Cimarron (1960)

140 or 147 mins | Western | December 1960

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writer:

Arnold Schulman

Producer:

Edmund Grainger

Editor:

John Dunning

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Addison Hehr

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The film's opening title cards reads: "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Edna Ferber's Cimarron ." According to a Sep 1940 HR news item, Wesley Ruggles, who directed the first screen version of Ferber's novel, the 1931 RKO film Cimarron (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ), was interested in re-doing the story as a musical for Columbia. In Jul 1941, HR then reported that M-G-M planned to team Clark Gable and Norma Shearer in a remake of the 1931 film. Neither project was realized, however.
       According to a Mar 1958 DV news item, producer Edmund Grainger wanted Rock Hudson to play the male lead in what became the 1960 release, which at that time was to be scripted by Halstead Welles. Welles's contribution to the completed picture has not been determined. HR news items add that George Hamilton, Dean Stockwell and Steve McQueen were considered for the role of "The Kid," Eva Marie Saint was considered for the role of "Sabra Cravat" and Carolyn Jones was initially cast as "Dixie Lee." According to a 19 Nov 1959 HR news item, M-G-M secured a two-month early release from the U.S. Army for actor Russ Tamblyn to appear in the film. NYT news item noted that many scenes in the film were shot on location around Tucson and Mescal, AZ.
       The land rush scene employed a crowd of 1,000 extras, 700 horses and 500 wagons and buggies. Additional location shooting was completed on ranches in the San Fernando Valley. A Feb 1960 LAMirror-News item added that the fictional town of Osage was built ... More Less

The film's opening title cards reads: "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Edna Ferber's Cimarron ." According to a Sep 1940 HR news item, Wesley Ruggles, who directed the first screen version of Ferber's novel, the 1931 RKO film Cimarron (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ), was interested in re-doing the story as a musical for Columbia. In Jul 1941, HR then reported that M-G-M planned to team Clark Gable and Norma Shearer in a remake of the 1931 film. Neither project was realized, however.
       According to a Mar 1958 DV news item, producer Edmund Grainger wanted Rock Hudson to play the male lead in what became the 1960 release, which at that time was to be scripted by Halstead Welles. Welles's contribution to the completed picture has not been determined. HR news items add that George Hamilton, Dean Stockwell and Steve McQueen were considered for the role of "The Kid," Eva Marie Saint was considered for the role of "Sabra Cravat" and Carolyn Jones was initially cast as "Dixie Lee." According to a 19 Nov 1959 HR news item, M-G-M secured a two-month early release from the U.S. Army for actor Russ Tamblyn to appear in the film. NYT news item noted that many scenes in the film were shot on location around Tucson and Mescal, AZ.
       The land rush scene employed a crowd of 1,000 extras, 700 horses and 500 wagons and buggies. Additional location shooting was completed on ranches in the San Fernando Valley. A Feb 1960 LAMirror-News item added that the fictional town of Osage was built on three sound stages comprising over eleven acres at the M-G-M lot, making it the biggest western community in the studio's history.
       In a 5 Mar 1961 letter printed in NYT , Ferber wrote: "I received from this second picture of my novel not one single penny in payment. I can't even do anything to stop the motion-picture company from using my name in advertising so slanted that it gives the effect of my having written the picture....I shan't go into the anachronisms in dialogue; the selection of a foreign-born actress...to play the part of an American-born bride; the repetition; the bewildering lack of sequence....I did see Cimarron ...four weeks ago. This old gray head turned almost black during those two (or was it three?) hours." Cimarron received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound, but lost to The Alamo . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
12 Dec 60
p. 13.
Box Office
19 Dec 1960.
---
Daily Variety
7 Mar 1958.
---
Daily Variety
6 Dec 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Dec 60
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
28 Apr 60
p. 66.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Sep 1940.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 1959.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 1959.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Oct 1959.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 1959
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Nov 1959.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 1959
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1959
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 1959
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 59
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1960.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 60
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 1960.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 60
p. 3.
LAMirror-News
15 Feb 1960.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Dec 60
p. 947.
New York Times
10 Jan 1960.
---
New York Times
17 Feb 61
p. 12.
New York Times
5 Mar 1961.
---
The Exhibitor
7 Dec 60.
---
Variety
7 Dec 60
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Henry "Harry" Morgan
Charles F. Seel
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Head wrangler
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Cimarron by Edna Ferber (New York, 1930).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Cimarron," music by Franz Waxman, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, sung by The Roger Wagner Chorale.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Edna Ferber's Cimarron
Release Date:
December 1960
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Oklahoma City, OK: 1 December 1960
Production Date:
30 November 1959--mid February 1960
addl scenes began mid April 1960
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 December 1960
Copyright Number:
LP18009
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
Photographic lenses by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
140 or 147
Length(in feet):
13,253
Length(in reels):
18
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19510
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Sabra Cravat's wealthy Kansas City parents try to dissuade her from participating in a land run in the Oklahoma territory with her new husband Yancey, but she is adamant. During the journey, Sabra's knowledge of her husband's character deepens, and when he lends one of his covered wagons to Tom and Sarah Wyatt and their large, destitute family, she experiences his generosity. Upon arriving in Oklahoma and meeting many of Yancey's friends, including a lady of the evening named Dixie Lee, she discovers that he is something of an adventurer. Sabra has her first disagreement with Yancey, however, when he staunchly defends an American Indian family whose wagon has been overturned by a group of angry men. Even though a Cavalry officer states that Ben and Arita Red Feather have the right to participate in the land run, Sabra, a French American, wonders aloud whether Yancey should have risked injury just to help some Indians. At high noon on 22 April 1889, thousands of settlers, who hope to claim one hundred and sixty acres of free land, race wildly on horseback, wagon, bicycle and stagecoach across the prairie. Tom is pushed off the stagecoach, whereupon a frantic Sarah plants a stake into the arid dirt near the starting line. Sam Pegler, an idealistic newspaper owner from Osage, is killed during the run, and Ben is lassoed to the ground by a bigoted roughneck named Bob Yountis. After Dixie, angry at Yancey for having married another woman, vengefully claims the land that Yancey had wanted, he decides to forget about ranching and take over Sam's newspaper. The printer, Jesse Rickey, remains in Osage with ... +


