I must admit, I went into this movie expecting a typical Western. Obvious hero enters saloon, obvious villain enters saloon, gunfight, pretty lady stolen, tied to train tracks, hero saves her, bad guy put in jail, hero rides off into the sunset. We all know that formula, but Cimmaron proves that Westerns don’t have to follow a formula. A western is a movie that takes place in that time slot, and Cimmaron does this. And with a darn good story to boot.
The movie is about Yancey Cravat, a man with the worst of names and the best of adventures. He and his wife travel in the Oklahoma Land Rush to settle in a town and raise their children. But as Oklahoma expands, Yancey wants to keep moving. I don’t know if I can say much more about the plot without giving a bunch of stuff away. But it’s a wonderful story that keeps you entertained from beginning to end.
What I liked the most about this movie was the fact that it took place over several decades, and because of that, we get to see these characters change along with the world. The relationship between Yancey and his wife is what tied this story together. You know they love each other, but you have to ask yourself how much this woman is willing to take from her husband, who can get pretty angry but always do the right thing in the end.
This film won 3 oscars, for Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Art Direction. It was also nominated for its wonderful Cinematography, Direction, and the performances from the two leads. I have to say, I liked this better than the other three films. I don’t know if this was based off a true story or not, but it certainly seems real. If you’re in the mood for a movie that starts a western, abut ends a drama, this is the film for you.