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Fandango

Any Gary Cooper Fans?

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What a marvelous write up about *They Came to Codura*, I only wish you'd finished it! This is a real character study and almost an intellectual exercise, which is NOT your typical western. I am sure people seeing it in its first release were looking at each other, wondering what on earth this was supposed to be. TCtC is one of the movies from Coop's post-40s career that make him my favorite actor. Can any other actor---western actor especially---register self-doubt, anguish, et al without diminishing his stature as a man in a movie?

 

I like how the brave who were to be decorated acted with viciousness and stupidity while the so-called cowardly and worthless (Coop and Rita) really sacrificed themselves. Those who get the glory, get written up, decorated and put in the history books were not always worthy having become brave or effective due, as you said, to some fortunate circumstance and the sometimes good that results from simply taking the most expedient and direct course of action---while those who were forgotten were very often capable of real, conscious heroism at great cost to themselves and to save others.

 

It is not a pleasant watch but a brave film.

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*What a marvelous write up about They Came to Codura, I only wish you'd finished it!*

 

That's very kind of you to say. And I wish I had finished it, too. For some reason, my "want to" with writing that much has dissipated.

 

*This is a real character study and almost an intellectual exercise, which is NOT your typical western. I am sure people seeing it in its first release were looking at each other, wondering what on earth this was supposed to be.*

 

I completely agree. Gary Cooper is very heroic in the film, but his heroics are more contemplative and understated. It's a very "human" picture.

 

*TCtC is one of the movies from Coop's post-40s career that make him my favorite actor. Can any other actor---western actor especially---register self-doubt, anguish, et al without diminishing his stature as a man in a movie?*

 

I can't think of any, no. And Coop's quiet nature really lends itself to a film like this, too. It makes his character's observant nature and reticence very believable.

 

*I like how the brave who were to be decorated acted with viciousness and stupidity while the so-called cowardly and worthless (Coop and Rita) really sacrificed themselves. Those who get the glory, get written up, decorated and put in the history books were not always worthy having become brave or effective due, as you said, to some fortunate circumstance and the sometimes good that results from simply taking the most expedient and direct course of action---while those who were forgotten were very often capable of real, conscious heroism at great cost to themselves and to save others.*

 

That was nicely expressed. The idea of the strong taking advantage of the weak reverses its meaning. Taking versus giving.

 

*It is not a pleasant watch but a brave film.*

 

I concur. And after watching 50 of Coop's films, it stands out even more. It's easily one of his best performances and a unique film in his filmography. I also think the film really captures Rita Hayworth, too.

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> That's very kind of you to say. And I wish I had finished it, too. For some reason, my "want to" with writing that much has dissipated.

>

 

so has mine, big time, so i can understand.

 

>

> I completely agree. Gary Cooper is very heroic in the film, but his heroics are more contemplative and understated. It's a very "human" picture.

>

 

it is, it captures many sides of many different kinds of people. "derwood" was probably the least offensive of that whole group (aside from Coop). heflin's character was odious, yet there were moments when he spoke truth, however unpleasant. i think the one i liked the least was the young go-getter, was it "Fowler"? the one who just wanted to make a good career for himself.

 

> I can't think of any, no. And Coop's quiet nature really lends itself to a film like this, too. It makes his character's observant nature and reticence very believable.

>

 

his face is so expressive of many conflicting thoughts and emotions.

 

> I concur. And after watching 50 of Coop's films, it stands out even more. It's easily one of his best performances and a unique film in his filmography. I also think the film really captures Rita Hayworth, too.

>

 

yes, about Rita---i love her here and love her with Coop. wish they'd done more movies together. what a beautiful couple, even under all that "worn out" patina of unkind years. rita, the beautiful pin-up for all the boys was just trying to survive by using what all the boys wanted. she was childish, as you say, because she began it all by running away from family scandal.

 

i hate what happened to the poor parrot!! the movie is rather graphic in its depiction of people's worst flaws.

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*so has mine, big time, so i can understand.*

 

You have your reasons. I don't know what it is with me. I guess I was a new member here and I was looking to find my place, make an impression. I was full of that kind of energy. Now that I'm a board vet, my desire to write at length is less. Or it's simply that I'm older. :D

 

*it is, it captures many sides of many different kinds of people. "derwood" was probably the least offensive of that whole group (aside from Coop). heflin's character was odious, yet there were moments when he spoke truth, however unpleasant. i think the one i liked the least was the young go-getter, was it "Fowler"? the one who just wanted to make a good career for himself.*

 

Yes, that was Fowler. But, as I said in my "long ago" draft, they all seemed to have a motivating force behind their selfishness and childishness.

