Ruggles’s civilisation plans are long lasting and effective but as far as the grip is concerned, the sand keeps slipping out of the hand as it ages on screen.
Ruggles’s civilisation plans are long lasting and effective but as far as the grip is concerned, the sand keeps slipping out of the hand as it ages on screen. The script is way too mechanical and husky enough to weave out a compelling sequence out of it. It covers a lot of years and an equal amount of content that goes through these years, from family drama to career chasing, from guns firing to horse riding, and from complicated trials to the transactions of laws. And in order to grasp it all within two hours of screen time, the script seems obliged to be infomercial and is somehow in hurry to reach its end. The makers aren’t enjoying this storytelling, the material where they were supposed chew off for a cinematic experience, is instead lopped off for an exciting fast paced screenplay.
In the end, it reaches nowhere and finds itself wandering off in space without any strings attached to the audience. And if Ruggles has failed to keep its audience attentive, the source has enough meat to walk an extra mile, it is simply a case of substance over style feature. To be fair, the script is almost always busy, piled upon plenty of characters and their sub plots, it has always managed to deliver the standards of the stage it has created.
Dix has a powerful character to hold on to and no matter how engaging performance he gives us on the trial at the end, the flamboyancy of his speech in the church cannot be overtaken. Personally, I feel, Dunne’s suave and morally complex performance is what thrives Dix to push back more and more; their duo does make a family. An overstretched version of Cimarron’s non-effervescent but layered script is simply hanging by a thread that neither performance nor execution can save.