Richard Dix


Terrific As All Creation

Swedish One Sheet

1931 Academy Awards

Best Picture
Best Writing - Adaptation
Howard Estebrook
Best Art Direction
Max Rée

Autographed by Dix & Dunne

Radio Pictures
Released: February 9, 1931
Running Time: 124 Minutes

Directed by
Wesley Ruggles

Writing credits
Edna Ferber (novel)

Screenplay by
Howard Estabrook

Yancey Cravat .... Richard Dix
Sabra Cravat .... Irene Dunne
Dixie Lee .... Estelle Taylor
Felice Venable .... Nance O'Neil
The Kid .... William Collier Jr.
Jesse Rickey .... Rosco Ates aka Roscoe Ates
Sol Levy .... George E. Stone
Lon Yountis .... Stanley Fields
Louie Heffner .... Robert McWade
Mrs. Tracy Wyatt .... Edna May Oliver
Mr. Bixby .... Frank Darien
Isaiah .... Eugene Jackson
Ruby Big Elk (oldest) .... Dolores Brown
Ruby Big Elk (younger) .... Gloria Vonic
Murch Rankin .... Otto Hoffman
Grat Gotch .... William Orlamond
Louis Venable .... Frank Beal
Donna Cravat (oldest) .... Nancy Dover
Donna Cravat (younger) .... Helen Parrish
Cim (oldest) .... Don Dillaway
Cim (younger) .... Junior Johnson
Cim (youngest) .... Douglas Scott
Yancey, jr. .... Reginald Streeter
Felice, jr. .... Lois Jane Campbell
Aunt Cassandra .... Ann Lee
Dabney Venable .... Tyrone Brereton
Cousin Bella .... Lillian Lane
Jouette Goforth .... Henry Rocquemore
Arminta Greenwood .... Nell Craig
Pat Leary .... Robert McKenzie

U. S. One Sheet

Other Nominations

Best Actor, Richard Dix
Best Actress, Irene Dunne
Best Director, Wesley Ruggles

Best Cinematography
Edward Cronjager

Enjoying a smoke on the set of Cimarron

Lobby Title Card

Richard Dix as Yancey Cravat


In the Oklahoma land rush, April 22, 1889, is a picturesque attorney-editor, Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix). At the sharp report of the starting pistol, the nondescript thousands rush forward, afoot, horseback and in animal drawn vehicles. Yancey's pony races beside that of a young girl, Dixie Lee (Estelle Taylor), They outdistance the others. The girl, through trickery, secures the piece of land Yancey wanted -- leaving him empty-handed.

He returns to his home in Wichita, and announces that he and his family will move to the new Oklahoma settlement. The wife, Sabre, (Irene Dunne), in spite of vigorous objection, goes with him.

Nine days later the Cravats, with their son, "Cim," (Douglas Scott) and Isaiah, Negro boy (Eugene Jackson) arrive in the boom town of Osage, only to learn it is an unhealthy place for editors -- one having been recently assasinated. Yancey promptly notifies the citizens that he will expose the murderer in the first edition of his paper.

Lon Yountis, (Stanley Fields) suspected of the murder playfully shoots a hole through Yancey's hat, as he walks with Sabra. Yancey answers with a hole through the "bad man's" ear. The feud climaxes the following Sunday with Yountis' exposal and death at the hands of the new editor.

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Sabra is speechless with horror as she notes that her husband files a sixth notch in his revolver handle.

A year later many things have happened to the Cravats. A daughter is born to them. Yancey's editorial dictatorship is accepted. "The Kid," a notorious outlaw, attempts to rob a bank in Osage but is killed by Cravat, who spurns the $10,000 reward much to his wife's dismay.

Three years later Yancey unexpectedly rides away to ride in the opening of the "Cherokee Strip," leaving his family behind.

In 1898 he returns in the uniform of a Spanish-American war veteran. Hardly has he embraced Sabra, who is now a powerful political figure, when he rushes to the public defense of Dixie Lee. The latter is being tried on a public nuisance complaint preferred by Sabra. At Dixie's acquittal, Sabra is bitter toward her husband -- but not for long.

2 Page Variety Ad from January 14, 1931

Nine years later, in 1907, Oklahoma is admitted to the Union. Indians, because of oil found on their lands, have become fabulously wealthy. Inter-marriage has raised them to social equals of the whites. Yancey Cravat, the crusader, feeling that his work for the Indians is finished, disappears.

