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Friday, 29 May 2009

Man of the West


Man of the West
1958 USA 100 mins
Directed Anthony Mann

A dark western for both the star and the director and one of those films that truly deserves the western noir tag - Jean Luc Godard hailed it as lesson in modern cinema, a tale of Oedipal sub-texts, rape, murder and insanity. It is, without a doubt, Anthony Mann's masterpiece.

James Stewart was originally intended for the main role but when the actor fell out with the director is was handed to Cooper - as good as Stewart was it is hard to think of him doing a better job as the tortured hero than Gary Cooper

When the train he is on is robber Link Jones (Cooper) find himself reluctantly reuinted with his old gang, led by the sadistic Tobin, played with relish by Lee J. Cobb.

This is a superb western that still manages to shock today. And is truly deserving of the classic status it enjoys.

2 comments:

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

I love this movie. Jack Lord is as far removed from Hawaii Five-O's Steve McGarrett in this role. He was nasty and gave a great performance in the presence of his cinematic hero, Cooper.

Paul Brazill said...

top film and yes Jack Lord is amazing in it.