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Plot:

On his way to hire a schoolteacher, a homesteader is left a hundred miles from anywhere when the train he is on is robbed. With him are an attractive dancehall girl and an untrustworthy gambler and he decides to get shelter nearby from outlaw relatives he used to run with. They don’t trust him and he loathes them but they decide he can help them with one last bank job.

Also Known As: Der Mann aus dem Westen West, Mannen från Västern, L'homme de l'Ouest, Batili adam, Mannen från västern, Човек от Запада, Dove la terra scotta, Ish Ha-Marav, Seibu no hito, Man of the West, Czlowiek z Zachodu, El hombre del Oeste, Человек с запада Soviet, O Homem do Oeste, Om al Vestului, O anthropos tis dyseos, Der Mann aus dem Westen, Muz zo Západu, Muz ze Západu, Mies lännestä, A vadnyugati ember, Covek sa zapada, Manden fra Vesten, Ο Άνθρωπος της Δύσης

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  • emily-cole
    emily cole

    There’s a lot to like about this excellent Anthony Mann Western.Great “passing of the West” theme.Great tension and dramatic plot developmentReally good supporting acting. Lee J. Cobb gives a bravura performance. Jack Lord is tremendous as the henchman. Great work by John Dehner as Link’s cousin. It’s hard to take Dehner seriously, because he appeared so many “B” pictures and TV westerns. But here he comes across as a legit “A” list supporting actor. Julie London is surprisingly effective and Arthur O’Connell provides solid support as well.However, there were a number of things that prevented this movie from being better:Gary Cooper’s just way too old for this role. The logic of the its own plot says he should be 40 or so, while he looks like he’s 60. That also hurts in the creepy romantic subplot with Julie London, a woman nearly 30 years his junior.As is typical in many Anthony Mann movies, there are gaping plot holes. Mainly the preposterous coincidence that Link gets left by the train within short walking distance of his old hideout – and his whole gang is sitting right there, even though he hasn’t been anywhere near the place in over a decade.Another plot hole, how could Tobin possibly not have known that Lassoo was a ghost town. He seemed to know a ton about the gold kept there. Also, it also wasn’t much of a town, what, 10 buildings in total. How much money was in that bank? Another case of Mann deciding he wanted a climactic shoot out in a small ghost town and not ensuring that the plot sets it up properly.I thought the rape scenes – graphic for their time – were gratuitous.I didn’t see the point of killing the Mexican woman in Lassoo. Mann seems sadistic at times.At the end Link and Billie ride off into the sunset, but isn’t the whole territory out looking for Link now? Claude said the telegraph wires were “burning” that the sheriff had identified him. What about his horse back in Crosscut? Also, he told everyone where he was from. Won’t they hunt him down in his home town now?It may sound like I’m nitpicking, but all these things add up and most of them aren’t necessary. Mann was just very sloppy with plot details. I like to give credit to directors who went to the trouble to preserve the integrity of their stories.

  • michelle-mater
    michelle mater

    I tend to love anything that Anthony Mann touches, and this movie no exception. Mann’s Noir films seem as much the work of DP John Alton as Mann, but with this western Mann proves himself a brilliant collaborator with big name DPs by teaming with vibrant color specialist Ernest Haller (of Gone With the Wind fame). The film’s primary color is green- unspoiled, like the grass of the landscapes of nineteenth-century north Texas, but also bringing to mind all that is least reassuring about nature, its capacity to engulf and disorient. This is a very unconventional western. But unlike many films that adopt a western milieu but do not want to succumb to the genre’s tired traditions Man of the West does not self-consciously invert or critique those conventions. It silently, yet almost defiantly, ignores them. Throughout his career, Mann was brilliant at the subtle evocation of cruelty. But this film is his most potent portrayal of depravity. The scenes in the villains’ layer reminded me of nothing less than those in Lynch’s Blue Velvet that focus on Frank and his crew. The primary difference is that Frank is a kind of anti-God, his awfulness seems like a conduit of a cosmic menace. Mann’s monsters are fully of this world. Indeed, they are depraved in the fullest sense of the word- violent and deranged, yet also degraded and debased. Nor is the nameless (or is it multi-named?) protagonist, played by Gary Cooper whose “acting” doesn’t drag this work down like it does in many of his movies, a true western hero. He is presented as a good man, or at least a vastly better person than are his opponents, yet the violence he uses to dispatch his enemies is not transcendental, heroic violence. He’s just a more clever and sneaky, talented murderer than are his foes. This is not good triumphing over evil. It is the strong exterminating the weak, and this deflates any sense of the film’s “happy” ending giving credence to any mythology of the west. This is not myth, this is a nasty little tale of people killing people, and it feels so much more profound for it. Some of my favorite moments in art arise from what I might call accidental philosophizing- when a work, almost in spite of itself, describes something in a new way that forces one to abandon, if only for a second, preconceived notions of what that work, and maybe our world, can be. There is an exchange of dialogue in this film that is a prime example: “I used to live here.” “Were you a boy then?” “I don’t know what I was.”

