Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I can’t say that I enjoyed Cimarron. In fact, I spent the entire movie trying to think of just one reason to give it one statuette.
The movie begins with the Oklahoma land rush of 1889. Yancey Cravat is a young lawyer and journalist who wears way too much makeup throughout the entire movie. It’s incredibly distracting. Anyway, he’s in Oklahoma at the beginning of the rush. He knows exactly what piece of land he wants, but is outsmarted by a prostitute looking for a new start. He returns to Kansas where his wife, Sabra, and his young son Cim. He decides to move his family to the booming town of Osage to start a newspaper. Their young African-American servant comes along for the ride as well. More on that later.
Yancey has quite the reputation (and not just for wearing makeup) so the good people of Osage ask him to run their church. During the service, he shoots a guy that he suspects killed the last news paper editor. No one seems particularly bothered about the killing.
The movie skips a year, and we see that the Cravat clan has grown to include a baby daughter, Donna. One day when Donna is an infant, a particularly nasty bank robber named ‘The Kid’ rides into town. After a gun fight Yancey kills him. He’s offered hundreds of dollars in reward, but refuses to take it.
In 1893 President Roosevelt opens up more Oklahoma land for the taking, and Yancey leaves his family in search of a new life. He promises to write, but he doesn’t. Sabra is left alone to run the newspaper and the family. Yancey returns five years later as if nothing had happened, essentially. The day he returns the prostitute from the beginning of the movie (her name is Dixie, I think) is going to trial with hopes that she’ll be run out of town. Yancey decides to defend her, despite the fact his wife Sabra was the one who brought up charges against Dixie. After some quick talking Yancey convinces the court to drop charges. Sabra is understandably upset. I mean, your husband disappears for five years, comes home, and defends a prostitute? I’d be mad too!