Cimarron in Minneapolis

Motion Picture Herald Magazine, June 24, 1961:

Managers Round Table by Sidney H. Rechetnik, Editor

(Editors notes: The original Cimarron (1931, was based on Edna Ferber’s novel Cimarron picking up three Academy awards. Blacks, Jews, Indians: all hit to the stereotypes typical of the era. “Sabra Cravat refers to American Indians as “dirty, filthy savages” and refuses to allow her son to accept a gift of feathered headgear from a Cravat, has a more sympathetic view, acknowledging that the Indians in the back of the church are not expected to give a monetary contribution to the purchase of a white man’s church organ as they have had their land stolen by the white men.” “Yancey’s open minded view of non-whites contradicts his urges to participate in claims for newly opened land in the West bought by the government from the Cherokees for far less than its market value – the “Oklahoma Land Rush.” Calling the Cherokees dirty savages was bad but stealing their land was good.
        “A church meeting highlights views towards Jews. Sol Levy, a Jewish salesman, is unsure of whether he will be allowed to stay in the church meeting, but Yancey states that this will be a non-denominational meeting. Earlier in the movie, Sol is harassed and humiliated by the town gun-slingers, and the townsfolk watch and make no effort to intervene. Eventually, Yancey intervenes.” Wikipedia
        Remakes of movies seldom hit to the level of the first. The 1960 remake of Cimarron sure proved that theory. The movie was nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Sound.
The re-write of Cimarron shifted from the original novel. The Cherokees got far better treatment recognizing that they were swindled out of their land in the 1893 Oklahoma land rush. Note the difference in style of the 1931 post-art nouveau poster and the 1960 post-modern poster.)

“Ed Linder Covered Minneapolis with Campaign for MGM’s Cimarron at Gopher Theater”

by Sidney H. Rechetnik, Editor

An all-out campaign by Ed Linder, Gopher Theatre, Minneapolis, Minn., helped put over Metro-Goldwyn’s Cimarron at this house. The showman started his promotion four weeks in advance of opening with lobby and outside displays, which were highlighted by mounted six and three sheets plus on and off colored lights.

A 40×60 was placed in the windows of both Shinders bookstores, the largest such stores in Twin Cities. The entire Minneapolis Public Library System, which includes the new main library as well as 14 branches under the supervision of public relations head Sarah Wallace, used eye catching displays tying in the Edna Ferber book. The displays were embellished with one-sheets, 11x14s, 22x28s, stills and special display cards. This marked the first library tie-up since the recent opening of the new library building in Minneapolis.

The theatre personally contracted 14 major Catholic schools in the area for displays of one-sheets and stills, keyed to the Legion of Decency A-1 rating for the film. Mr. Linder gave the Sisters Superior and The Brothers six passes to be used as prizes in contests among the students. While Mr. Linder suggested a contest on early American history, he gave the instructors a free hand in determining the nature of the competitions. Result was excellent cooperation from the Catholic schools for the play date.

One week in advance of the opening, 15 Gopher News trucks, wholesalers for Bantam books, carried banners with “Read the Book, See the Film” copy, plus opening date credits. Mr. Linder also followed locally on the national Quaker Oats tie-up by setting a special preview of Cimarron for the company’s outlet managers. Some 200 displays in windows and inside stores resulted from this cooperation. A “Who’s Who” in the motion picture contest was used successfully over three local radio stations, WLOL, WDGY and KDWB. This was in addition to the paid advertising used over these outlets. Effective street ballyhoo was arranged by using an old time stagecoach.