 

I may have to watch the film again because I really don't remember it as well as I should. I haven't watched it since that draft, which I was working on about five years ago.

 

*his face is so expressive of many conflicting thoughts and emotions.*

 

Definitely. And that's where Gary Cooper's value as an actor lies. It's his expressive eyes and face. If you're into dialogue and line-readings, then Coop isn't going to be your kind of actor.

 

*yes, about Rita---i love her here and love her with Coop. wish they'd done more movies together. what a beautiful couple, even under all that "worn out" patina of unkind years. rita, the beautiful pin-up for all the boys was just trying to survive by using what all the boys wanted. she was childish, as you say, because she began it all by running away from family scandal.*

 

"Worn out," she still makes a grand impression. Rita is another performer with a great presence, but she always carried an innocence with her. She can be 40 and I still feel as if she's a child in need of protection. She plays "damaged" very well.

 

*i hate what happened to the poor parrot!!*

 

That's because you're just like Rita!

 

*the movie is rather graphic in its depiction of people's worst flaws.*

 

It really is, and that's something I love about it. I also love how the worst brings out the best.

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>

> Yes, that was Fowler. But, as I said in my "long ago" draft, they all seemed to have a motivating force behind their selfishness and childishness.

>

> I may have to watch the film again because I really don't remember it as well as I should. I haven't watched it since that draft, which I was working on about five years ago.

>

 

it's a movie that i think yields more satisfaction the more you watch it.

 

> Definitely. And that's where Gary Cooper's value as an actor lies. It's his expressive eyes and face. If you're into dialogue and line-readings, then Coop isn't going to be your kind of actor.

>

 

he's not a verbal actor, no.

 

> "Worn out," she still makes a grand impression. Rita is another performer with a great presence, but she always carried an innocence with her. She can be 40 and I still feel as if she's a child in need of protection. She plays "damaged" very well.

>

 

she did always seem like a vulnerable child, right to the end. that's why i like her, i think. she never lost that quality.

 

 

> It really is, and that's something I love about it. I also love how the worst brings out the best.

>

 

the worst people or worst circumstances? sometimes the worst circumstances show weak people up for the rats they really are just as they can bring out the best in those you might not suspect it of.

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Good afternoon Sir Francis: I hope you had a lovely Easter with your family. Ours was a bit of a sad day. One of my bride's aunts died yesterday morning. And I wasn't involved in any musical setting at a church for the first time in a long time.

 

The above monologue by the Colonel features one of my biggest pet peeves: ownership of God. The Colonel is claiming God for himself, which is an extremely selfish act in my eyes. Men died in the battle, on both sides. Those who died, were they all heathens? Did they not pray hard enough? Why did God only choose the Colonel and his side to be "victorious"? Why? My skin crawls every time I hear someone take ownership of God for victories between humans. I hear it a lot in sports.

 

 

I think, though I've never been in it, that anyone claims God for themselves in that time. Of course they want to survive and win. If you don't win then that creates bad situations. I don't think anyone in the heat of battle or preparation for one cares a thing about the enemy. The men on the other side are probably doing the same thing. I think after a battle one might pray for an end to it all so that no one else has to die. I don't think it unnatural to thank God in those circumstances. I don't think the rest of the paragraph is conncected to the prayer as much as it is an outcome of the victory.

 

 

You get no disagreement with me about sports. However, you need look no further than yesterday's basketball game and that horrific injury to have all kinds of people pray for a single person and not about who wins or loses.

 

 

I've always thought you've written deeply here. Even when your comments weren't lengthy I've thought they were well thought out.

 

Edited by: movieman1957 on Apr 1, 2013 1:34 PM

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*it's a movie that i think yields more satisfaction the more you watch it.*

 

I'm pretty sure you are right. Of all the Coop films I have watched, it's the one that I've liked more in retrospect.

 

*he's not a verbal actor, no.*

 

No, not at all.

 

*she did always seem like a vulnerable child, right to the end. that's why i like her, i think. she never lost that quality.*

 

I agree. And it's a big reason why I almost always like her.

 

*the worst people or worst circumstances? sometimes the worst circumstances show weak people up for the rats they really are just as they can bring out the best in those you might not suspect it of.*

 

Worst circumstances. It would be difficult for a "worst person" to actually have any "best" to come out.

