I am currently on a quest to watch all the Best Picture Oscar winners. Since 1929. There was a Best Production award in 1928 that was given to Wings and I would have watched it but it seems to be unavailable. 1929 was the first year a Best Picture award was given, and the winner was The Broadway Melody of 1929. It was good, not great but good. I felt it was a little slow and the acting a little overdone but I feel that was probably due to the fact that most of the actors had there training in the theater where everything needs to be a little more pronounced. In 1930 came All Quiet on the Western Front. A book most of us have read. I book I hope most of us liked if not loved. In trying to find out in what year the remake was made I have discovered that it is being remade again and is due out in 2009. I have strong feelings about that and will have to devote an entire other post to it. Which is good because it brings us faster to why I am here today. Cimarron.
Cimarron 1931 Academy Award Best Picture Winner
Cimarron is a western although not quite a much a shoot-em-up as we have come to expect westerns to be, but it has been given the distinction of being the first western to win Best Picture.
Cimarron depicts and follows the life of Yancey Cravat, a newspaper man from Kansas spurred west by the Oklahoma land rush, taking his wife and an unexpected stow away with him. He arrives in Oklahoma in 1889 when the streets are dirt and the law is the fastest gun, or the most ornery bastard or both. It follows Osage, Oklahoma and Yancey through forty years of change. With Osage and Oklahoma adapting far better than Yancey. It is a bit slow at times but that is to be expected from a movie from 1931, a year when people didn't expect there information at 1.5Mbs or there movies to move at 100mph. This one's worth 2 hours of your time.
And to make it even more appealing and interesting, it is based on a real person Temple Houston, son of Sam Houston, who was a lawyer in Oklahoma at the end of the 19th century. Watching the movie, especially the end, gives you the sense that at least some of this was based on someone's life. So I was pleased to find out it was.
Historical information and pictures were found at Saddlebums who give a much better review of this movie than I.
Also in research for this review I discovered that not only that Cimarron was remade in 1960 but they are currently remaking it again and it is due out in 2010. Apparently I am not the only one looking at the list of the past 80 Best Picture winners. This is a good movie, leave it alone. You may be able to put in more special effects and get it to move a little faster, but don't you think that people who may have actually remembered 1889 would do a better job than people 120 years later whose idea of history is to check the box office totals from last year.
Hollywood can you please be original. Please.