  • renee-ledoux
    renee ledoux

    Anthony Mann’s “Man Of The West” is a standard Western ruined by terrible casting- Gary Cooper is completely wrong for the role of Link.Every actor has a Prime, and Cooper’s was in the 30’s & 40’s, playing earnest everymen (“Meet John Doe”) or courageous cowboys (“High Noon.”) In “Man Of The West” Gary Cooper was 57 years old, 3 years away from death, and entirely unbelievable as a reformed gangster captured by his old gang. Cooper’s screen charm was as a world-weary soul with a heart of gold. It’s impossible to believe he was once a ruthless cowboy who killed, raped, and robbed. Even Jimmy Stewart looked out of place in Westerns… Jimmy belonged in a suit.Anyway, if you didn’t know that casting is half of the performance you do now. Move along.GRADE: C

  • avram-stoica
    avram stoica

    If you are looking to read a synopsis for this film, you won’t find one in this review, for many have already adequately done so. But I will say, I found Man of the West an extremely entertaining film to watch if you are a staunch fan of adult western genre as I am, and this film was not made for Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers type, I will also add that Man of the West was a triumphal exit from western films for director Anthony Mann. Dramatic and powerful gritty acts of violence played by ruthless characters, along with the balance of Gary Cooper’s reformed outlaw character trying to keep himself and Julie London alive, brings forth some tense suspenseful moments. Man of the West achieves all that is expected from an above average western with some surprisingly risqué scenes for a 1958 film involving Julie London’s character forced to strip for the brutish outlaw gang while Cooper looks on helplessly with a knife being held at his throat, as the clothes come off the blood begins to trickle down Cooper’s neck. I give all the actors credit for their fine performances and the highest quality cinematography enhances this well paced story. Man of the West is a must see film for Gary Cooper and Julie London fans alike. Many will be surprised by the ruthless character Jack Lord plays with extremely realistic acting. This 1958 film still reaps plenty of exciting adult western entertainment.

  • amiran-p-eraze
    amiran p eraze

    Man of the West, the film that Jean-Luc Godard called the best one of 1958 when he was at Cashiers du cinema, is both brutal and sad in how it places its characters into states of being no one can really get out of. One may call it fate or just bad luck when Link Jones finds himself off the train taking him back to his home and finds the one place he’d rather not go to is the only one close by (and happens to have his Uncle Dock Tobin and his cousins), but much of it comes back to the domination of MEN in this world; the ‘Man’ of the title is meant to be Gary Cooper, and yet it could be any of the men in here. What does it mean to be a man here? For those people wanting someone with honor and integrity, one might look to Cooper’s character.What’s fascinating is how much of an inner struggle he is having as he comes back to his former home, where his uncle taught him to be a “man” along with his cousins and it was in the ways of being a robber and a killer. He tried to leave that life behind, but somehow, some way, he’s pulled back in to it (not that his face possibly tipping off an old-time marshall won’t get the old wanted posters out again). So when he happens along to his former criminal, gunslinging, bank-robbing kin when off of this train with a good woman (Julie London as Billie) and Arthur O’Connell as a man who seems like a possible annoyance at first (and who isn’t so much once the drama really unfolds), it creates an instant conflict.This is Mann’s territory, of the dysfunctional families out in the west (see also Winchester 73 with the brothers who have gone down very different roads of killing, or The Furies with its father-daughter power struggles), and he mines it for some rich dramatic terrain. it’s amazing so much of this movie works even when knowing what isn’t quite right about it – the age disparity is hard not to see, with Cooper trying to play younger (and, to be fair, not doing a terrible job), and Lee J. Cobb as his *uncle* with a gray wig and some make-up that isn’t wholly convincing, certainly on first glance, not to mention his character was a “kid” with one actor half his age – because the acting sells every tension-packed moment. And few moments are more tense and sad and almost tough to watch as when the men demand that Billie take off her clothes in front of them (it takes a knife to Cooper’s throat to convince her to start doing it).That, by the way, has the feel of a rape scene because it is (later, off-screen, there is another, and Mann shows us enough of the aftermath and London is heartbreaking in every moment that Billie is put through the wringer), and yet the only thing that stops that violation of her agency to go further is that “Uncle Dock” says it’s time for bed. Man of the West is the kind of film that gains in uneasiness and violence, including a fight scene midway through the movie that does not look fun like many, more possible hacky directors (or just more “commercial” minded) might have done. At one point it’s Cooper vs one of this gang and it goes on and on, feeling not unlike something out of the fight scene from They Live only without the sense of over the top spectacle. This is rough and ragged and there’s a point where the “movie” ness of it goes away and it’s just watching two bedraggled men duking it out – including, ultimately, a “humiliation” that Link does that seems to set off this guy more than a simple shot to the head might do.What on the surface may seem like a straightforward thriller turns into a moral tale about the implicit terror that masculinity brings to people in the old west – not unlike Winchester 73 a subtle commentary on the form while getting to be it, in the 1950’s of course – and Cobb makes this uncle an imposing presence over everyone (how could he not, after all, he’s Lee J friggin Cobb!) Cooper brings a sad dignity to the man, someone who no longer wants to kill, and at the same time can spring into action if he’s pushed into a corner, which, you know, is what this movie could also be called: Cornered in the West or something like that. Mann and his writers have here less a story that’s meant to arouse excitement as much as contemplating what it fully means when someone gets shot, what that violence entails, or what happens when a woman is stripped away down to what she’s “made” for (when she Billie says to Link that he’s the first man she can remember in a long time, if ever, to not look at her as something to be “had” or defiled, we believe it). And yet London as an actress gives her a ton of screen presence and little moments that don’t make her one dimensional.It may fall short of being a “best of 1958” like Mr. Godard said, but I can see his love for the movie: it’s more concerned with ideas and notions of the old west than having it be just empty action and gunfights, and exploring the psychology, to be pretentious about it, of the west itself, of what an outlaw family entails and then what it means to be a *good* person in a world where it’s so easy to get a gun and go out and shoot for cash and gold. 8.5/10

