wild west and where he finds himself a rival with a driven businessman not only when it comes to oil fields but also a woman. That sentence pretty much sums up "War of the Wildcats" although it most certainly is worth knowing that this is one of John Wayne's movies which has a lighter side, almost a romantic comedy side which the great man was pretty adept at thanks to having a natural talent for being comically exasperated by a woman.
The thing is that "War of the Wildcats" isn't some heavy movie full of depth or filled with action and drama, it is a movie of three characters. We have John Wayne playing the amiable cowboy who treats everybody fairly, we have Dekker playing self made millionaire Gardner who goes after what ever he wants, bull dozing over those who get in his way. And in the midst of all this is Marta Scott as Catherine who likes the sophistication and wealth of Gardner but likes the charm of Somers, just wishes he was a bit richer and motivated. That is really it and whilst entertaining is nothing special, even with John Wayne playing a cowboy who doesn't want to see Indians squeezed for more that what is rightfully theirs.
What this all boils down to is that "War of the Wildcats" is just some playful fun which shows a side of John Wayne which many may not be familiar with. Unfortunately whilst entertaining it is also sadly forgettable with nothing to make it special, even the appearance of Dale Evans as a showgirl fails to add anything memorable to the mix.