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Al Jennings of Oklahoma

Al Jennings of Oklahoma(1951)

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The film opens with voice-over narration establishing the setting. The narration continues intermittently throughout the film, detailing specifics of Al Jenning's life over a montage of the events. The real Al Jennings (1864-1961) ran away from home at the age of eight and, according to a January 1954 news item in Los Angeles Daily News, while Jennings was working as a cowboy, he learned the law by reading Blackstone's Commentaries. The same article indicates that "Margo St. Claire" was a fictitious character, as Jennings met his wife Maude after his release from prison.
       Jennings was reportedly not completely satisfied with this filmed version of his life, which showed him robbing stagecoaches when he actually specialized in mail-train heists. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Burt Kelly was initially slated to produce, but his participation in any phase of production has not been confirmed. Jennings' story was filmed earlier in 1914 as Beating Back by Thanhouser Film Corp., directed by Caryl S. Fleming and starring Al and Frank Jennings. A story by Al Jennings was used for Hands Up!, a 1917 Fine Arts production. In 1918, Al Jennings formed his own production company, which produced the sole film The Lady of the Dugout, directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starring Al and Frank Jennings (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20). Throughout the 1920s and sporadically into the 1930s, Al Jennings appeared in bit parts in westerns and action films, including several of Universal's silent "Blue Streak" Westerns.