Doolin (played, naturally, by Randolph Scott) may have once rode with the fearsome Dalton Brothers but, according to this film, he was actually just an ordinary, salt of the Earth type who wanted to settle down with the right woman and lead a normal life. It looks like he might get that opportunity after the Daltons are killed and Doolin tires of leading his own gang of outlaws. Doolin settles in a Oklahoma town, takes a new name, and falls in love with Elaine (Virginia Hutton). But when both the members of his old gang and a veteran lawman (George Macready) show up in town, Doolin learns that the past cannot be escaped.
The plot of The Doolins of Oklahoma is nothing special, though it’s portrayal of the outlaws being more honorable than law enforcement may have been surprising in 1949. The main thing that distinguishes The Doolins of Oklahoma is the cast, which is full of western veterans like John Ireland, Noah Beery Jr., Charles Kemper, Frank Fenton, and Jock Mahoney. Not surprisingly Randolph Scott is ideally cast as a weary cowboy who just wants to settle down and live the rest of his life in peace. Scott is well-matched by MacReady, as the marshal who will not let anything stand in the way doing his duty as a member of law enforcement. Gordon Douglas directs crisply and energetically and every member of the main cast gets at least one big moment in which to distinguish themselves. The Doolins of Oklahoma may not be a groundbreaking film but it will be enjoyed by fans of the western genre.