Sabra Cravat's wealthy Kansas City parents try to dissuade her from participating in a land run in the Oklahoma territory with her new husband Yancey, but she is adamant. During the journey, Sabra's knowledge of her husband's character deepens, and when he lends one of his covered wagons to Tom and Sarah Wyatt and their large, destitute family, she experiences his generosity. Upon arriving in Oklahoma and meeting many of Yancey's friends, including a lady of the evening named Dixie Lee, she discovers that he is something of an adventurer. Sabra has her first disagreement with Yancey, however, when he staunchly defends an American Indian family whose wagon has been overturned by a group of angry men. Even though a Cavalry officer states that Ben and Arita Red Feather have the right to participate in the land run, Sabra, a French American, wonders aloud whether Yancey should have risked injury just to help some Indians. At high noon on 22 April 1889, thousands of settlers, who hope to claim one hundred and sixty acres of free land, race wildly on horseback, wagon, bicycle and stagecoach across the prairie. Tom is pushed off the stagecoach, whereupon a frantic Sarah plants a stake into the arid dirt near the starting line. Sam Pegler, an idealistic newspaper owner from Osage, is killed during the run, and Ben is lassoed to the ground by a bigoted roughneck named Bob Yountis. After Dixie, angry at Yancey for having married another woman, vengefully claims the land that Yancey had wanted, he decides to forget about ranching and take over Sam's newspaper. The printer, Jesse Rickey, remains in Osage with the paper, the Oklahoma Wigwam , while Sam's widow Mavis sadly returns home. Some time later, Yountis and William Hardy, a young troublemaker known as "The Kid," terrorize a Jewish peddler named Sol Levy. Yancey rescues Sol, but The Kid, whose father had been Yancey's friend, refuses to listen to the older man's advice and rides away with his rowdy companions. One night Yountis, leading a band of Indian-hating townspeople, lynches Ben and destroys his home. Outraged, Yancey shoots Yountis and then brings Arita and her baby to the Cravat house. When the three arrive home, they discover that Sabra has given birth to a baby boy, whom they name Cimarron. Several years pass, and The Kid, now a feared outlaw, reluctantly joins his cohorts in robbing the Osage bank. Cornered, the robbers take refuge in the schoolhouse, but when his buddy, Wes Jennings tries to make a child their hostage, The Kid intervenes and is shot. Yancey shoots Wes, thereby earning a large reward, but when he remorsefully tears up the checks, Sabra accuses him of cheating Cim out of his future. Dixie confesses that she still loves Yancey, and when he gently rejects her, she sells her farm and opens a "social club." Meanwhile, Arita's little daughter Ruby is ejected from the schoolhouse. Yancey files a protest, but the townspeople refuse to allow an Indian to attend school. Yancey charges that they are keeping their children's blood pure, but their heads empty. Soon afterward, Yancey leaves town to participate in another land rush, to the bitter disappointment of his wife. During his five-year absence, Sabra obtains a loan from Sol, who has fallen in love with her. Sabra learns from Dixie that Yancey, who spent several years in Alaska, is now a Rough Rider in Cuba. Dixie also confesses that it is Sabra, not her, whom Yancey loves. That year, Yancey returns, promising to make amends for his absence. Sabra and Cim accept him, and the years pass. One day Yancey excitedly reports that oil has been discovered on the Indian reservation. Tom, whose own oil-rich land has made him wealthy, laughs and says that it is he, not the Indians, who owns the oil rights. Yancey writes in his paper that Tom swindled the Indians, and the story is reported all over the country. Sabra, meanwhile, worries that Cim is becoming serious about Ruby, whom she considers unfit for her son, but when Yancey tells her that he has been nominated for governor of the territory, she beams. In Washington, Sabra ecstatically dresses for a party, but Yancey learns that Tom and his powerful friends will name him governor only if he agrees to cooperate with them. Yancey rejects the post, whereupon Sabra orders him to leave her. Later, Sol, now a successful merchant, lends Sabra a large sum, and she builds the paper into a major enterprise. When Cim informs her that he has married Ruby and is on his way to Oregon, Sabra bitterly complains that he is throwing his life away and then dismisses him from the house. Ten years later, in 1914, Sabra sits at a desk composing an editorial for the newspaper's twenty-fifth anniversary. Sol and Tom want her to be the model for a sculpture exemplifying the pioneer spirit, but Sabra protests that the man who ran away from her was the true pioneer. At a surprise anniversary party, Sabra is reunited with her son and his family. She pays tribute to her husband, claiming that she still hopes for his return, but that day, war is declared. In December, Sabra rereads the letter she has received from Yancey, in which he again apologizes for being a disappointment to her. On the table is an open telegram stating that her husband has been killed in action. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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