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Man of the West [Import]

Gary Cooper , Julie London , Anthony Mann    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Western auteur Anthony Mann and aging Western icon Gary Cooper team up in this stark tale of a trio of train passengers stranded in the middle of the desert after a railway holdup. Taking responsibility for his helpless compatriots (Julie London as a sad-eyed prostitute and Arthur O'Connell as a garrulous but cowardly banker), craggy-faced Link Jones (Cooper) takes them into a veritable viper's nest in a desperate gamble. It turns out the respected town elder is a former member of the outlaw gang that robbed them, and he's welcomed back by patriarchal gang leader Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb) like the prodigal son. The other bandits are not so forgiving but humor the old man while plotting to unmask Cooper as a devious traitor in a battle of wits and wills. Mann returns to his favorite themes of family and betrayal with a dramatic twist and wrenches up the jagged conflict with the most spare imagery of his career: the trio hiking down an endless horizon of empty track, a lone ramshackle shack on the arid plains, the desolate ghost town where Tobin's planned bank heist turns out to be a pathetic fantasy. Mann's taut direction creates a tension that hangs in the air like the sword of Damocles over the stranded travelers and explodes in cruel, raw violence. Reginald Rose (12 Angry Men) wrote the literate if sometimes overly symbolic script, and John Dehner, Jack Lord, and Royal Dano costar as Tobin's angry gang members. --Sean Axmaker

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5.0 out of 5 stars Man of the West March 22 2009
Format:DVD
Gary Cooper like many 'stars' of his era is not a brilliant actor. Rather, he plays parts that fit his personality and he 'wears' them the way a person wears a coat. The 'hero' he plays is no superman, no saint, but very human. Soft spoken, reticient, a man of few words. He struggles with a past he wants to put behind but fate intervenes when a train he is travelling on is robbed and he is forced to confront his demons while also trying to defend the honor of a woman that comes into his life. He falls in love with her but is already married and will not betray his vows but nevertheless does defend and try to protect her from the ruthless, amoral men that were 'family' to him in the past. The understated hero that Cooper always portrays so well. One of his best movies and a great Western. I enjoyed it very much. If you like Westerns, I reccomend it. In fact, even if you don't usually like Westerns, you might like this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than you might expect May 7 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is not a typical "B" Western. Jimmy Stewart plays a man with a dark side, and a dark past for a change. He had about given up Westerns because he found himself playing parts that were too similar too often. This one was different.

Playing opposite Julie London, who played a saloon singer whose complaint was that everyone made passes at her, she fell into a situation (along with Stewart) where she was subjected to real brutality--tastefully handled. Lee J. Cobb played the heavy, and did his usual great job. Stewart was thrown back in with his old gang, from whom he had escaped once, and again was expected to rob banks and kill.

The story was good, and the acting was superb, as might be expected from such a cast. A dark, forboding film, which will hold your attention.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Message for MGM: Why Pan & Scan? Dec 31 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I recently saw a gorgeous widescreen print of this film on TCM. This grim, brooding tale of disillusionment in the old west, like Sam Fuller's "Forty Guns" one year before it, shattered many of the conventions of the Western and helped reinvent that genre, a decade before "The Wild Bunch" or Leone's "Man With No Name Trilogy". Yes, Anthony Mann's films are violent (his direction always exhibits a brutal directness), but the body count is much lower than in any John Ford movie I've seen. It's just that Mann understood that dead bodies are heavy, they have weight, and must obey certain laws of gravity. I don't think it was the killing that alarmed most people, but the effects of that killing, as both heard in the loud thud of bodies hitting the ground and as seen in the way men must writhe around and mix with the earth as they die. Though MAN OF THE WEST was filmed in glorious CinemaScope, the only version available on vhs is an abysmal pan&scan, which is particularly unacceptable in a picture that aims to express the distance between men, and the barrenness of the landscape, by dislocating much of the action to the extreme edges of the frame. This works only if the action is shown in wide angle, but MGM, unfortunately, has shamefully compromised Mann's vision. If TCM has access to a print of the film that preserves the proper CinemaScope ratio, why can't MGM release it on DVD in anamorphic widescreen? I highly recommend MAN OF THE WEST, but don't bother with this pan&scan vhs version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Film March 25 2000
By Chris
Format:VHS Tape
Man Of The West is a classic. Gary Cooper dominates a sterling cast with his powerful portrayal of Link Jones, a former killer who has long since suppressed the demons within. However, when he meets up with his Uncle and former partner, Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb, brilliant) he is forced to confront the fact that there is still a killer inside him. There is a brutal fight between Cooper and Jack Lord which is one of the meanest, most vicious fights I've ever seen in film. The only flaw, as others have pointed out, is that this video version is not letterbox. Avoid it and wait for TCM to show it in its original widescreen format. Better yet, why doesn't MGM/UA simply release a letterbox version? Cooper made this back-to-back with another classic, The Hanging Tree. But Warner Home Video has seen fit to remove it from distribution here in the U.S. It's available in Europe and Canada, but not here. Idiots!
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