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  • The Westerner [1940] [VHS]
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The Westerner [1940] [VHS]

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£12.99 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by qualityfilmsfromuk.

Product details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Chill Wills, Forrest Tucker, Dana Andrews
  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Home Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: 16 Jun. 1986
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RV8K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,000 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

A moody Western with some comic moments, 'The Westerner' sees cowpoke Gary Cooper save himself from the gallows by pretending to be a friend of the famous English beauty Lillie Langtry, for whom Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan) has a passion. The two men become friends, eventually falling out over Bean's tyrannical approach to land claimants.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Director William Wyler began his career making two-reel westerns in the late 1920s, but did not return to the genre or filming outdoors until this 1940 classic. The traditional story of the conflict between the farmers and the cattlemen is represented by Gary Cooper as Cole Hardin and Walter Brennan as "Judge" Roy Bean. Hardin is brought before the self-appointed Judge ("the only law west of the Pecos") as a horse-thief. Fortunately, Hardin notices the giant pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar of the Jersey Lily (Langtry's nickname as well as the name of the Judge's bar). Playing upon Bean's love for the actress (better known as the mistress of Prince Edward), Hardin wins a two-week reprieve and becomes embroiled in the coming range war. Brennan deservedly won an Academy Award for his portrayal, but for me the star of the show is cinematographer Gregg Toland ("Citizen Kane" as well as Wyler's "Wuthering Heights). The only other western to really come close in terms of compositional artistry is "My Darling Clementine." The climatic showdown between Hardin and the Judge in the deserted auditorium Bean had bought out to watch Lily performed without being disturbed evidences Wylers touch as a director, but most of the film's memorable moments are Toland's photography, such as the young girl standing by her father's grave reading the scorched pages of the family's Bible. "The Westerner" is arguably the most cinematic film in the genre.
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Format: DVD
This film charts the fight between cattle herders and homesteaders in late C19th Texas. In particular, we focus on self-appointed judge Walter Brennan (Judge Bean) and his town of murderous cowboys who are very much on the cattle side of the land dispute. The town’s courtroom is the saloon bar. Drifter Gary Cooper is brought to Brennan for sentencing – the crime being horse theft, which, like all crimes under Brennan, carries a sentence of hanging. How will Coop escape? And who will win the land battle?

The film is slow at times and the outcome of the land battle is obvious. What makes the film interesting is the relationship between Brennan and Cooper. It’s almost a buddy-buddy film, but you know that Brennan can turn and is capable of stabbing Coop in the back at any moment. An amusing scene has Cooper stealing Brennan’s gun and riding off as Brennan goes for his gun to shoot him. It demonstrates that Brennan is not your friend. His rulings are one-sided affairs although he actually comes up with a good one that should be applied today, namely, that anyone found sober after 7pm will be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Brennan’s weakness is English actress Lily Langtry who is also at the heart of this tale. His fascination for a lady showbiz type along with his obsession with Cooper’s friendship suggests a homosexual element to his character.

So, which side would you be on in the dispute between the homesteaders and the cattlemen. What do you prefer, beef or corn? And what of the awful combination that is corned beef? Disgusting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Gary Cooper may be the star, but it's Walter Brennan as Judge Roy Bean, "the law west of the Pecos," who drives The Westerner and makes the movie interesting. William Wyler, such a superb director, has somehow given us two movies. The first one is about, you guessed it, sodbusters, regular folks like you and me who, according to Hollywood, just want to put down roots, raise their families and build decent lives. The husbands are always pulling out tree stumps and the wives are always whomping up pies. Against them ride the cattlemen, and every cliche in the book is thrown into this part of The Westerner's story.

The second movie, however, is a sly, sometimes funny and somewhat vicious story of Judge Bean, his dictatorial character and his obsession with Lily Langtry, a beautiful singer from over the seas and a woman the Judge has idealized for years. The two stories come together when Cole Hardin (Gary Cooper) drifts into the dusty collection of ramshackle buildings close to the Mexican border where the Judge runs things. Before Hardin can wet his whistle in the Judge's bar and courtroom, he's accused of being a horse thief. It takes only a few minutes for the "jury" to find him guilty and the Judge to pronounce sentence...hanging, and right now. Hardin has enough wits to notice all the pictures of the Jersey Lily the Judge has nailed to the walls, so he makes up a story about how he knows her; he even has a memento of her hair. That's enough for the Judge to postpone the hanging. Before long Hardin and the Judge are downing whiskey together ("Don't spill none of that liquor, son. It eats right into the bar.") while the Judge listens with open mouth to the stories Hardin tells about Lily Langtry.

