The Westerner (1940)

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    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    Cole Harden just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas.
    Written by Dale O'Connor

    Full Cast
    Gary Cooper ... Cole Harden
    Walter Brennan ... Judge Roy Bean
    Doris Davenport ... Jane Ellen Mathews
    Fred Stone ... Caliphet Mathews
    Forrest Tucker ... Wade Harper
    Paul Hurst ... Chickenfoot
    Chill Wills ... Southeast
    Lilian Bond ... Lily Langtry
    Dana Andrews ... Hod Johnson
    Charles Halton ... Mort Borrow
    Trevor Bardette ... Shad Wilkins
    Tom Tyler ... King Evans
    Lucien Littlefield ... The Stranger
    C.E. Anderson ... Hezekiah Willever (uncredited)
    Stanley Andrews ... Sheriff (uncredited)
    Arthur Aylesworth ... Mr. Dixon - Homesteader (uncredited)
    Bill Bauman ... Man Getting Haircut (uncredited)
    Hank Bell ... Deputy (uncredited)
    Gertrude Bennett ... Abigail (uncredited)
    Danny Borzage ... Joe Yates (uncredited)
    Charles Coleman ... Lily Langtry's Manager (uncredited)
    Heinie Conklin ... Man at Ticket Window (uncredited)
    Philip Connor ... John Yancy (uncredited)
    Buck Connors ... Abraham Wilson (uncredited)
    Frank Cordell ... Man (uncredited)
    Jim Corey ... Lee Webb (uncredited)
    Joe De La Cruz ... Mex (uncredited)
    Helen Foster ... Janice (uncredited)
    William Gillis ... Leon Beauregard (uncredited)
    Roger Gray ... Eph Stringer - Homesteader (uncredited)
    Aleth Hansen ... Walt McGary (uncredited)
    Lew Kelly ... Ticket Man (uncredited)
    Connie Leon ... Lily Langtry's Maid (uncredited)
    Art Mix ... Seth Tucker (uncredited)
    Corbet Morris ... Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
    Buck Moulton ... Charles Evans (uncredited)
    Jack Pennick ... Henry Williams (uncredited)
    Julian Rivero ... Juan Gomez (uncredited)
    Henry Roquemore ... Stage Manager (uncredited)
    Annabelle Rousseau ... Elizabeth (uncredited)
    Miriam Sherwin ... Martha (uncredited)
    William Steele ... Tex Cole (uncredited)
    Phil Tead ... Prisoner (uncredited)
    Lupita Tovar ... Teresita (uncredited)
    Blackjack Ward ... Buck Harrigan (uncredited)
    Ted Wells ... Joe Lawrence (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Jo Swerling (screenplay) and
    Niven Busch (screenplay)
    Stuart N. Lake (from the story by)
    W.R. Burnett uncredited
    Lillian Hellman uncredited
    Oliver La Farge uncredited

    Original Music
    Dimitri Tiomkin
    Alfred Newman (uncredited)

    Gregg Toland


    Film debut of Forrest Tucker.

    This film was the third Oscar win for Walter Brennan, who won three out of the five best Supporting Actor Academy Awards. Despite being nominated the subsequent year for Sergeant York, also with Gary Cooper, he was never nominated again in a very long career.

    This film is the first of five roles for Walter Brennan in support of Gary Cooper. The last was Task Force in 1949.

    This was the last film Samuel Goldwyn produced for United Artists before moving to RKO Radio Pictures in 1941.

    "Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 23, 1940 with Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan and Doris Davenport reprising their film roles.

    According to the New York Times review of the film on 25 October 1940, it opened at the Radio City Music Hall the night before, more than one month after the national opening on 20 September 1940. No reason was given for the apparent delay. Their credited cast list also is identical to the one in the AFI Catalog, including the character name of "Burt Cobble" for Dana Andrews. However, Variety's cast list has Andrews' name correctly as "Hod Johnson," so there is still a mystery concerning which are the original credits.

    Factual Errors
    The town was named for George Langtry, an engineer and foreman who had supervised a Chinese work crew building the railroad, and not for the actress Lillie Langtry.

    The farmers were portrayed as having filed homesteads to acquire their land in Texas when in reality, there were no homesteaders in Texas. Because Texas, an independent republic, joined the Union in l846 with full statehood status from the beginning and never went through territorial status, there was never any federal government-owned land in the state to be open under the Homestead Act.

    The film shows Judge Roy Bean being killed in a shoot-out. He died of natural causes in 1903.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • The Westerner (1940) is an American film directed by William Wyler,
    and starring Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, and Doris Davenport,
    and written by Niven Busch, Stuart N. Lake, and Jo Swerling,

    The film is often remembered for one of Walter Brennan's best performances,
    as Judge Roy Bean, which led to him winning his record-setting
    third Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
    James Basevi and Stuart N. Lake also received Academy Award
    nominations for Best Art Direction, Black and White and Best Story respectively.

    User Review


    Wily Western by William Wyler
    14 June 2008 | by adrian290357 (Portugal)

    This intelligent Western contains many a wily comment on the savage mindset of frontier times. Walter Brennan as Judge Roy Bean thoroughly deserved his Academy award though it beats me why he picked up a supporting Oscar instead of a full one. After all, his part is about as long as Gary Cooper's. That aside, Gregg Toland's photography is a gem and the dialog well ahead of its time. The best thing about it all, though, is Wyler's disciplined direction. Yes, some would argue that the film does not accurately reflect history, that Judge Roy Bean died much later and not in a shootout but frankly there is enough prejudice, malice, and quirky humor in this film for one to know outright that Wyler never intended it as a historical account but, rather, as a comment on the difficulties of bringing law to the West. Some of it might be dated but Brennan will startle you, Cooper is darned slick, and it will keep you riveted. Don't miss it!

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().