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Any Gary Cooper Fans?


Fandango

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I've enjoyed the photos and comments in this thread enormously. Thanks for posting them here. I've just finished reading the memoir by Maria* Cooper Janis called Gary Cooper Off Camera. The photos, mostly candids, are exceptional. I don't think that the man ever took a poor photo when he was relaxed.

 

One of the most charming is the image that TCM has incorporated into the spot on Cooper featuring Maria's voice talking about her father. That picture shows a shyly smiling Cooper next to his radiant daughter. He holds a bouquet in his hands. According to this book, on each of her birthdays, Maria was presented with a nosegay from her parents, usually with lilies of the valley and sweetheart roses in the bouquet. There are two pics included in this book marking the occasions, one when Maria was little and one on the brink of adulthood, as shown on TCM. Given the range of places and activities documented in his daughter's affectionate book, one has the impression that he didn't miss alot in his brief time on this earth, either!

 

One of the main themes that jumps out of you in the book's photos and text is Gary Cooper's love of nature and the values that he tried to give Maria as she grew up. In his own words, when asked about what he valued most in his glamorous, well-paid life, Cooper once said,

 

"I can only speak for myself, and not for other people, but for me, free, for nothing. Ever go out in the fall and do a little hunting? See the frost on the grass and the leaves turning? Spend a day in the hills alone, or with good companions? Watch a sunset and a moonrise? Notice a bird in the wind? A stream in the woods, a storm at sea, cross the country by train, and catch a glimpse of something beautiful in the desert or the farmlands? Free to everybody, such things as these, if you have kept your appreciation of them. They give you something."

 

Maybe it's Gary Cooper's deep appreciation for things such as these that continues to touch those of us who find his seeming simplicity and grace to be a continuing joy on film.

 

Perhaps the most touching page in the book is the photo of the handwritten copy by Mr. Cooper of John Donne's Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, no. 17 (Meditation), better known as the sonnet, "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Very ill, and frustrated by the effect of painkillers on his cognitive abilities in the last months of his own life, Cooper asked his wife to bring him a pen and paper quickly, so that he could write the words down before they left him again.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

*Btw, Maria Cooper Janis was born in September, 1937. The novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1940 for the first time. Hemingway and Cooper met and became friends in that same year after being introduced by Sun Valley resident Tillie Arnold according to Cooper's daughter and A.E. Hotchner's bio, Papa Hemingway. Maria was not named for the character in the novel.

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Thank you, Moira, for your well expressed and thoughtful post. And for pointing out Cooper's lifetime love of nature. Maybe that's why most of my favorite GC movies are his westerns, because he seems most relaxed and at home in the outdoors.

 

Miss G

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My choice for favorite leading lady: Barbara Stanwyck. By a LONG, long way. "Ball of Fire" and "Meet John Doe" are both among my top 5 Gary Cooper pictures...and she is surely part of the reason. The more times I watch "Ball of Fire"...the more I love BOTH Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. I just think that is a GREAT movie.

 

Second place would probably go to Teresa Wright. She was really good in "Pride of the Yankees". Third would probably go to Jean Arthur - "Mr Deeds" and "Ball of Fire" are my two favorite GC films...so she has to be up there in the list somewhere!

 

I liked Ingrid alot...and Marlene also. Although the ending to "Morocco" has to be one of the stupidest endings of a film in recorded history! *lol* But other than that, which was neither of their faults, it's a great movie...and they were great in it together.

 

Least favorite would be Patricia Neal. I think it's her voice...which I hate. Although her character in "Bright Leaf" is one NASTY individual! She was better in "The Fountainhead"...but even in that film, I'd have preferred someone else.

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If his daughter, Maria, could see this thread she'd see confirmation how brightly his star still glows with whole new generations.

 

 

Yes...it would be great if she could see this. Really, when you think about kids of movie stars...she has alot more to be proud of than most star's kids! And it's great that she turned out very normal too - alot of star's kids have some serious problems...which is sad. And sometimes at least partially attributable, unfortunately, to the star him/her-self. :(

 

Between her book and the TCM promo, Maria has come across to me as a classy lady who loves her dad - still.

 

And that, IMO, is a huge tribute to Gary Cooper himself.

 

Maria is the one person still alive who knew the REAL Gary Cooper best. And the fact that she pretty much worships her dad speaks volumes about him, and the sort of person he was.

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Thanks for articulating your reasons so well! The best I can say sometimes is "they look so cute together", blah, blah. Lol!

 

No one has mentioned Audrey or Grace...maybe because the age difference is too much of a stretch. But I do like Love in the Afternoon.

 

It's been a long time since I saw BRIGHT LEAF. What I chiefly remember is thinking Lauren Bacall was still a little "green" as an actress, not entirely at ease in her role.

 

I love how he and Ingrid play with each other in SARATOGA TRUNK.

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Yes, indeed. It's lovely to see how much work she is putting into keeping his name out there. I think a close father/daughter relationship is one of the nicest things you can ever witness in this world.

 

Miss G

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> *raises hand to vote for Stanwyck in "The

> Fountainhead"*

>

> She would have made that movie alot better, IMO.

 

I've read that Stanwyck's age became an issue, is that true? Dominique, in the book, was a young woman---still a virgin, in fact. And maybe Ayn Rand, who did the screenplay herself, did not want any fooling around with her character as written. If not for that, Stanwyck might have given one of her best performances.

