Working at an Arizona dude ranch left me with some unusual memories, but the summer of 1954 topped them all. That’s when Hollywood’s MGM Studios used my employer’s ranch for the filming of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit musical Oklahoma!
Contrary to its name, Oklahoma! was filmed mainly in Arizona’s San Rafael Valley, a vast area along the Mexican border about 30 miles from Rancho Grande, where I was assistant manager and my wife, Betty, was assistant hostess
Nogales, Arizona: location Amado, AZ: opening scene in cornfield Elgin, AZ: train station for the "Kansas City" routine Culver City, California: MGM Studios As for why? The oil wells were a distraction when filming exterior scenes.