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Good day to you, Movieman -- *Good afternoon Sir Francis: I hope you had a lovely Easter with your family. Ours was a bit of a sad day. One of my bride's aunts died yesterday morning. And I wasn't involved in any musical setting at a church for the first time in a long time.*

 

I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope you were able to be around family. That's important during times of loss.

 

*I think, though I've never been in it, that anyone claims God for themselves in that time. Of course they want to survive and win. If you don't win then that creates bad situations. I don't think anyone in the heat of battle or preparation for one cares a thing about the enemy. The men on the other side are probably doing the same thing. I think after a battle one might pray for an end to it all so that no one else has to die. I don't think it unnatural to thank God in those circumstances. I don't think the rest of the paragraph is conncected to the prayer as much as it is an outcome of the victory.*

 

You are right, most sides of a conflict generally claim God for a victory, that He was choosing them over another. I find this to be full of vanity.

 

In *They Came to Cordura*, the Colonel uses the word "me" when thanking God. It wasn't just a victory for his side in the conflict, it was his victory.

 

*You get no disagreement with me about sports. However, you need look no further than yesterday's basketball game and that horrific injury to have all kinds of people pray for a single person and not about who wins or loses.*

 

 

And that's for the well-being of a competitor (or combatant). That's kind and thoughtful. To claim God in victory doesn't seem proper. But that's purely my own feelings about it.

 

*I've always thought you've written deeply here. Even when your comments weren't lengthy I've thought they were well thought out.*

 

Thank you. That's awfully kind of you to say. I'm very fortunate to have thoughtful, intelligent, enthusiastic people to discuss films with, such as yourself. This board has provided me with an outlet I just don't have in my everyday world.

 

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If you get *Encore Westerns* you've got 15 minutes until *High Noon.* There's also a Six Gun Salute to him later this month. *They Came to Cordura* is one of the scheduled movies. Enjoy!

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Ever see "Garden of Evil" with Cooper, Richard Widmark and Susan Hayward? They screened it in LA a few years ago, at the Egyption in wide wide CinemaScope and stereophonic sound. I thought it was amazing!

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I am glad to see so much love for THEY CAME TO CORDURA, one of the films which caused me to revise my opinion of Cooper as an actor, and one of my favorite westerns. Perhaps TCM can show this sometime.

 

 

A non-Cooper western I recommend to those who like CORDURA is THESE THOUSAND HILLS, with Don Murray and Lee Remick. Different themes, but very well done. TCM has never shown it, either.

 

 

The first Cooper films I saw were MOROCCO and LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, and I didn't (and don't) much like Cooper in either. BALL OF FIRE and THEY CAME TO CORDURA showed me there was a great deal more to his work.

 

 

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Hi, Kingrat -- *I am glad to see so much love for THEY CAME TO CORDURA, one of the films which caused me to revise my opinion of Cooper as an actor, and one of my favorite westerns. Perhaps TCM can show this sometime.*

 

It's nice to hear from another fan of *They Came to Cordura*. I have Miss G to thank for suggesting the film to me. She thought I'd like it and she was right. Cooper plays a different kind of hero in this one. It's one of his better roles. And I love Rita Hayworth in the film. She adds a lot.

 

*A non-Cooper western I recommend to those who like CORDURA is THESE THOUSAND HILLS, with Don Murray and Lee Remick. Different themes, but very well done. TCM has never shown it, either.*

 

Is it available to watch on YouTube or another site?

 

 

*The first Cooper films I saw were MOROCCO and LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, and I didn't (and don't) much like Cooper in either.*

 

 

Remarkable. And I really love those two films. They rank in my top 100 for all classic film. Granted, Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn are big reasons why, but I do like Coop in both films. What is it that you didn't like about him in those films?

 

 

*BALL OF FIRE and THEY CAME TO CORDURA showed me there was a great deal more to his work.*

 

 

And I'm not that crazy about Coop in *Ball of Fire*. So what is it about that film that made you appreciate him more?

 

 

And keep an eye on that Butterscotch at the festival. She's a troublemaker. :)

 

 

 

 

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Hi, Frank! I like MOROCCO for Dietrich and for some of the moments in the film, but to me Cooper is good-looking but not very expressive. LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON divides the crowd: some love it, and some like me are so turned off by Cooper, who looks old and sick, which he was, as a possible romantic partner for Audrey Hepburn, that they simply reject the film.

 

 

In BALL OF FIRE Cooper shows that he can actually act, and what's more, do comedy. This is also one of my favorite Barbara Stanwyck performances, and it can count as both a favorite Howard Hawks film and a favorite Billy Wilder film.

