When the government opens up the Oklahoma territory for settlement, restless Yancey Cravat claims a plot of the free land for himself and moves his family there from Wichita. A newspaperman, lawyer, and just about everything else, Cravat soon becomes a leading citizen of the boom town of Osage. Once the town is established, however, he begins to feel confined once again, and heads for the Cherokee Strip, leaving his family behind. During this and other absences, his wife Sabra must learn to take care of herself and soon becomes prominent in her own right.
I know this gets VERY maligned these days as one of the very worst winners ever of the Best Picture Oscar, especially considering 'The Front Page' was the definitive best of those nominated that year, at the 4th Academy Awards ceremony (and that great films such as 'City Lights', 'Morocco' and 'Frankenstein' didn't even get nominated), but if you can take away Richard Dix's horrible overacting (I can't believe he was even nominated for Best Actor that year!) and uneven, sometimes lethargic or indifferent pacing and direction, certain scenes really pack a wallop, I'm glad that I watched it, and it's certainly not the worst Best Picture Oscar-winner I have seen thus far (that would probably be 'Shakespeare in Love', if I recall correctly, but I would love to watch all of them, just to be sure), and in some ways, I even tend to prefer it to the 1960 remake by Anthony Mann, even though I adore films I have seen that he's directed (although I'm not the biggest Glenn Ford fan in the world, so that probably evens things out). Irene Dunne is a delight, as always. Though it certainly could have used a better editor (a good 30-40 minutes could have been sliced off, and no one would be the wiser), it certainly deserves at least one watch, especially if you're a history buff and want to see a decent depiction of how the Midwest was won.