Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Man of the West

Man of the West is a 1958 Gary Cooper Western also starring Julie London (well-respected singer of Cry Me a River embedded at the bottom of this post), Lee J. Cobb, Arthur O'Connell (Fantastic Voyage, Clint Stark in 7 Faces of Dr. Lao), Jack Lord (Dr. No, Hawaii 5-0), Royal Dano (7 Faces of Dr. Lao, the 1956 Moby Dick, Marley's voice in the Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, Tom Fury in Something Wicked This Way Comes, Killer Klowns from Outer Space) and Robert J. Wilke (killed off by James Coburn early in The Magnificent Seven). It's the last Western Anthony Mann directed.

I'm not an especially big Gary Cooper fan, but this is an interesting film more so as it progresses.

via youtube:

It's on the Images Journal list of 30 Great Westerns where they say,
Communist overtones abound. But in Man of the West, Cooper’s westerner more fully embodies 1950s masculinity and the warring forces--good sheriff and bad townsfolk.
DVD Talk calls itself a "true fan" and says, "What makes this film so special is its position at the true beginning of a grittier, more adult era for the Western". The Western Review says, "Man of the West contains one of Cooper’s more intriguing performances". Slant Magazine calls it "lacerating". EW gives it an A- and describes it as "a justly revered six-gun opera". The Spinning Image says,
Of all the Hollywood Westerns of this decade, this is one with a strong atmosphere of barely suppressed violence, and you find yourself sitting out the tense dialogue exchanges to see when they will erupt into brutality.
The book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die includes this film. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 100%.

Cry Me A River:

by Julie London


  1. I don't know enough about Gary Cooper to say if I'm a fan or not. maybe I'll watch this one for a start.

    1. cooper started in silent films. he won academy awards for sergeant york (a ww1 movie) and high noon (a western). he also played lou gehrig in pride of the yankees and was in crime dramas and comedies. he played the white knight in the 1933 alice in wonderland movie. he had a varied career. in 2009 he was put on a postage stamp!