Cimarron (1931)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Epic Western, Ensemble Film  |   Run Time - 130 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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According to Hollywood lore, Cimarron's famous Oklahoma Land Rush sequence was filmed near Bakersfield, CA, and included 47 camera operators and 5,000 dress extras. The scene, which to a modern viewer suggests some heavy borrowing from William S. Hart's similar sequence in the silent Tumbleweeds (1925), remains Cimarron's centerpiece and tends to dwarf the empire building sweep of Edna Ferber's original novel. And, to be frank, the remaining hour or so of political intrigue is rather ponderous and dull in comparison. Richard Dix and Irene Dunne grow old according to Hollywood tradition by graying slightly at the temples and the rest of the immense cast seems in awe of the entire enterprise. According to Hollywood lore, Cimarron lost money despite earning a Best Picture Academy Award and it is easy to see why. The whole enterprise seems lopsided and never recovers from that amazing land rush sequence early on in the proceedings.