In the rush to claim newly opened lands in the Oklahoma Territory, a man takes his Upper Middle Class wife Sabra (Irene Dunn) to the barren prairie to claim his piece of the wilderness. That man is Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix), a polymath with dreams of opening a newspaper in the burgeoning boom town of Osage. As the town thrives, Yancey becomes a local hero and leader but his itchy feet urge him to move on and his adventures out of town leave his wife to fend for herself in the dangerous South West while running his newspaper and raising their children in his absence.
Cimarron won the 1931 Academy Award for Outstanding Production (subsequently renamed Best Picture) and was the first movie to be nominated for seven Oscars as well as the first to be nominated for the ‘Big Five’. In addition to its critical reception, the movie was also RKO’s most expensive picture to date and would remain so for close to a decade. The expense, coupled with the Great Depression meant that the film produced a loss for the studio and didn’t recoup its budget until a re-release several years after its initial release. Despite the large budget and critical success I thought Cimarron was a slightly messy and uninspiring film which left me bored for most of its two hour run time.