  • pan-alex-rymarz
    pan alex rymarz

    With Man of the West, Mann created the flat out best series of westerns ever made in America. Period. Not Ford, Boetticer, Peckinpah, or anyone else is in rifle range now. Ford still owns second place with My Darling Clementine which is pound for pound better than this one, and Red River still beats Clementine, but, my God, when all of these are stacked up together its no wonder that there is nobody around to even want to beat them. And I am leaving out Raoul Walsh in the bargain. And even in such a glittering mist, Man of the West owns a pretty fine piece of territory.The opening is perhaps a bit weak, and the plot from then on worse than thin: very convenient that this band of outlaws are still living at the same house where Cooper killed with them, and about five or six other ludicrosities, but what the hell, give yourself over to just watching yourself plopped into a writhing snake den and you will be just fine. It’s the last third of the film that is near perfection, only a few films rivaling it in intensity, the last 30 of Touch of Evil, Citizen Kane, Clementine, Red River, and very few others. The weakness of the first and middle perhaps is what led the critics of the day to overlook the brilliance of the last of it. But from the moment of Cooper taunting Lord to sneak up behind him to start their fight, it just never lets up. The fight is astonishing, not as good as one has noted here,kicking and hitting brawl in Treasure of Sierra Madre, and Fritz Lang has a great tooth and claw one in Cloak and Dagger, but this one is pretty damned amazing, and then the buildup to Lassoo, killing of Trout, and THEN the shootout between Cooper and Dehner is just as good as the great, if longer one in Clementine. By then Mann had learned to simplify and strip his camera, let it roam some: nobody with a functioning set of eyes will not wind up hypnotized with this shootout. Absolutely fabulous. Then the King Lear like nod comes with Cooper returning to the raped Julie London and mad white haired Lee j. Cobb, and Mann once again shoots a finale in echoing rocks, also quite nice, and somehow even the hokey words of London as they ride off into the hills almost works. Don’t miss this one.It’s pure greatness.

  • jeppe-henriksen
    jeppe henriksen

    Link Jones is on his way to Fort Worth to hire a schoolteacher, having left his wife and children behind, Link appears to be the epitome of the simple honest man. However, the train he is on is robbed by outlaws, thus meaning that Link’s past and his dubious family ties are all careering towards a day of reckoning.This was Anthony Mann’s second to last foray into the Western genre, and perhaps his most clinical as regards a structured tale of men as complicated as they are conflicted? I always find with Mann’s Westerns that a sense of doom hangs heavy, there are very few directors in Western cinema history who have this knack of filling the viewer with such a pervading feeling of unease. Here we have Gary Cooper as Link, on the surface an amiable man, but the sequence of events see him thrust back into a life he thought had long since gone. The term that a leopard never changes its spots sits rather well, but here we find Mann fleshing out his lead character with an acknowledgement that a former life has passed, with Cooper perfectly transcending this well scripted arc.The striking thing about it though, is that Mann’s characters are not the quintessential good versus bad characters, these are just men with their own individual hang ups, they all are fallible human beings, which is something that surely we all can identity with. The acting across the board here is top notch, Cooper is excellent, replacing Mann’s stock Western muse, James Stewart, he cements his earthy and identifiable worth wholesale. Lee J. Cobb actually is the glue that holds the film together, his portrayal of Dock Tobin perfectly plays alongside Cooper’s emotive showing of Link Jones’s confliction. Negatively though, we are asked to believe that Gary Cooper is Lee J. Cobb’s nephew, with a difference of ten years between the two men that has to be a casting error one feels.Still, the film comes highly recommended, the intelligence and dark atmosphere of the piece marks it out for worthwhile emotional investment, whilst Cooper’s two main fights (both different) are seriously great cinema. 8.5/10

  • valter-jarc
    valter jarc

    Here’s another overrated “critics favorite.” Many of the critics complain about how this film got little notice when it came out “but it was really a gem.” Well, the public was right and they were wrong. It deserved the lousy reception it got.This is a boring piece of junk with mean edge to it….too mean an edge, which is probably why the critics liked it. They relate better to movies featuring evil, which this does. Lee J. Cobb’s gang is crude, nasty and just plain no fun to watch. Cobb rants and raves most of the film, which gets aggravating in a hurry. An aging Gary Cooper has a sour face most of the way through which pretty sums up most people’s feeling about this sour movie.

