...if creation was creating boredom
Cimarron is a 1931 Western film directed by Wesley Ruggles and stars Richard Dix and Irene Dunne. It was the first Western film to win Best Picture, and is one of just a small handful to ever do so.
In 1889, the Oklahoma Territory is freed by the government, prompting thousands to travel and take part in the Oklahoma land rush of 1889. Yancey Cravat (Dix) and his wife, Sabra (Dunne) join the race, but Yancey is outwitted by a woman named Dixie Lee, who takes a valuable piece of the land from him. Yancey then decides to move to the town of Osage, where he begins the Osage Wigwam, a weekly newspaper.
One of the worst feelings I think someone can get while viewing a film is coming to a point where they simply don't care anymore. Being bored is one thing, but when you tell yourself you no longer care for what you see on screen, the film has completely failed to do its job. That was what came over me as I sat twitchy and impatient in my chair while watching Cimarron. I was not only bored, but I also reached a point where my phone became my prime source of attention. Cimarron turned into background noise. That's as bad as it got.
- None. I would've said Richard Dix's performance, but he began to grow more narcissistic as the film went along, and I eventually stopped caring for him. Other than maybe a few quality scenes Dix was in, nothing else about Cimarron I found to be worthy of praise.
- The weak storytelling. Cimarron moves quite sluggishly, and if it weren't for the occasional title card, you might find yourself completely lost, unless you were still paying close attention from the start. Trying to follow the story is a bother, since random characters come and go and events seem to happen out of nowhere. There is one scene where Dix is supposed to give a sermon to a group of people, but it just comes up unexpectedly and once it's over, there is no mention of it again. The film also keeps jumping ahead several years, with Yancey Cravat coming and going like many of the other characters.
- The underlying racism. The movie makes a few racial remarks primarily towards Indians. I understand when this was first released, civil rights and equality were not exactly a hot topic, but nowadays, it would rub off the wrong way to any general viewer.
I could consider the entire movie to be a low. Nothing about Cimarron is memorable or deserving of merit, with poor storytelling, unlikable characters, and a lingering sense of boredom. On top of that, the film may finally push you to that point where you simply do not care. That is film-making at its worst. Cimarron is terrific alright, terrific in generating boredom and wasting your valuable time. How this film won Best Picture is a mystery we may never know.
Recommend? Absolutely not
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: