Spotlight: Gary Cooper

January 5, 2009 by Derrick Faw · 3 Comments
Filed under: Cinephile 
Sergeant York (1941)

Sergeant York (1941)

This month TCM France (Turner Classic Movies) spotlights famed actor Frank James (Gary) Cooper. Each day will air a film from Cooper’s long and fruitful career. In nearly 40 years he played over 100 roles in some of Hollywood’s most memorable films. Though known for his dashing appearance, quite demeanor and restrained emotion, he was capable of powerful portrayals and a very unique sense of humor. He was born in 1901 in Helena, Montana, where he had a tough time making a living as a young man. After several failed attempts he would move to LA with his family in 1924, where he thought it was better to starve and be warm than to starve and freeze also. Eventually he would try his hand in the film industry and appeared as an extra in several films. Cooper, or Coop as his acquaintances called him, eventually broke through a major Hollywood star with The Virginian by Victor Fleming in 1929. Which coincidentally was his first talkie. Throughout the remainder of his career he would work with many of the great directors, such as: Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Henry Hathaway, Cecil B. DeMille, William Wyler, Robert Aldrich, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Delmer Daves, Fritz Lang, Raoul Walsh, Anthony Mann, Michael Curtiz, William Wellman, and John Ford to name a few. He would portray such real life characters as Lou Gehrig, Marco Polo, Wild Bill Hickok. Famed World War I hero Alvin York would only allow a film of his life’s story provided that he would be portrayed by Cooper in Howard Hawk’s Sergeant York. I look forward to seeing some Cooper films absent from our collection. As a general rule, when we get one of his films it is always pushed to the front of list on the shelf of movies to watch. Thanks TCM.

One Sunday Afternoon (1933)

One Sunday Afternoon (1933)


The Virginian (1939)


Meet John Doe (1941)


High Noon (1952)


Man Of The West (1958)

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