  • klas-hellstrom
    klas hellstrom

    Great scenery spoiled by some of the poorest acting and a wholly unimaginative screenplay. Even the action scenes are lousy peaking with the phoniest fight between Gary Cooper and Jack Lord. The favorable reviews raised my expectations. Cooper can be a bit of a stiff so I wasn’t expecting the movie to challenge personal favorites of the oater genre – The Searchers or True Grit – but I wasn’t expecting a Western version of the laughable Poseidon Adventure.I’d rather have spent the time walking around the film locations in the middle of the summer.

  • viktor-ghazanch-yan
    viktor ghazanch yan

    Look, anything with Gary Cooper in it I’ll look at. And, looking at Mann’s filmography, I have loved his films too. “The Far Country” is one of my frontier favorites. And, by the way, there is some wonderful photography in this film. But I have to believe this thing was at TURKEY out of the box.First, the part he played had to have been written for someone who was 35 years old AT MOST, and not the very aging 50+ he appears–and then, here he is, reuniting with an Uncle, Lee J. Cobb, who is young enough to be COOPER’s nephew.The final scene, in which Cooper berates his “Uncle”, and tells him that “you are a ghost,” was a most unfortunate pronouncement on his own role in this clinker.I found it completely miscast, poorly acted, in fact, the acting was if no one could believe their lines or the action in the movie.

  • george-fleming
    george fleming

    A nice guy, Gary Cooper’s career had run out of steam by the 1950s and he made a string of mostly undistinguished Westerns. “Man of the West” is one of the better ones, directed by Mad Anthony Mann. Mann was the fellow responsible for reviving Jimmy Stewart’s post-war career as a dramatic actor in some brutal Westerns.Cooper isn’t that good a replacement for Stewart. As an actor, he’s not as good at projecting anguish or rage. And he’s older. When he’s knocked down in a fist fight or falls to the floor after being wounded, there’s a painful quality about the scene because no one enjoys seeing the limbs of a tall and elderly man flailing about.Yet, this is pretty rugged stuff — due to the direction and performances, not the screenplay. The plot has Cooper and two other innocents left behind by a train in the middle of nowhere. They’re a hundred miles from the nearest town, so Cooper leads them to a sprawling shack whose location he recalls from his young, more reckless days. Alas, the shack is still occupied by Cooper’s one-time companion, Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb), and his gang of four, including some sterling character actors like the mute Royal Dano, the retarded Robert Wilkes, the wolfish Jack Lord, and the thoughtful John Dehner.Cooper had wised up and ridden away from the gang years ago but Dock welcomes him back, believing he means to stay. He also welcomes one of Cooper’s companions, the Hollywood-glamorized Julie London, for somewhat different reasons. The third companion, Arthur O’Connell, generates no interest in the gang. O’Connell’s character’s name is Sam Beasley, which tells you just about all you need to know. For what it’s worth, O’Connell and Jack Lord give the two most notable performances. Lord fights Cooper in a jagged scene, and Cooper humiliates and tears Lord’s clothes off in public. A memorable fist fight.Anyway, Cooper claims that Julie London is his woman and goes along with Dock’s assumption that Cooper is here to stay. He isn’t, of course, and when the bullets fly at the end, in the ghost town, Cooper and London are left standing.Cobb’s Dock Tobin is a slob but a sentimental one. He puts a stop to Jack Lord’s rape of Julie London and otherwise keeps order among his wild gang. One doesn’t REALLY want to see him killed. He’s not pure evil, like Jack Lord. So in order to justify Cooper’s shooting of Dock, the writers have him rape Julie London in Cooper’s absence. It’s out of character but provides the viewer with some sense of satisfied revenge as we watch the plugged Dock roll endlessly down a long steep hill, bouncing, flapping, but always downward as if that rolling will never stop, looking remarkably like the stock market the day after I get giddy enough to dip a toe in it.One of the major irritations I had with this movie, common to the genre, are the names of the characters. My own extensive research of real cowboy names reveals that Link never occurs, nor Matt, Luke, or Clint. The three most common names in fact are Alistair, Governeur, and Montmorency. Will these clichés never end?As a Western, above average for the 1950s but not by much.

