The epic saga of a frontier family, Cimarron starts with the Oklahoma Land Rush on 22 April 1889. The Cravet family builds their newspaper Oklahoma Wigwam into a business empire and Yancey Cravet is the adventurer-idealist who, to his wife's anger, spurns the opportunity to become governor since this means helping to defraud the native Americans of their land and resources.Written by
A key reason to the lukewarm reaction to this film was that it lead viewers to believe that the story was about Yancey Cravat, when in fact it was primarily about Sabra Cravat. It was, after all, based on a book that told the story from a woman's perspective. Also, running contrary to expectations, the strength of the Yancey character was undermined by his repeated abandoning of his responsibilities to his family. In all, it is an extremely unusual western. See more »
As with other westerns of the twentieth century, this film displays a great deal of objectification of and stereotyping of native Americans, one of many examples being the name of the newspaper, the "Texas Wigwam / Oklahoma Wigwam". The word "wigwam" is not associated with tribes of the south and southwest but with the tribes of the northeast. The correct word for this type of structure in this location is "wikiup." See more »
Opening credits prologue: At high noon April 22, 1889 a section of the last unsettled territories in America was to be given free to the first people who claimed it. They came from the north and they came from the south and they came from across the sea. In just one day an entire territory would be settled. A new state would be born. They called it Oklahoma. See more »
Sorry but despite the fact that the 1931 version of this novel was the only western film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture it does not compare to the entertainment value of this version. True this is perhaps not the best adaptation of Ms. Ferber's novel, but then how many films are perfect adaptations of their source material. There are wonderful scenes missing from this adaptation, but then there are wonderful scenes missing from the adaptation of GWTW. No, I am not comparing this to a classic like GWTW. But the '31 version is not in the same class as GWTW either. This film should be taken for what it actually is, a good solid epic entertainment with spectacular scenes and good performances. Glenn Ford is perfect casting for Yancy. His performance is far superior to that of the overripe, stilted scenery chewing one delivered by Richard Dix in the original. Ford's boyish manner easily captures the charming immature nature of the character. Maria Schell is on a par with Irene Dunne. It is a pity her character was rewritten from the novel to be weaker than Ferber intended. This was obviously done to make the film Ford's but she's still gives a performance that is on the money. As so do the myriad supporting players in the film. Back in 1960, MGM obviously needed a big movie to move into the theaters that had been playing "Ben-Hur" for over a year. So this production was rushed to completion to fit the bill. The fact that it was shot in Cinemascope instead of a "Big" 70 mm process is evidence of this. It has been written that the production was shut down before the scripted ending could be filmed. This explains the rather abrupt and somewhat awkward end to the film. Perhaps a regular non "Roadshow" release might have fared better both with the critics and at the box-office. It often seems that those who praise the older version over this film have seldom actually seen the former. For many years the 1931 version was not available for viewing. During that period many film historians gushed in their praise of it. When it finally reappeared on screens most of them found it very creaky and revised their opinions but the older opinions are still in print, available and read. True, they didn't change their opinion of this version, but the older fell into proper perspective...Cinema History and rather dry history at that. While this version is not a classic it remains good entertainment. Compare it to "How The West Was Won" made by the same studio just a few years later.
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