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Best Movies Set in Oklahoma

Every state is known for something. As you work your way through the list, don’t miss the best movies set in Oklahoma. While you're at it, check out the best books set in Oklahoma, too.

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest.

What themes are in Movies Set in Oklahoma?

Movies set in Oklahoma often explore a variety of themes, just like movies set in any other location. Oklahoma's diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and history provide ample material for storytelling. Some common themes in movies set in Oklahoma include:

1. The American West: Oklahoma's history is deeply connected to the American West. Films set in the state often explore themes related to frontier life, cowboys, cattle ranching, and the pioneer spirit.

2. Native American Culture: Oklahoma is home to numerous Native American tribes, and movies may explore themes of Native American culture, heritage, and the historical impact of the Trail of Tears and forced relocation.

3. Family and Community: Many films set in Oklahoma emphasize themes of family dynamics, relationships, and community bonds, often set against the backdrop of small towns or rural areas.

4. The Dust Bowl: The Dust Bowl era, characterized by severe dust storms and economic hardship during the Great Depression, is a significant theme in some Oklahoma-based films. These movies often depict the struggles of families trying to survive in harsh conditions.

5. Music and Art: Oklahoma has a rich cultural tradition, including music genres like country, blues, and jazz. Films may explore themes related to the arts and the state's contributions to American music.

6. Education and School Life: Some movies set in Oklahoma focus on education and school life, depicting the challenges and triumphs of students and teachers.

7. Oil and Industry: Oklahoma has a history of oil exploration, and films may explore themes related to the oil industry, economic growth, and the impact on local communities.

8. Racial and Social Issues: Like any state, Oklahoma has grappled with issues related to race, civil rights, and social justice. Some films set in the state address these themes.

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9. Natural Disasters: Oklahoma is prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes, and some films depict the themes of disaster preparedness, recovery, and resilience.

10. Religion and Faith: Oklahoma has a strong religious culture, and films may explore themes related to faith, spirituality, and religious communities.

11. Coming of Age: Movies set in Oklahoma often focus on young characters as they navigate the challenges and experiences of adolescence, self-discovery, and personal growth.

12. Agriculture and Farming: The state's rural areas are often the setting for films that explore themes related to agriculture, farming, and rural life.

13. Law and Justice: Like any state, Oklahoma has a legal system, and some films set in the state may explore themes of law enforcement, crime, and the pursuit of justice.

These themes are not exclusive to Oklahoma and can be found in movies set in many locations. The specific themes explored in any given movie depend on the storyline, genre, and creative choices of the filmmakers.

How to Create a State Unit Study for Oklahoma

Creating a state unit study for Oklahoma is a great way to explore the state's history, geography, culture, and more. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you design a comprehensive and educational unit study:

1. Define Learning Objectives:
Start by establishing clear learning objectives and goals for your Oklahoma unit study. Determine what you want students to learn and take away from the study.

2. Select Age-Appropriate Materials:
Choose educational materials, books, websites, videos, maps, and other resources that are suitable for the age and grade level of your students. Make sure to include both primary and secondary sources.

3. Explore Geography:
Begin with Oklahoma's geography. Study its physical features, including the Great Plains, the Ozark Plateau, rivers, and climate. Learn about the state's diverse ecosystems and regions.

4. Historical Timeline:
Create a timeline of Oklahoma's history, starting with indigenous peoples and progressing through exploration, the Dust Bowl, statehood, and significant historical events. Focus on key milestones.

5. Notable Figures:
Highlight important historical figures from Oklahoma, such as Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie, and Sequoyah. Explore their contributions and impact on history.

6. State Symbols:
Discover and study Oklahoma's official state symbols, including the state bird, flower, tree, and motto. Explain the significance and history behind these symbols.

7. Native American Culture:
Oklahoma is home to numerous Native American tribes, and your unit study can explore themes related to Native American culture, history, and the impact of the Trail of Tears.

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8. The Dust Bowl:
Dive into the Dust Bowl era and the challenges faced by Oklahomans during the Great Depression. Discuss themes of hardship, resilience, and migration.

9. Music and Arts:
Explore Oklahoma's contributions to music and the arts, including jazz, blues, and country music. Learn about famous musicians and artists from the state.

10. Local Industries:
Investigate Oklahoma's major industries and economy, such as agriculture, energy (oil and natural gas), manufacturing, and aerospace. Discuss how these industries have shaped the state's economy.

11. Natural Resources:
Study Oklahoma's natural resources, including agriculture, oil, and gas. Examine the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability.

12. State Government:
Learn about Oklahoma's government structure, including the roles of the governor, state legislature, and judiciary. Explore the state's unique history of governance.

13. Field Trips and Virtual Tours:
Plan field trips to historical sites, museums, and cultural centers in Oklahoma when possible. If in-person visits are not feasible, consider virtual tours and online resources.

14. Hands-On Activities:
Include hands-on activities like cooking traditional Oklahoma dishes, creating art inspired by local artists, or conducting science experiments related to the state's geography and ecosystems.

15. Multimedia Resources:
Utilize videos, documentaries, and multimedia resources to supplement your unit study. Online platforms and educational websites offer a wealth of information about Oklahoma.

16. Assessments:
Develop assessments and activities to evaluate students' understanding and retention of the material. These may include quizzes, research projects, presentations, and creative assignments.

17. Culminating Project:
Conclude the unit study with a culminating project, such as a research paper, a multimedia presentation, or a cultural fair where students showcase what they've learned about Oklahoma.

18. Reflection:
Encourage students to reflect on their learning experiences, their favorite aspects of the unit study, and any questions they still have about Oklahoma.

19. Sharing Experiences:
Have students share their experiences and findings with their peers, parents, or the school community to showcase their knowledge of Oklahoma.

Adapt the unit study to meet the specific needs and interests of your students, and be flexible in adjusting the curriculum as necessary. A well-rounded unit study can make learning about Oklahoma an enriching and memorable experience.

Best Movies Set in Oklahoma

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson (Actors)


Year: 1955

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There's a box social coming up, and Curly (Gordon MacRae) asks Laurey (Shirley Jones) if she'll be his date. Trouble is, Laurey thinks he's waited too long, and in a fit of pique accepts an offer from the boorish Jud (Rod Steiger) instead.

Meanwhile, Laurey's friend Ado Annie (Gloria Grahame) is also torn between two men: a cowboy named Will (Gene Nelson) and a foreign peddler, Ali Hakim (Eddie Albert). Both women struggle to know their own hearts before it's too late.

Where The Heart Is
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing (Actors)

Where The Heart Is

Year: 2000

After Novalee Nation (Natalie Portman) is left literally barefoot and pregnant in a Wal-Mart parking lot by her no-good boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens (Dylan Bruno), she manages to live within the mammoth megastore until her baby's abrupt arrival makes her a media darling.

After this, Good Samaritan nurse Lexie (Ashley Judd) takes in Novalee and her newborn daughter. Before long, Lexie and Novalee form a life-changing bond of friendship and sisterhood.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard (Actors)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Year: 2021

When a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

Bonnie and Clyde
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael Pollard (Actors)

Bonnie and Clyde

Year: 1967

In the early 1930s, a car thief and the daughter of his intended victim team up to become America's most feared and ruthless bank robbers.

Now that you’ve completed the list of best movies set in this state, why not check out some others? Here are the Best Movies Set in All 50 States.


Click here to download this printable. It has a list of movies in all 50 states, including the Best Movies Set in Oklahoma.

printable mock-up image of Movies Set in all 50 states

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