Arizona (1940): Wesley Ruggles’ Western, Starring Jean Arthur and William Holden

Wesley Ruggles’ Western describes life in Arizona in 1861 as hard, but Phoebe Titus (Jean Arthur), the only American woman in the pioneering community, is up to the challenge. She catches the eye of Peter Muncie (Holden), a handsome youngster with wagon train passing through on its way to California.
Arizona 1940.jpg

Theatrical release poster.
Peter begins courting her, but he tells her he is not ready to settle down. Phoebe offers him a job heading a new freight company she has just formed with store owner Solomon Warner. He, however, is determined to see California, but promises to return when his curiosity is satisfied.
Beginning his career as an actor, Wesley Ruggles (1889-1972) had an uneven career as a director between 1917 and 1946. He is perhaps best known for the Western “Cimarron” (1930), which won the Oscar, and the Mae West vehicle “I’m No Angel,” (1933), which co-starred the young Cary Grant.
Oscar Nominations: 2
Interior Decoration (b/w): Lionel Banks, Robert Peterson
Original Score: Victor Young
Oscar Awards: None
Oscar Context:
The winner of the Art Direction Oscar was “Pride & Prejudice.” Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith, and Ned Washington received the Scoring Oscar for Disney’s “Pinocchio.”
Directed, Produced by Wesley Ruggles
Written by Claude Binyon, based on Arizona 1939 novel by Clarence Budington Kelland
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Fayte M. Browne, Harry Hallenberger
Edited by William A. Lyon, Otto MeyerProduction and distribution: Columbia Pictures

Release date: December 25, 1940

Running time: 122 minutes