  • terlan-aysoy-firat
    terlan aysoy firat

    Released in 1958 and directed by Anthony Mann, “Man of the West” stars Gary Cooper as a reformed owlhoot who becomes stranded with two others (Julie London & Arthur O’Connell) in the Arizona wilderness after their train is ambushed. They eventually make their way to a hidden ranch in the rolling hills, which ushers in phantoms of the ex-outlaw’s past.This is hailed as a cult classic and it’s obvious why: To compete with so-called adult TV Westerns of the mid-late 50s, like Gunsmoke, Cheyenne, Maverick and the brutal The Rifleman (for which Sam Peckinpah directed several segments), Mann made “Man of the West” so ‘adult’ that there would be no comparison. He obviously wanted to spur people away from their TV sets and into the theater, along with the added attractions of widescreen, color, spectacular locations and just all-around superior filmmaking.What’s so ‘adult’ about “Man of the West”? The portrait of the West it paints is decidedly harsh with its band of psychotic killers and an ex-outlaw as a protagonist who’s constantly on the verge of letting loose his long-held-in-check violent nature to stamp out the specters of his past. On top of this you have risqué and risky moments for the era (which are rather tame today), like London’s character being forced to strip in front of the dudes and an off-screen rape. The other gang members, by the way, are played by Jack Lord, John Dehner, Royal Dano and Robert J. Wilke.Some reviewers criticize the film for reasons that aren’t very justified; for instance, the fact that Lee J. Cobb, who plays the half-mad uncle of Link (Cooper), was ten years younger than Cooper. Yet Cooper’s role was originally slated for the younger Stewart Granger. (James Stewart, Mann’s go-to man in five of his previous Westerns, desperately wanted the role, but Mann overlooked him due to their falling out during the pre-production of 1957’s “Night Passage” wherein Mann pulled out). In any case, Cobb is made out to be about 10-12 years older than Link and I think it works for the most part, particularly since Cooper was still lean & mean at 56 during shooting, although his character is supposed to be 20 years younger. (Cooper would incidentally pass away a mere four years later). True, Link’s face looks withered, but it could be argued that that’s what a hard life in the Old West does to a man.Another criticism is the idea that Dock believed the bank in Lassoo would be full of money when the settlement turns out to be a virtual ghost town. Yet ghost towns were birthed overnight back then when mines would suddenly shut down, etc. The looney Dock obviously based his scheme on data from years earlier and an update on the town’s status hadn’t yet come to him or his gang. They were used to hiding out in their spare time and there was no internet or cell phones. Where’s the beef? That said, there are some justifiable criticisms, like the surreal and lame melodramatics, the slow-pace and the dubiously choreographed fist fight sequence. These elements are so bad they might send modern viewers running away screaming. Thankfully, lame aspects like this went out of vogue by the 60s.If you can roll with these issues and enter into the world of the movie, however, it has a number of attractions, including the subtext: Cooper’s character is named Link because he represents the link between the barbaric and the cultured, the primitive (his old gang) and the civilized (his new life). Unfortunately, with the gift of volition some people inevitably choose to eschew progress and continue in their ape-headed, animalistic ways (which is actually offensive to animals).After the aborted train robbery, Link starts to recognize his old stomping grounds and is drawn to the hidden shack for shelter & refreshment; yet perhaps also to revisit his past and “the good ol’ days.” He vacillates between his new identity and the temptation of regressing to the wild “freedom” of his lawless youth.Interestingly, “Man of the West” is very similar to the slightly superior “The Law and Jake Wade,” which debuted four months earlier. As good as the subtext is in “Man” it’s meatier in “The Law” (see my review), which is also a little less talky and melodramatic. Yet “Man” has since emerged as a cult classic while “The Law” has fallen into obscurity; no doubt because the latter lacks the two strip sequences and the iconic Cooper.Although obviously flawed, “Man of the West” was the precursor of the Leone and Peckinpah styled Westerns that came into fashion in the mid-late 60s. The grim, laconic Link is the predecessor of future antiheroes, like Eastwood’s ‘Man with No Name,’ but Link is better IMO because he has more human dimension.BEST LINE: “There’s a point where you either grow up and become a human being or you rot, like that bunch.” The film runs 100 minutes and was shot entirely in California (Santa Clarita, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Jamestown, Thousand Oaks, Newhall, Sonora and the Mohave Desert, with studio-bound scenes done in West Hollywood). The script was written by Reginald Rose from Will C. Brown’s book “The Border Jumpers.” GRADE: B-

  • john-liu
    john liu

    “Man of the West” is one of the best westerns ever made–some would say THE best western ever made. It is far superior to the vastly over-rated “The Searchers,” which came out during the same time period. Anthony Mann, who directed noir films of the 40’s did even better with the western genre. “Man of the West” is just as timely today as when it first appeared and has aged well like good wine. Psychological insight is provided on gang mentality and morality. This insight works as well with the outlaw gangs of the old west as it would if applied to the street gangs of today. What makes the Crips and the Bloods families of violence and disorder with their own brand of morality also tied the members of the western gangs together. In “Man of the West” the gang is actually made up of genetic family members. The acting is superior by all concerned. I would like to mention one actor that usually does not get his just desserts. Royal Dano does what was probably his best acting in this film as the mute Trout, who doesn’t utter a sound until he runs dying down the streets of the ghost town. Then he utters a blood-curdling cry somewhere between a yelp and a scream. What I have written only skims the surface of a multi-leveled study of human behavior and interacting during the waning days of the old west. This is one of those movies that can be seen again and again with many new and fresh interpretations and ideas.