 

 

I think THESE THOUSAND HILLS is a Fox film, so it may turn up on the Fox Movie Channel if you get that. We don't.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello, Fuddah!

 

:^0 Thank you for that hilarious video. My grandparents has one of those un-automatic bread toasters like the rusted one and this is the only other time I've ever seen one. And how computers have changed since all those golden oldies we saw.

 

I remember hearing *Fascination* on the radio as a kid; I think the singer was Jaye P. Morgan who was female. Mantovani also did a stings and violin version which is what he did. Great memories!

 

 

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It was Jane Morgan who sang Fascination and it was a pretty big hit when it was released after the film came out. It's been quite while since I've been around on the boards and I'm glad to see this thread is still going strong.

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I've decided to BUMP this one up, as a tribute. He's not my fave; in fact, I tend to give him a hard time and sometime go a little to far (as is my wont, alas). But I was thinking of thread recently, certainly one of the most popular of the STAR threads. So why not give Coop a boost here. Instead of excoriating him all the time, I should have a look or two at a movie or two that I haven's seen. Maybe I can rehabilitate him in my eyes, as well as rehabilitate my brain (okay, okay, the latter not likely).

 

Go Coop!

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I've decided to BUMP this one up, as a tribute. He's not my fave; in fact, I tend to give him a hard time and sometime go a little to far (as is my wont, alas). But I was thinking of thread recently, certainly one of the most popular of the STAR threads. So why not give Coop a boost here. Instead of excoriating him all the time, I should have a look or two at a movie or two that I haven's seen. Maybe I can rehabilitate him in my eyes, as well as rehabilitate my brain (okay, okay, the latter not likely).

 

Go Coop!

 

Since you like Jean Arthur what do you think about Mr. Deeds goes to Town.   I think Cooper and Arthur are great in this picture.  It is warm and funny.      Also another fine comedy western is Along Came Jones.   This is borderline camp and a fun film, except when Dan Duryea is in the picture as the heavy.   

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Since you like Jean Arthur what do you think about Mr. Deeds goes to Town.   I think Cooper and Arthur are great in this picture.  It is warm and funny.      Also another fine comedy western is Along Came Jones.   This is borderline camp and a fun film, except when Dan Duryea is in the picture as the heavy.   

 

I don't think I have seen Deeds ... how's that for an admission ...

 

...but Along Came Jones I do remember and liked. Oh heck, it's probably an underhanded compliment but some of the inherent awkwardness that I sometime associate with GP's onscreen persona played very well into the character. But it was very good. Loretta was in that one, wasn't she?

 

Also, let's face it, laffite, Gary Cooper was quite good in High Noon, another pic where his natural persona (and I don't mean that derogatorily this time) played into the character.

 

==

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I don't think I have seen Deeds ... how's that for an admission ...

 

...but Along Came Jones I do remember and liked. Oh heck, it's probably an underhanded compliment but some of the inherent awkwardness that I sometime associate with GP's onscreen persona played very well into the character. But it was very good. Loretta was in that one, wasn't she?

 

Also, let's face it, laffite, Gary Cooper was quite good in High Noon, another pic where his natural persona (and I don't mean that derogatorily this time) played into the character.

 

==

 

Yes,  Loretta Young was the gal in Along Came Jones.      TCM does show Mr. Deeds from time to time.  Capra won for Best Director and the film was nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. 

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Go Coop!

 

Hey, Laffite, I just ran across your Cooper Blooper in the "Most Annoying Actors" thread, and I wanted you to know I agree with that assessment 100%. I didn't post there so's not to refer so far back in the thread, and I didn't quote that post here because I didn't want to embarrass you. Instead I'll quote something from his TCMdb page that made me laugh.

 

"You're positive he's going to ruin your picture. I froze in my tracks the first time I directed him ("The Pride of the Yankees"). I thought something was wrong with him, and I saw a milion-dollar production go glimmering. I was amazed at the results on the screen. What I thought was underplaying turned out to be just the right approach. On the screen, he's perfect, yet on the set you'd swear it's the worst job of acting in the history of motion pictures." --Sam Wood (who directed Cooper four times)

 

Except for the thing about him being perfect on the screen, I agree with this guy, too. I don't hate him, but the first time I saw him I couldn't believe my eyes.

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Hey, what happened to jamesjazzguitar? His handle went dead. Did he get in trouble with the mods?

