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West of Cimarron

West of Cimarron(1941)

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Although there is a copyright statement on the title card of the film, it was not listed in the Catalog of Copyright Entries. The opening title card to the film reads "Republic Pictures presents The Three Mesquiteers in West of Cimarron," followed by pictures of Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Rufe Davis with their names and character names superimposed. According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, a script for the picture was rejected by the PCA in late October 1941 because "of an excessive number of killings." Republic was told: "even in Westerns killings must be reduced to a necessary minimum and in a story of this sort they must not exceed a total of seven or eight."
       The PCA also warned the studio that the Union troops must not be shown as heavies, but rather that Captain Hawkes's men "should be just a group of renegades that he has gotten together to help him victimize the citizens, and they should not be in Federal uniforms." A New York Times article about Republic's problems with the PCA over the picture noted that while Republic was cautioned about the killings, Frank Capra was currently directing Arsenic and Old Lace at Warner Bros. "without interference." The article stated: "The Republic lads were openly mystified by the order [to reduce the killings]. They are loath to believe that in a democracy the Warner wealth has anything to do with the Hays attitude." The script problems were resolved to the PCA's satisfaction and the film was eventually approved.
       In the picture, Rufe Davis sings a song that May be titled "Watermelon," but the exact title and composer have not been identified. The picture was re-issued in January 1944 and was reviewed at that time by Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry for The Three Mesquiteers (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4617).