  • monique-larson
    monique larson

    Tense , violent ,epic Western in which Gary Cooper , Lee J Cobb and Julie London stand out . Brilliant and taut Western with wonderful use of locations and top-of-the-range cast . Gary Cooper is the Man of the West , a reformed outlaw called Link Jones (Gary Cooper , he bravely did his own horse-riding scenes despite physical pain from a car accident years earlier though) becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers (Julie London , Arthur O’Connell) . Cooper is forced to rejoin his ex-colleague (Lee J Cobb) and ex-boss to save himself and other innocent people from the band’s (Jack Lord , Robert J Wilke, Royal Dano) mistreatment .Magnificent Western plenty of thrills , shootouts , violence , gorgeous landscapes and results to be pretty entertaining . This excellent Western deserves another look at 1958 , nowadays is better considered then the 50s when was dismissed . In spite of its violence that influenced in Spaghetti Western , ¨Man of the West¨ turns out to be an essential and indispensable Western for hardcore aficionados . Jean-Luc Godard, a film critic before he became a director, raved about the film saying it was the best film of that year ; because of his recommendation, the film has been reevaluated and is now considered a classic western . Gary Cooper is frankly well in the role that fits him like a gun fits a holster .Gary Cooper was, at 56, a decade older than Lee J. Cobb who played his “Uncle” Dock Tobin , in the film Cooper and John Dehner talk about being children together , Dehner was actually fourteen years younger than Cooper . However , Stewart Granger was originally announced for the lead role and James Stewart eagerly sought the role played by Gary Cooper, but since Stewart had fallen out with director Anthony Mann he did not get the part . Very good support cast formed by notorious secondaries such as Jack Lord , Royal Dano , Robert J Wilke , Arthur O’Connell , Frank Ferguson and special mention to Lee J Cobb . Colorful cinematography in CinemaScope by Ernest Haller . Powerful and thrilling musical score by Leigh Harline . This top-drawer Western was stunningly realized by the master Anthony Mann , infusing the traditional Western with psychological confusion , including his characteristic use of landscape with marvelous use of outdoors which is visually memorable . Mann established his forte with magnificent Western almost always with James Stewart . In his beginnings he made ambitious but short-lived quality low-budget surroundings of Eagle-Lion production as ¨T-men¨ , ¨They walked by night¨ , ¨Raw deal¨ , ¨Railroaded¨ and ¨Desperate¨ . Later on , he made various Western , remarkably good , masterpieces such as ¨The furies¨ , and ¨Devil’s doorway¨ and several with his habitual star , James Stewart, as ¨Winchester 73¨ , ¨Bend the river¨ and ¨The far country¨ . They are characterized by roles whose determination to stick to their guns would take them to the limits of their endurance . Others in this throughly enjoyable series include ¨Tin star ¨ and ¨Man of the West¨ is probably one of the best Western in the fifties and sixties . After the mid-50 , Mann’s successes came less frequently , though directed another good Western with Victor Mature titled ¨The last frontier¨. And of course ¨Man of the West ¨ that turns out to be stylish , fast paced , solid , meticulous , with enjoyable look , and most powerful and well-considered . This well acted movie is gripping every step of the way . It results to be a splendid western and remains consistently agreeable . Rating : Above average , the result is a top-of-range Western . Well worth watching and it will appeal to Gary Cooper fans .

  • mesrop-lazaryan
    mesrop lazaryan

    Link Jones (Gary Cooper) is a former outlaw, coming from the west to hire a schoolteacher to his small town with the savings of the locals. A gang robs the train where Link is traveling, including his luggage with the money, the train successfully escapes from them, but the singer Billie Ellis (Julie London), Sam Beasley (Arthur O´Connell) and him are accidentally left behind, in an isolated place many miles far from any city. The next train will pass by the region only a week later, and they look for a shelter for the cold night. They find an abandoned ranch where Link used to live. However, the gang who stole the train is lodged there, and further, Link was a member of this gang. He introduces Billie as his wife, and says that he decided to return to the group. A tense, dramatic and violent relationship develops between Link and the group, with tragic consequences. This western is very different from the others, without action, but having dramatic psychological drama instead, including a claustrophobic situation in the house. Gary Cooper plays a protective good man who wants to forget his past; Julie London’s role is a lonely woman, who does not love any man or anything, but who falls in love with Link; and the performances of the `bad guys’ are fantastic. This movie is really a classic western. My vote is eight.Title (Brazil): `O Homem do Oeste’ (`The Man of the West)

  • topias-koskinen
    topias koskinen

    “Man of the West”, being an Anthony Mann directed western, contains a good deal of violence. Usually starring James Stewart, this one stars Gary Cooper in one of the best roles of his career. The story centers on Cooper as a reformed outlaw who boards a train with Julie London as a saloon girl and Arthur O’Connell as a fast talking gambler. Along the way, the train is held up and the three are left behind. They stumble upon a shack that turns out to be the hide out of the men who had held up the train. Led by a slightly mad Lee J. Cobb, the gang includes Jack Lord as Cobb’s sadistic henchman and veteran western performers John Dehner, Robert J. Wilke and Royal Dano as the other gang members. Turns out that Cooper had once been a member of Cobb’s gang. There is a violent fight between Cooper and Lord that is the highlight of the film. There is also an graphic (for the time) shootout in a deserted town and the ultimate showdown between Cooper and Cobb at the end. Cooper was a little long in the tooth at the time to be believable as Cobb’s protege (Cobb was actually 10 years younger), but that can be overlooked due to the excellent performances by both actors. London has little to do but O’Connell is excellent as the gambler who finds his courage. “Man of the West” is arguably one of Cooper’s best.