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Hey, Laffite, I just ran across your Cooper Blooper in the "Most Annoying Actors" thread, and I wanted you to know I agree with that assessment 100%. I didn't post there so's not to refer so far back in the thread, and I didn't quote that post here because I didn't want to embarrass you. Instead I'll quote something from his TCMdb page that made me laugh.

 

"You're positive he's going to ruin your picture. I froze in my tracks the first time I directed him ("The Pride of the Yankees"). I thought something was wrong with him, and I saw a milion-dollar production go glimmering. I was amazed at the results on the screen. What I thought was underplaying turned out to be just the right approach. On the screen, he's perfect, yet on the set you'd swear it's the worst job of acting in the history of motion pictures." --Sam Wood (who directed Cooper four times)

 

Except for the thing about him being perfect on the screen, I agree with this guy, too. I don't hate him, but the first time I saw him I couldn't believe my eyes.

 

Hi Kay, I was around awhile back when this thread was thriving and I believe that much of his popularity was actually due this sort of shuffling awkwardness to which he seems prone, I don't mean that as a criticism of Coop (as it seems to be well known and accepted) or the fans (many of them women) but the fact remains that whatever one may think of his acting, he was immensely popular. There was a lot of admiration for a guy who isn't always swaggering and being macho, he was appreciated for his modesty and his gentlemanly persona ... as I seem to remember. And I'm sure that many Coop fans who have contributed to this long history of a thread believe quite outright that he is a good actor without reservation and acquits himself quite satisfactorily in many if not all of the movies.

 

But I agree that he doesn't always come off  perfect on the screen. My recent comment about Along Came Jones was where this "something wrong with him" quality that Sam Wood was talking about played so perfectly into the persona of Jones, who was a sort of Inspector Clouseau of the Western plains, a comic cowboy who seemed prone to error and naivete (although it's been ages since I've seen it). Did you see that one?

 

"Cooper blooper" (I like that)

 

I can't imagine JamesJazzGuitar being in trouble with the mods, he seems to have an even temperament and quite a gentleman around here. I'm a little curious by what you mean by "handle went dead" but I don't need an explanation for that, necessarily. I just hope he's okay.

 

Thanks, Kay, for your discretion regarding the Blooper ...I can be quite prolific on the blooper front (alas) ..

 

--.

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This thread brings back memories.  :)

 

My reasons for liking Coop are despite his awkward/comic side.  I don't think he was a verbal actor.  He used his eyes and as John Ford liked to say, that's what you focus on.  Therefore, I prefer his more serious (mostly later) work.  His face could register conflict and anguish in a way that always impacts me.  He's the opposite of histrionic yet he has one of the most expressive faces---his eyes, really---in all of film.

 

Besides High Noon, The Hanging Tree and Man of the West are two movies I highly recommend.  For a much more ambiguous and complex character, try to find his last film, The Naked Edge.

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Hey, what happened to jamesjazzguitar? His handle went dead. Did he get in trouble with the mods?

 

My handle is fine,  thank you!   (really I don't know what 'handle' mean in this context).

 

I have received one 'try to be nice' warning from a moderator in the 7 or so years I've been here.   So I'm good with the mods.

 

PS:  I know what a handle is now,  and when I clicked on 'my profile' it said I'm no longer a member????

 

But clearly I can post and I was able to update 'my settings'.

 

Strange! 

Edited by jamesjazzguitar

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I'm quite a fan of a number of the adventure films in which Cooper appeared, most of them for Paramount during the 1930s.

 

Lives of a Bengal Lancer is one if the best of the British Empire epics that Hollywood produced at that time, with Coop and Franchot Tone demonstrating great rapport as antagonistic brother officers, Richard Cromwell as the new naive recruit and son of the colonel, Sir Guy Standing as that colonel, and Douglas Dumbrille having a field day as the evil Mohammed Khan.

 

Of course, dated as these kind of films are, the "evil" Khan merely wants the damned imperialists out of his country, but audiences are not supposed to view it that way (especially when this little bird likes to employ bamboo sticks shoved under the fingernails of British officers in order to get information out of them).

 

Coop, by the way, looks great in uniform and, while playing a relatively macho type, is still allowed to bring a few scenes of gentle humour to his characterization. One of the most famous scenes in the film is when Tone is trying to annoy Coop's character by playing a snake charmer's flute, only to have a cobra slide into the room in search of the source of the sound.

 

Any other Bengal Lancers fans here? It played on TCM just a couple of months ago (not the best of prints, however). This was a big commercial and critical hit in 1935.

 

the-lives-of-a-bengal-lancer-gary-cooper

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