Directed by Wesley Ruggles
Nominated for 7 Oscars, Won 3
Set at the end of the 19th Century, the government has opened up the Oklahoma territory for settlement and men (and women) from all over the country have come to try and claim Oklahoma land. Yancy Cravat, after losing his territory he meant to claim to a young woman, he moves his family (his wife and son) there anyway. Settling in Osage, he becomes a leading citizen, as well as the newspaper editor. The film spans many years as we see how the world is changing and seeing the growth of Osage.
Cimarron is a movie that has not aged well at all. There's a lot of racism, anti-Semitism, and, obviously, sexism. The film is constantly stopping and starting in terms of story, and never really seems to know what it wants to do, plot-wise.
The movie focuses on Yancy and his wife Sabra after their move to Osage. Sabra is unsure of moving here because she's left her entire family back in Wichita, and they're not exactly fans of the outspoken and liberal Yancy that she married. However, Sabra is willing to come with him. As mentioned, the film spans something like 50 years. The first half of the film is more of less stable, not flipping ahead in time. However, not a lot happens. And with every time-flip we seem to get a new "story" that isn't really connected to the part of film before it.
In ways, I can forgive this movie for a lot of its follies. This was made over 80 years ago, so I can forgive the overacting. The over-acting, especially from Richard Dix, got a little much, and was very tiring through the 2 hour run time. Irene Dunne, as well, was a little painful to witness, but she was much better than Dix.
As well, I can forgive things such as not-entirely convincing set pieces. This film was filmed in the depression, and while it did have a large budget for the time, is obviously not quite what we're used to seeing in films. Although the opening scene with the race to claim Oklahoma land was quite good, but it was pretty much the only interesting thing about this film.
Similar to winners like Cavalcade, this film fails because it tries to skip time too much and we never really get attached to any character, because we don't seem to know them for too long before we've fast-forwarded 10 years or so. So this film fails on many, many levels, however I feel some of it is forgivable given the time period. However, the year before's winner, All Quiet on the Western Front, was much more of a success than this, and was able to give drama and decent acting and visuals. So this is still not a film that can really be enjoyed very much in 2014, and probably hasn't been enjoyment for much longer before this.
Emotional Connection- 4/10
Overall Enjoyment- 4/10
Overall Package- 5/10