 

At the end of Meet John Doe she opens her eyes to what kind of man he really is and realizes her culpability in regard to what happened to him. The worshipful way she speaks to him with such passion in the last scene is just how she might have carried herself as his lover in The Fountainhead.

 

Miss G

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I admit I like him as the tough, or rather, independent guy. That's why Ball of Fire doesn't appeal to me as much as it might, I think. I have the same attitude toward Henry Fonda's character in The Lady Eve. Both are really superbly written and acted comedies, but I just can't get into the characters of the leading men when they are so, well, naive.

 

Miss G

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Off-subject: I'm guessing you really liked Frank Sinatra in his later roles as opposed to his earlier ones then, for sure! ;)

 

I kind of like the shy type, but I don't know if I prefer them. When speaking of Sinatra I do, but with the Coop I'm not so sure. He just looked like too much of a tough guy to be shy.

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MissG, when I first saw "Ball of Fire," I didn't like Cooper's performance very much -it wasn't what I was used to seeing him do. However, on repeated viewings I see things in his performance I didn't notice the first time, and I like it a lot more. As I said, the contrast between him and Stanwyck is very enjoyable to watch. I do still prefer him, though, in his strong, silent type mode.

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Re: Frank---yes, but only the ones where he really shows his tenderness at some point, like Kings Go Forth or The Detective.

 

I think with me the bottom line is the shy types are sweet and adorable, I just find nothing romantic about them, and I'm a true blue romantic. :)

 

Gary's "Mr. Deeds" treads a fine line. He is naive, wonderfully simple but he is an idealist and a romantic at heart and I find that attractive. As "John Doe" he finds courage to identify himself with a cause, and then he becomes more attractive.

 

Miss G

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Well, the way Patricia Neal played Dominique, I would have highly doubted her virginity previous to meeting Howard Roark. *lol*

 

I mean, she goes out to that marble quarry and pretty much leers at him...*totally* seducing him. And it doesn't get anymore transparent than breaking the marble hearth of her fireplace, just to have an excuse to get him into her bedroom.

 

Personally, I don't think Patricia Neal came off as innocent and virginal in the slightest in that movie - or really, ANY movie I've ever seen her in.

 

Barbara Stanwyck, in contrast, COULD actually come off as fairly wholesome - case in point, IMO, being "Cry Wolf", a film she did with Errol Flynn.

 

But if they really wanted virginal and wholesome, they shoulda gone with Teresa Wright again. What do you think?

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I love Gary Cooper about every which way...but I must admit to liking his shy and almost boyishly innocent characters best. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Professor Bertrum Potts. I just think he's ADORABLE beyond all belief. And I also love Mr. Deeds and Meet John Doe for the same reasons. All three of those characters are just so *adorable* that I simply can't get enough. Same with Alvin York - that's a more serious film...but the character is adorable. Even the battle scene where he is picking off the German soldiers one by one is adorable: "Just like shootin' a flock 'o turkeys!". I mean, how do you make a BATTLE SCENE in a WAR MOVIE adorable???

 

Just ask Gary Cooper!

 

Now...that takes nothing away from the strong silent type characters he also played so well. In truth, the fact that he can do both with such success is one of the reasons why he's at the top of my list of favorite actors. Will Kane is a great character...and so are his characters in The Westerner, Vera Cruz, FWTBT, The Fountainhead, and many others.

 

And lets not forget some of his romantic roles - can't get enough Peter Ibbetson either! Or Love in the Afternoon, for that matter!

 

The great thing about Coop is that he had such a wide range.

 

But yeah...my favorites are the adorable ones. :D

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Well, from what I remember of Rand's book and her philosophies, she envisioned "Dominique" as a virgin not to convey "innocence" in the wholesome sense, but that she was "pure"---in other words, a modern day Diana or valkyrie type, with a sort of steeliness that would match Roark's own Nietzschien qualities.

 

 

Miss G

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I enjoyed seeing Man of the West last night (what a grand night of viewing!), but I thought it odd they did not make a love story out of it.

 

I finally got the opportunity to record one of my favorite Coop movies, The Cowboy and the Lady. I love this film! It is so charming... One of the first I saw with Gary Cooper.

 

I also recorded Along Came Jones, but only saw half of it...

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Merry Christmas, Gary Cooper fans! :)

 

Today I watched "Beau Geste" - a pretty good film, but not my favorite or anything. I really hope my DVD recorder recorded what I set for it on Thursday night. *fingers crossed*

 

I might watch "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" - I got a copy from a friend before I left the U.S., and it sounds like it might be a nice, light film - just right for the Christmas holidays!

 

Can't post long because I have limited internet access where I am right now....

 

Cheers!

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I want to say it one more time before I can no longer...

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

I have restricted access as well, so I'll keep mine short... And I have a question for you insane Gary Cooper lovers, about the bit they played all through out this month on Turner.

In one of the clips they show Gary dancing with a coat. Does anyone know what film this was from? I know there must be someone...

 

bhf1940

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> I want to say it one more time before I can no

> longer...

>

> MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

>

> I have restricted access as well, so I'll keep mine

> short...

 

Dang! Are you on death row in the Big House?

 

Can we call the governor for you?

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