  • linus-martensson
    linus martensson

    GARY COOPER plays a man haunted by his shady past when he’s stranded by the side of the railroad tracks after a train robbery, along with JULIE London and ARTHUR O’CONNELL. He finds shelter for them in a shack inhabited by several former gang members he’d been associated with, including his derelict uncle LEE J. COBB, the boisterous head of the gang. JACK LORD is the prize villain of the piece, almost unrecognizable as the man who later starred in “Hawaii Five-0” of TV fame.But the story is a nasty one, none of the desperadoes worth caring about and Cooper is unable to do much with his role of reformed outlaw trying to turn his life around and save schoolteacher/singer London from the clutches of an evil gang.He manages to do exactly that, in the course of the film’s running time but by that time there’s been such extravagant over-the-top acting by LEE J. COBB (he chews every piece of scenery to bits) as opposed to Cooper’s “man of a few words” anti-hero, played with such lethargy by Cooper that you have to suspect he was already feeling the signs of illness that would take his life a few years later. He looks aged and worn, remaining stoic throughout in what has to be one of the stiffest performances he ever gave in a western.There’s a violent physical battle between Cooper and Lord where it’s obvious that a stuntman is filling in for Gary in the long shots. The role should have been played by a much younger man. JACK LORD gives one of the film’s best performances as the most ornery of Cobb’s sons.***** POSSIBLE SPOILER ***** The final showdown after a gun battle in which Cooper emerges the hero has him confronting LEE J. COBB and telling him he’s “taking him in” so society can punish him. Cobb resists and starts shooting and then Cooper has no choice but to shoot him. Cobb’s fall down the side of a steep, rocky hillside is the last word in dramatic death falls as he flails around and stumbles to his resting place. It seemed a fittingly over-dramatic end to Cobb’s larger than life performance here.Summing up: Downbeat western has little new to offer and Cooper’s tired look doesn’t serve the character well.

  • hr-mathias-holst
    hr mathias holst

    Anthony Mann directed this surprisingly tough (for its era) and gritty western about an ex-outlaw (Gary Cooper) who, along with a card-sharp and a pretty woman, is left stranded after gun-toting thieves rob a train, only to end up taking refuge with the bloodthirsty gang–his former partners, led by his uncle. Screenwriter Reginald Rose, adapting Will C. Brown’s book “The Border Jumpers” (a better title!), appears to have been given free reign in regards to the adult content of the story, and some of the sequences–particularly a nasty one wherein knife-wielding Jack Lord commands Julie London to strip in front of the men–are unsettling. Cooper is too old for the lead, and his budding relationship with London seems to bloom off-screen (at first she’s a wise, jaded cookie, but too soon becomes the proverbial lovestruck female, turned soft by her victimization). Ernest Haller’s cinematography is excellent, as is Leigh Harline’s score, but the picture is almost overwhelmed by its own unpleasantness, and by Lee J. Cobb’s growling, snarling performance as Cooper’s grizzled relative. ** from ****

  • romy-van-velzen
    romy van velzen

    Man of the West is a fine gritty western with Gary Cooper stepping into the James Stewart parts in those 50s Anthony Mann westerns.Mann and Stewart during the 50s did eight films, five of them westerns. and some of the best westerns ever made. They were on the set of a sixth, Night Passage, when they quarreled and Mann walked out. I’m sure that both The Tin Star and Man of the West were properties that he originally developed with James Stewart in mind. But at least in this one Gary Cooper pinch hits admirably.The key here is incest. Gary Cooper is former outlaw Link Jones trying to live his past down. He’s on the way with his town’s savings for a schoolteacher. The train is held up by the Doc Tobin gang and while he eludes them in the holdup, he runs into them later on when he’s left behind by the train. These aren’t just former outlaw compatriots, they’re his family.And what a family, the most frightening group of inbreds ever put on screen until Deliverance. From Lee J. Cobb on down, a lovely group of twisted psychos. Cooper is not just running from his past, but from his lineage.The rest of the gang is Robert J. Wilke, Royal Dano, Jack Lord, and John Dehner. Lee J. Cobb is Doc Tobin and though he’s 10 years younger than Cooper, he plays his uncle. Along for the ride are fellow train passengers Julie London and Arthur O’Connell. It’s an admirable cast.A real downer of a western, but a great classic.