While all this is going on those homesteaders are building fences.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 69 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
A marvelous and strikingly unique Western 30 April 2003
By Robert Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is one of the most unusual and delightful Westerns ever made. What sets it apart is the relative lack of action, the way that director William Wyler shifts most of the interest onto the relationship and interpersonal interplay between Cole Hardin (Gary Cooper, in one of his finest Western roles) and Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan). The way the two move from instant enemies, to unexpected friends, to uneasy opponents, to reluctant enemies, and finally back to sympathetic friends is masterfully portrayed. As fine as Cooper is, much of the credit lies with Brennan, who became the first person to win three acting Oscars by picking up his third Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Unlike his other Oscar wins, this role was essentially a lead role. Although many actors have portrayed Judge Roy Bean over the years, Brennan's is the definitive one, despite being the least historically accurate. If his version isn't the most faithful, it is the most compelling. He manages to be utterly absurd, dangerously unpredictable, and utterly likable at the same time.
The story essentially falls into two halves. The first involves Gary Cooper's accidental identification in Judge Bean's saloon as a horse thief, his trial and conviction, and clever manipulation of the Judge to gain a reprieve. The second half concerns Cooper's taking sides in a range war, siding with a lone female farmer against cattlemen. Both halves are brought together nicely in Cooper and Brennan's final struggle that ends the film.
Along with Walter Brennan and Gary Cooper, the real star of this film is Gregg Toland, whose cinematography rivets the viewer's attention on the screen from beginning to end. Toland, who died tragically young in 1948 at the age of 44, is universally regarded as one of the very greatest cinematographers of all time, and THE WESTERNER was one of his finest efforts in a very, very great streak of films over a relatively short period of time. In the period running from 1939-41, Toland was responsible for filming such extraordinary classics as WUTHERING HEIGHTS, THE GRAPES OF WRATH, THE WESTERNER, and CITIZEN KANE. Has any cinematographer ever had a two-year period matching this one? I saw THE WESTERNER years before I knew who Gregg Toland was, but I long retained the memory of several of the amazing shots Toland framed. He was a favorite of director William Wyler, who would employ him often during Toland's tragically short career.
Toland's photography manages to give this film an epic feel and scope, while the tensions in the relationship between Cooper and Brennan make it a highly intimate film. This is easily one of the most unique Westerns in the history of Holly, and one of the best.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
the NEW 2008 version is MUCH MUCH better than the OOP HBO issue! 17 May 2008
By Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I'm not going to review this dead bang CLASSIC...Gary Cooper at his prime, William Wyler at his....nuff said. What I am going to inform everybody is I just viewed the new MGM 2008 DVD against my long out of print HBO copy that I paid a fortune for and the differences are striking...I thought the original DVD was very good for its age...a bit grainy but with some good contrast and bite...but this new DVD looks like a print right off the original negative!!!! I can't believe they are not touting the amazing improvement but the first DVD was early in the DVD era and was obviously in retrospect a transfer from an inferior source. the verdict..If you are a classic film or western fan or a fan of Gary Coopers...this WILL be the best $10 you EVER spent!!! Yee Haaa!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Cooper cracks necks with the best of em' 18 Dec. 2002
By Maddox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The Westerner is simply one of the best westerns ever made. It starts of course with Gregg Toland's incredible cinematography. "The Westerner" has all of the classic elements of the genre, the lonesome drifter (Cooper), the half-evil judge (Brennan as Judge Roy Bean), the "searching-for-a-real-man" woman, the gang of thug rustlers (played by a gang of various thugs), the wimpy farmers (played by a bunch of wimpy farmers), the raunchy bar-room singer (played by a lock of golden hair), and the climatic shoot-out (Cooper versus Brennan). The scenes that steal the movie are those in which Cooper kindly agress to gently crack Judge Roy Beans stiff neck with a quick twist. You can hear the pops and also feel the relief as you watch.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Unrestored DVD 21 Nov. 2000
By Icepick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It's a very good film but I knock the score down for the shoddy quality of the DVD. Graininess is apparent throughout. There are also some bad scars on the film that show up. Most annoying was a frequent change in contrast. The film would jump to a faded condition, sometimes in the middle of the scene. This movie would be a real prize with a restored print on DVD. Let's hope they get around to it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Classic Cooper/Brennan Western 28 Mar. 2008
By Terence Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Take a real life Western character (the notorious Western judge Judge Roy Bean), add one of the genre's sturdiest heroes (Gary Cooper), and you have the makings of a Western movie classic.

"The Westerner," starring Cooper and his good friend and frequent co-star Walter Brennan as Judge Bean, does what Hollywood does so well - take a pinch of truth, a heap for fiction, and mixes them for a pleasing theatrical stew. Cooper plays a wandering cowpoke who runs afoul of Bean's kangaroo court, and gets accused of horsestealing (a hanging offense in most courts, but definitely in Judge Bean's horse thieves). The cowpoke gets off by convincing the judge he knows famous actress and Lilly Langtry, who the judge desperately wants to meet. Cooper strings Bean along to keep himself out of trouble, but gets back into trouble when he sees that Bean and the townspeople are trying to run a group of homesteaders out of the country. Cooper decides to help the homesteaders, putting himself on a collision course with Bean.

Brennan won one of three Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for this film, and it's no mystery why he won. Both charming and contemptible, his Judge Roy Bean is quaintly naive and corruptibly sinster. His interaction with Cooper throughout the film is masterful in its complexity and psychology. Cooper is his usually solid, quiet hero who says a lot with few words. Backed by solid Western supporting stars like Chill Wills and Forrest Tucker, "The Westerner" is a wonderful Western, and great to see it rereleased on DVD.
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