Friday, 6 May 2011

Best Actor 1931: Richard Dix in Cimarron

Richard Dix received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Yancey Cravat in Cimarron.

Cimarron is quite a bad, and boring western. There is not anything interesting about it not even as a historical curiosity.

Richard Dix's performance possibly has to be seen to be believed at times, because it defies the conventions of every other performance that I have reviewed so far in the category, it certainly stands alone, which is not praise trust me. Richard Dix is not an actor I say i have seen before watching this film, but he has quite the bizarre acting tendencies.

Richard Dix's screen presence, or that lack thereof is quite an abnormality. He has this voice that almost sounds like a more relaxed Bing Crosby at times. His performance is quite hard to believe how just downright dull he is some of the time, as he either smiles very plainly, or talks through this very slow very boring speeches of his that he does not seem to put that much effort into.

He does not have a single bit of chemistry with a single member of the cast, and certainly does not have with his co-star Irene Dunne who portrays his wife. They do not really show the slightest bit of emotion to one another that seems at all human. They mostly just stare at one another not anything more than that.

Now the best and the worst part of his performance is his strong rooting and tooting he does sometimes during his performance. These are bizarre out of place with his dull characterization the rest of the time. Now the reason I said also best because they are rather unintentionally funny considering how odd these yells he does.

Dix is never charming, he never is commanding, he is never interesting, he just is there most of the time, even when he is talking loudly it is hard to pay attention to this performance, which defies almost every method usually used to create a good performance. He is never ever for a single moment up to the task of this performance.

This is just a terrible performance from beginning to end, it either bores one or causes one's mouth to become agape in reaction to his moments where he decides to cry out. This is an example of a bad old timey performance, the type of performance that gives other performances from this time a bad name, there is never one single second of this performance that is good for even a moment.


Anonymous said...

Why was my comment about reviewing Paul Muni's oscar nominated best actor performance in The Valiant deleted?
I guess I won't bother to make suggestions anymore :(

Mythical Monkey said...

Richard Dix in Cimarron might be the worst performance ever nominated for an Oscar. Can't swear to it, but if it isn't close, I'd like to see the one that's worse.

Actually, come to think of it, I probably wouldn't.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous: You posted it twice, I thought that you had made a mistake, I sincerely apologize if you felt any offense.

Mystical Monkey: I certainly I cannot think of one off the top my head, he might be it.

Anonymous said...

If I did post it twice then it was indeed a mistake. My apolagies :)
I thought my comment didn't go through which is why I tried again in the 1931 comments section.

and to comment on Dix's performance in this I have to agree with your sentiment. I probably would have never even considered purchasing the film had I not found a cheap copy at Walmart.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

Dick Dix!!
sorry, the inmature part of me took over and I had to be the first to say it :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I disagree, I don't think he was brilliant but for me it's far from the worst nominated performance ever, and I found him to be really good at times, the film doesn't quite work but he was better at least than Irene Dunne, I would take his performance over any performance by George Clooney, Denzel Washington or Sean Penn any day!

Raymond said...

Amen to that.

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