Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper

I am just starting my viewing of Gary Cooper films. Luckily I am going to CapitolFest this weekend, where he is the chosen “star” for many of the films that will be shown. Of course I think of GC as a cowboy movie actor, due to seeing High Noon in high school in the Film class I took.

Yes he was known for his westerns, particularly because he portrayed the lead in The Virginian, a seminal Western in the early talkie era.

However GC also did many many other types of films including alot with Ernest Lubitsch and other German emigre directors in the 20s and 30s. I can now appreciate how he worked to extend his range as an actor.

When we see Gary Cooper in a Western he looks like he belongs there. He looks comfortable on a horse, and from learning about his life, that fits because he grew up on a ranch in Montana and obviously know real-life men and women who worked there. And yet he was an artist, and obviously interested in the art of cinema and film and story. So from the films  Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Design for Living and Friendly Persausion we can appreciate his films as much as the westerns.

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