Cimarron is a classic Western famous for being one of the first Best Picture winner. Anyone born after World War II will be hard pressed to remember it. It’s pretty funny as the 1960 remake and similar tales all keep mining the same historical fiction trappings. Americana family sagas about pioneers taming the country in that odd period between the Civil War and World War I.
The Oklahoma Land Rush was seen as oddly cinematic early on in our shared film history. The last major release I can remember trying to use it would be Far and Away. But, that’s been 20 years ago or near that time. That feeling of pride in American expansion is greatly diminished for those of us without little flag pins on our lapel. Still, I want to support classic cinema.
Anthony Mann does his typical best directing the film. It’s just that outside of nailing the Western visuals that the master had down pat, what else was there to do? For 2 hours and 27 minutes, family members look wistful and long for simpler times. Yet, what is more simple than bouncing around the turn of the century with nothing to do?
The film earns some right side of history points for trying to portray the attacks on Native Americans as being terrible. Past that, this is a film about buggies and big dresses. I’m getting to an age where while I love classic cinema, I can’t help but not have the patience to put up with celluloid wankery. This film dips so hard into the melodrama and pageantry that it forgets to tell the classic Farber story at times.
The Blu-ray comes with no special features. That’s right, kids. You know the movie from 1960 that was a remake of a film from 1931? Well, it didn’t get any special features. Suck it up and check out the stunning transfer. What can I say? Even for a film I don’t truly love, Warner Archive slays the competition again.