Sabra, in spite of her hungry heart, grows more powerful as an editor and Congresswoman.

A Congressional party visits Osage to attend the unveiling of a memorial to the Oklahoma pioneer. Sabra takes them to view the oil fields. A gusher comes in with a swishing roar.

Word spreads that the nitro-glycerin torpedo has been forced up by the premature flow of the oil, and the lives of the entire party have been saved by an unknown man, who suffered fatal injuries in the attempt.

Sabra hears that the hero is known as "Old Yance."

She rushes through the sea of oil, and takes the crumpled form of Yancey Cravat in her arms. As he dies, his statue is being unveiled in the town of Osage.

Richard Dix on his role in Cimarron

Richard Dix and Irene Dunne
"We're going into a new Empire..."

In a brief internet interview from 2001, Robert Dix, Richard's son, stated that Cimarron's Yancey Cravat, was his father's favorite role.

In an undated letter from 1930 Dix wrote... "I like to play parts like in "Shooting Straight". I am really very much interested in my new role in "Cimarron", however, and feel that it is one of the best that I ever had."

And in a letter dated March 16, 1931, sent to a fan, Miss Agnes Colby, of Soiux City Iowa, Dix wrote, "The part of Yancey Cravat was a pleasure to do, surely. There is no need of explaining what it meant to me..."

Richard Dix was noted for his straight forward attitude toward publicity. Though we may never know for sure, much of the following quote from the RKO Cimarron pressbook certainly seems like it would have come from Dix. Whatever it's source, it could certainly be argued that someone was speaking with incredible foresight!

"While I believe that Edna Ferber's "Cimarron" affords me the greatest role of my career, I dislike to say so," says Richard Dix in speaking of his latest screen portrayal -- Yancey Cravat ...

"It is hardly fair to compare a talkie role with a silent one," he explained.

"I have a soft spot in my heart for 'The Christian' and 'The Vanishing American,' my best two characterizations out of fifty (sic) silent pictures."

"So I prefer to let them stand on their silent merits."

"In 'Cimarron,' for the first time in my life, I portray a man's gradual deterioration over a period of forty years. I also was given the task of creating the sympathy, glamour, color and mystery of the Edna Ferber hero already enshrined in the hearts of millions of readers."

"I never worked so hard in my life -- or enjoyed a role more. I never expect to have a greater part."

Richard Dix prepares for the Oklahoma land rush

Dix Stages Modern Miracle;
Lives 41 years in 2 months

Richard Dix lived 41 years in two Months!

Those associated with the star during the filming of "Cimarron" know that he actually lived the hectic life of Yancey Cravat -- menatally at least.

"No role in screen history has demanded such versatility," is the way Wesley Ruggles, director of "Cimarron" expressed it.

"To begin as a romantic, picturesque figure of 30 and gradually deteriorate in character and physique into a besotted, grimy oil worker at 71, and still retain audience sympathy and a certain heroic glamour, is to do the superhuman," he said.

Dix had five distinct makeups in the Edna Ferber story of Oklahoma, representing ages 30, 39, 46, 56, an 71.

For two months before production started he talked, planned, ate amd slept over the story details of Yancey Cravat's life. He allowed his jet black hair to creep down his neck, he lengthened his stride several inches, his shoulders were held more aggressively, and in general fell into the moods of the Ferber hero.

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Go To:

The Paramount Years - At RKO - The Other Studios
-The Lost Films Of Richard Dix-
-The Whistler Series-

Credits, this page, From the original RKO Pressbook for Cimarron
  • For more information on Richard Dix and his films visit the Internet Movie Database jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue jordan 6 sport blue louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s foamposites black suede Louis Vuitton Outlet foamposites black suede cheap jordan shoes legend blue 11s coach outlet online legend blue 11s retro jordans louis vuitton outlet lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet coach outlet online louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet cheap louis vuitton legend blue 11s jordan 11 legend blue jordan 11 legend blue 11s louis vuitton outlet legend blue 11s jordan retro 6 sport blue 6s louis vuitton outlet cheap jordans jordan 3 sport blue louis vuitton outlet sport blue 3s cheap jordans legend blue 11s jordan 6 sport blue coach outlet online coach outlet cheap oakley sunglasses