Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Cimarron (1931)

Starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunne

Rating 6/10

It is the dawn of the American empire; 1889. President Benjamin Harrison had ‘acquired’ 2,000,000 acres for a land rush; a ‘first in best dressed’ kind of affair.
50,000 people lined up at high noon on the 22nd of April and this is where Cimarron begins.

Here we meet Yancey Cravat, a newspaperman and a lawyer. Though he misses out on a portion of land, he decides to move to Osage, Oklahoma, to start a newspaper and obey his thirst for adventure. His wife and son, Cim, reluctantly follow him into this very new and dangerous land. Gambling, outlaws and lewd behaviour are the order of the day. Eventually, Yancey overcomes the evil in the town but lusts for more action. He leaves wife, son, daughter and home for the more exciting new lands that are being opened up.

Thus begins a tumultuous journey of loss, love and loyalty, the three ‘L’s. His wife, Sabra is loyal to the end, even taking over the newspaper and leaving him as Editor. This makes for endearing but equally frustrating viewing. “Just dump the bum” I wanted to shout. But this is a refined lady who eventually becomes one of the first Congresswomen; a tough broad if ever I saw one. Yancey is nothing but a disloyal, selfish, self-righteous man who simply seeks pleasure and kudos for himself and nothing more.

So, is this film worthy of an Oscar? The land rush scene is spectacular (see below).

This is an epic movie. It spans forty years in a new land with many dangers lurking around corners and in the dessert of the new world. It is a story about love and trials, so I think it does tick the epic box which means that it should be worthy of an Oscar. It challenges conventions, discussing the treatment of Indians in a progressive way and also the fact that the female character had a successful career was equally impressive.

Being a classic movie, it is really hard to compare to modern equivalents. It can’t beat Wings or All Quiet… but it was an education in the dark realities of early American history. Three stars!

Cimarron Trivia:

  • Budget: $1.5 million
  • 5000 extras, 28 cameras, wagons, horses and one penny farthing were used to create the land rush scene, taking one week to film
  • The film also won Oscars for Best Writing, Adaption and Best Art Direction
  • The film never recouped the $1.5 million due to the depression

Next week we are reviewing Grand Hotel from 1932. Let us know your thoughts. Enjoy the Oscar Club ride!!

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3 comments on “Best Picture – Cimarron (1931)

  1. Pingback: Best Picture – Wings (1927) and Holiday fruit chocolates | Oscarclub's Blog

  2. Pingback: Best Picture – Wings (1927) | Oscarclub's Blog

  3. Kaye
    September 7, 2010

    Great review,love the trivia:) I still need to watch this one,will have to find it on U tube.

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