“Sometimes the given name of an American movie is less instructive than its French title. Cimarron, in 1960 the last Western ever made by Anthony Mann, one of the genre’s masters, is known in France as La Ruée vers l’Ouest: The Rush Towards the West. Of course, it had to be Cimarron here, to honor the 1930 original (starring Richard Dix) as well as the Edna Ferber novel. But Mann’s Cimarron is about a man who is happiest when leading a rush, and never convinced that the rush has reached its true and lasting destination. “Early on in the picture there is the historically accurate and cinematically phenomenal land-rush scene as the rolling, bare plains of Oklahoma become the site of a race for every imaginable horse-drawn transport. At the head of the race is Yancey Cravat, an adventurer with a conscience, but a wanderer too who will move on to Alaska and Cuba, leaving the new society to be built up by his wife, who takes over his job of newspaper proprietor. In showing the growth of Western community—the building and the organizing—Cimarron depicts the active hero as a chronic escapist, doomed to exist in the warm light of story-telling, never quite settled. And as it comes from Edna Ferber, so Cimarron teaches us that Giant was a Western too, a Western about a woman who began the domestication of the range so that it would be ready for Dallas and The Yellow Rose.” David Thomson —BAM/PFA
Anthony Mann (June 30, 1906 – April 29, 1967) was an American actor and film director.
Born Emil Anton Bundsmann in the Point Loma area of San Diego, Mann was the son of an Austrian immigrant, Emile Theodore Bundsmann, and Bertha Waxelbaum of Macon, Georgia.
Mann started out as an actor, appearing in plays off-Broadway in New York City. In 1938, he moved to Hollywood, where he joined the Selznick International Pictures.
Mann became an assistant director in 1942, directing low-budget assignments for RKO and Republic Pictures.
Mann was respected for his acute visual sensitivity toward the American Western landscape, effortlessly blending natural vistas with human drama. Mann’s dramas verged on classical tragedy, often showing anguished heroes attempting to resolve personal pain and confusion.
In 1967, Mann died from a heart attack in Berlin, Germany while filming the spy thriller A Dandy in Aspic. The film was completed by the film’s star, Laurence Harvey… read more
Charles Walters (November 17, 1911 – August 13, 1982) was a Hollywood director and choreographer most noted for his work in MGM musicals and comedies in from the 1940s to the 1960s.
He was born in Pasadena, California, and educated at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
He is notable for directing Esther Williams’ musicals involving underwater swimming and diving sequences, such as Dangerous When Wet, as well as several musicals starring Leslie Caron, such as Gigi (for which he is uncredited) and Lili. He has also directed musical remakes, including High Society, a remake of The Philadelphia Story (1940), and Bundle of Joy, a remake of Bachelor Mother (1939). Walters also directed the last pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, The Barkleys of Broadway, as well as Cary Grant in the actor’s last film Walk, Don’t Run.
Walters died from lung cancer at the age of 71.
According to William J. Mann’s book, “Behind the Screen”, Walters was gay… read more