Man of the West (1958)

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    There are 13 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by WaynamoJim.

    • Man of the West (1958)



      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas
      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      On his way to hire a schoolteacher, a homesteader is left a hundred miles from anywhere
      when the train he is on is robbed.
      With him are an attractive dancehall girl and an untrustworthy gambler
      and he decides to get shelter nearby from outlaw relatives he used to run with.
      They don't trust him and he loathes them but they decide he can help them with one last bank job.
      Written by Jeremy Perkins

      Full Cast
      Gary Cooper ... Link Jones
      Julie London ... Billie Ellis
      Lee J. Cobb ... Dock Tobin
      Arthur O'Connell ... Sam Beasley
      Jack Lord ... Coaley
      John Dehner ... Claude
      Royal Dano ... Trout
      Robert J. Wilke ... Ponch (as Robert Wilke)
      Joe Dominguez ... Mexican Man (uncredited)
      Dick Elliott ... Willie (uncredited)
      Frank Ferguson ... Marshal of Crosscut (uncredited)
      Ann Kunde ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
      Tom London ... Tom, Henry's Friend (uncredited)
      Tina Menard ... Juanita, the Mexican Woman (uncredited)
      Emory Parnell ... Henry, the Livery Proprietor (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson ... Rifleman-Guard on Train (uncredited)
      Guy Wilkerson ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
      Jack Williams ... Alcutt (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Will C. Brown (novel "The Border Jumpers")
      Reginald Rose (screenplay)

      Original Music
      Leigh Harline

      Ernest Haller

      Gary Cooper was, at 56, a decade older than Lee J. Cobb who played his "Uncle" Dock Tobin. In the film Cooper and John Dehner talk about being children together - Dehner was actually fourteen years younger than Cooper.

      James Stewart eagerly sought the role played by Gary Cooper, but since Stewart had fallen out with director Anthony Mann he did not get the part.

      Screenwriter Philip Yordan had previously written a novel entitled "Man of the West", but it bears no relation at all to this film. Yordan's novel was filmed as Gun Glory.

      Jean-Luc Godard, a film critic before he became a director, raved about the film saying it was the best film of that year. Because of his recommendation, the film has been reevaluated and is now considered a classic western.

      Gary Cooper bravely did his own horse-riding scenes despite physical pain from a car accident years earlier.

      Boom mic visible
      Early in the film, when Beasley, Billie Ellis, and Link Jones are left behind by the train after the robbery attempt, they stand on the railroad tracks debating what to do next. As they do so, the shadow of the boom mic is visible above their own shadows on the ground behind them.

      When Link and Trout arrive at Lasso, their shadows are to the right of screen, indicating mid-morning. As they get to the bank, their shadows are nearly under them, indicating the sun nearly directly overhead or a time of around noon. The shadows are in the same place when Trout flees from the bank. However, when Trout reaches the edge of town and dies, the shadows are again to the right of screen and are in the same direction when Link finds him, and when Claude and Ponch arrive in town.

      When the "Man of the West" is waiting for his train and when he finally boards this train, near the beginning of the film, the cloud patterns in the sky change significantly in that short time.

      Revealing mistakes
      On the beginning train trip, poles & electrical power lines are clearly visible outside the train windows.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Santa Clarita, California, USA
      Jamestown, California, USA
      Janss Conejo Ranch, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
      Melody Ranch - 24715 Oak Creek Avenue, Newhall, California, USA
      Mojave Desert, California, USA
      Red Rock Canyon State Park - Highway 14, Cantil, California, USA
      Sierra Railroad, Jamestown, California, USA

      Watch the Trailer

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Man of the West (1958)

      Man of the West is a 1958 American Western film starring Gary Cooper and directed by Anthony Mann,
      produced by Walter Mirisch and distributed by United Artists.
      The screenplay, written by Reginald Rose,
      is based on the 1955 novel The Border Jumpers, by Will C. Brown.
      The film co-stars Julie London, Jack Lord, Arthur O'Connell and Lee J. Cobb in supporting roles.
      The film is one of Cooper's final western roles.

      The film premiered in October 1, 1958.
      At the time of release, the film was largely panned by American critics,
      but it was praised by Jean-Luc Godard,
      who, before he became a director, was a film critic.
      Godard claimed that Man of the West was the best film of the year.

      Decades after the film's releaseit has gained a cult following and greater acclaim
      , with film historian Phillip French
      claiming the film to be Anthony Mann's masterpiece, containing Cooper's finest performance.

      Look out for Chuck Roberson ... Rifleman-Guard on Train (uncredited)

      User Review
      Gary Cooper pinch hits
      12 January 2005 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)

      Man of the West is a fine gritty western with Gary Cooper stepping into the James Stewart parts in those 50s Anthony Mann westerns.

      Mann and Stewart during the 50s did eight films, five of them westerns. and some of the best westerns ever made. They were on the set of a sixth, Night Passage, when they quarreled and Mann walked out. I'm sure that both The Tin Star and Man of the West were properties that he originally developed with James Stewart in mind. But at least in this one Gary Cooper pinch hits admirably.

      The key here is incest. Gary Cooper is former outlaw Link Jones trying to live his past down. He's on the way with his town's savings for a schoolteacher. The train is held up by the Doc Tobin gang and while he eludes them in the holdup, he runs into them later on when he's left behind by the train. These aren't just former outlaw compatriots, they're his family.

      And what a family, the most frightening group of inbreds ever put on screen until Deliverance. From Lee J. Cobb on down, a lovely group of twisted psychos. Cooper is not just running from his past, but from his lineage.

      The rest of the gang is Robert J. Wilke, Royal Dano, Jack Lord, and John Dehner. Lee J. Cobb is Doc Tobin and though he's 10 years younger than Cooper, he plays his uncle. Along for the ride are fellow train passengers Julie London and Arthur O'Connell. It's an admirable cast.

      A real downer of a western, but a great classic.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Man of the West (1958)

      For me, Cobb's makeup helps disguise the age difference, but Coop is definitely looking his age, and either some dialog should have been changed, or a younger looking actor should have gotten the part.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- Man of the West (1958)


      Man of the West was quite a provocarive film dealing as it doesa with the violence and the mentality of the players portrayed. Cooper stripping Jack Lord in the fight scene caused quite a stir at the time as did the rape of Julie London by Lee J Cobb (seen off screen). But for all of that a reasonable film. J hadn't realised that James stewart had fallen out with Mann. It is an interest thing to consider if Stewart had played the Cooper role would it have included even more violence.


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