Nogales, Oklahoma

Nogales, Oklahoma

When Hollywood decided to make a movie adapted from the Broadway play Oklahoma in 1954 they couldn’t find a location in the Sooner State that resembled Oklahoma in 1907. Everywhere you looked was an oil well. Someone suggested southern Arizona would be an ideal place to shoot the film. So, the cast and crew headed for Nogales, Arizona.

Oklahomans were outraged to think Hollywood would shoot a film about Oklahoma achieving statehood in Arizona. The good people in Nogales stepped up and offered to allow Oklahoma to “annex” them until the film was finished shooting. The Oklahomans figured that was probably the best deal they’d get, so for a brief time Nogales, Arizona became Nogales, Oklahoma.

There was another small problem or two. Corn wouldn’t grow “high as an elephant’s eye.” The University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture came to the rescue. Using steroids they developed some hybrid corn to fill the bill. Peach trees had to be imported from California along with fake peaches made of wax. Scenes had to be shot early in the morning before the fruit melted on the trees.

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