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was the first Western to win the Oscar for Best Picture--and, until in 1990, the only one. The film begins on April 22, 1889, the opening day of the great Oklahoma Land Rush on the Cherokee Strip. Boisterous Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix) is cheated out of his land claim by the devious Dixie Lee (Estelle Taylor). Instead of becoming a homesteader, Cravat establishes a muckraking newspaper, and with pistols in hand he becomes a widely respected (and widely feared) peacekeeper. He also displays a compassionate streak by coming to the defense of Dixie Lee, who is about to be arrested for prostitution. Cravat's insistence on sticking his nose into everyone's affairs drives a wedge between him and his young wife Sabra (Irene Dunne), but she stands by him--until he deserts her and her children, ever in pursuit of new adventures. Sabra takes over the newspaper herself, and with the moral support of her best friend, Mrs. Wyatt (Edna May Oliver), she creates a powerful publishing empire. makes the mistake of placing most of the action early in the film, so that everything that follows the spectacular opening land-rush sequence may feel anti-climactic. While it's always enjoyable to watch Irene Dunne persevering through the years, it's rather wearing to sit through the overblown performance of Richard Dix, who seems to think that he can't make a point unless it's at the top of his lungs. creaks badly when seen today, but it still outclasses the plodding 1960 remake. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Irene Dunne Best Actress 1930 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Max Ree Best Art Direction 1930 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Wesley Ruggles Best Director 1930 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Howard Estabrook Best Adapted Screenplay 1930 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Dix Best Actor 1930 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edward J. Cronjager Best Cinematography 1930 Nominee


Richard Dix
as Yancey Cravat
Irene Dunne
as Sabra Cravat
Estelle Taylor
as Dixie Lee
William Collier, Jr.
as The Kid
Roscoe Ates
as Jess Rickey
George E. Stone
as Sol Levy
Robert McWade
as Louie Heffner
Edna May Oliver
as Mrs. Tracy Wyatt
Frank Darien
as Mr. Bixby
Dolores Brown
as Baby Big Elk Eldest
Gloria Vonic
as Baby Big Elk Youngster
Otto Hoffman
as Murch Rankin
William Orlamond
as Grat Gotch
Frank Beal
as Louis Venable
Nancy Dover
as Donna Cravat "Eldest"
Helen Parrish
as Donna Cravat "Younger"
Tyrone Brereton
as Dabney Venable
Nell Craig
as Arminta Greenwood
Bob McKenzie
as Pat Leary
William Janney
as Worker
Bob Kortman
as Killer
Dennis O'Keefe
as Extra
Stanley Fields
as Lon Yountis
Henry Roquemore
as Jonett Goforth
Bob Kortman
as Killer
Henry Roquemore
as Jonett Goforth
Stanley Fields
as Lon Yountis
Dennis O'Keefe
as Extra
William Janney
as Worker


Wesley Ruggles
William Le Baron
Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber
Book Author
Howard Estabrook
Edward J. Cronjager
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
Max Ree
Art Director
Max Ree
Costume Designer
Clem Portman
Sound/Sound Designer
Lloyd Knechtel
Special Effects