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Man of the West [Import]

8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Julie London, Lee J. Cobb, Arthur O'Connell, Jack Lord
  • Directors: Anthony Mann
  • Writers: Reginald Rose, Will C. Brown
  • Producers: Walter Mirisch
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: United Artists
  • Release Date: May 13 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014BQR24
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Product Description

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on Dec 31 2002
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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By Bill on March 20 2000
Format: VHS Tape
MAN OF THE WEST is one of the greatest of all westerns. Dismissed for being too violent, too dark, too grim and downbeat when it first opened back in the fall of 1958, its reputation has been growing ever since. Unfortunately, the video available from MGM/UA is in pan-and-scan, and unless you see MAN OF THE WEST in letterbox, you aren't really seeing the film as it was meant to be seen. Turner Classics shows it in letterbox, so I recommend forgoing this video and waiting until TCM shows it in letterbox. Toward the end of his career, Cooper through off the shackles and took on several dark characters, characters deeply flawed and deeply wounded. Whatever the merits of some of these final films, Cooper's performances are stunning, at times even shattering. MAN OF THE WEST is one of those performances. The metamorphosis his Link Jones goes through shows just what range Cooper possessed as an actor. This film is one of the real champs.
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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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By O.C. Goveia on 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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