  • daniela-benesova
    daniela benesova

    Man of the West was the last Western directed by Anthony Mann, it also stands as one of his best works in the genre. The film belongs to a transition category of Westerns, it was released in a period when the Western practically ceased to be a pure and innocent adventure of cowboys and Indians, a conquering of the West by hopeful pioneers and instead was substituted by a more pessimistic, somewhat more mature, adult and even philosophical approach. The Man of the West is a clear representation of that change, being one of the pioneers in the category along with John Ford’s The Searchers, which was made about the same time, the change that was finalized in what is considered as a symbolic death of the Western classical genre – John Ford’s The Man Who Shoot Liberty Valance. With all its pessimism and extreme, almost sadistic violence, Man of the West is also an undoubted predecessor to the Westerns made later in the ’60s by Sam Pekinpah, beginning with 1962 Ride the High Country and culminating in what considered his best 1969 The Wild Bunch. In Man of the West the transition, the change in the genre incarnates itself in a figure of Link Jones wonderfully played by Gary Cooper. Right from the opening scene of the film we are introduced to him as he appears on the horizon of the classical Western’s landscape, a figure that looks like it had been moulded out of as much marked by the time as the hero himself surrounding scenery. And when he enters the town in a classical Western manner of a stranger sure of his strength, the voyage to the past really begins, a past which starts to hunt the main character in almost an exact proportion as it revealed to us. A past that finds its threatening personification in a most evil character of Dock Tobin, superbly played by Lee J. Cobb. An old outlaw who once was Link’s buddy and who somehow managed to survive all those years, still remaining in action, outliving his kind, outliving his life, representing no more nor less than a shadow of the classical Western bad guy figure and opposing Link, his once best friend and now enemy of equally phantomous nature. The confrontation reaches its peak and draws to its conclusion in the phantom-town of Lassoo, left by its inhabitants a long time ago and populated only by ghosts and aged Mexican couple before our heroes’ arrival. This is where the final duel between the two parties takes place, a duel where again the deviation from the classical Western style is so obvious, where actually the classical duel scheme finds its end when the opponents breaking all the codes and leaving all the moral preoccupations aside shoot each other in pure struggle for survival motivated by the overwhelming hate and the desire to erase the past. The final result is one of the most tragic and pessimistic Westerns in the cinema’s history. 9/10

  • suzana-kerekovic
    suzana kerekovic

    There is a bit wrong with this film. Gary Cooper’s age versus Lee Cobb’s. The coincidental stranding of Julie London and Arthur O’Conell after the train robbery. The abrupt ending.There is quite a bit not wrong also. The outdoor photography. The interior train scenes seem to have been entirely shot on a real train going down the tracks, not a set with rear projection. All the settings are real looking not Hollywood whitewash. Gary Cooper is low-key but builds his conflicted character well. The villains are among the nastiest one can see in pre-1960’s westerns. They really lay the groundwork for the stock western psycho in later Spaghetti Westerns. Jack Lord plays a real maniac! Mann’s eye for visual composition really adds to the psychological atmosphere. You can see the influence on Leone and it seems like Leone imitated a couple of shots from this film. The set design for the town of Lasso could have been used in any Italian western.A good, if depressing, alternate western.

  • kalina-juraszczyk
    kalina juraszczyk

    Of all the western movies that I have seen in my time, I would definitely have to say that “Man of the West” is one of the best. Gary Cooper does an excellent job of portraying an ex con who must confront his past and deal with a gang who does not trust him but would like him to help them out. He acts just as though he did in many of his films, playing a quiet, easy going cowboy who knows how to act in tight situations. I also thought Cooper had a very supportive cast that included Jack Lord as a wild and rebellious killer, John Dehner as a cool but equally violent person, Lee J. Cobb as a filthy old man who was the leader of the gang and who surely was the example for the other gangmembers and Arthur O’Connell and Julie London as the innocent bystanders who Cooper must look out for. I also thought that the content and violence was very well done to help people get the feeling of what people could be like. All in all, “Man of the West” is not only one of Cooper’s best but one of the best westerns ever.

  • denis-stan
    denis stan

    Mann’s cycle began in 1950 with “Winchester ’73,” continued up to 1958 (his pallid remake of “Cimarron” in 1960 hardly counts here) with “Man of the West,” and included a remarkable body of work as “Bend of the River,” “The Naked Spur,” “The Far Country,” “The Man from Laramie,” “The Last Frontier,” and “The Tin Star.””Man of the West” starred Cooper instead of James Stewart, and its highly charged story of the conflict between two one-time partnered outlaws, one now reformed, carries strong overtones of sex and violence, the one motivated by the presence of Julie London, the other taken care of by Lee J. Cobb’s particularly repulsive villain… The film is replete with interesting, complex characters and exciting situations… Gary Cooper, in the Arizona of the 1870s, sets forth from his little town with six hundred dollars to hire for it a teacher… A trip on a train introduces him to a comely saloon singer (Julie London), to a card sharp (Arthur O’Connell), but also to a bit of his past he’d rather forget… For when the train is held up it is all too soon apparent that the gang is one to which he’d belonged in the bad old days, led by a villainous kinsman (Lee J. Cobb) and containing another member of the family (John Dehner).The reformed Cooper’s only chance of a getaway—and the girl’s chance too—lies in him convincing Cobb and Co., that his loyalties lie with them… Fine, says Cobb, in effect, but do something to prove it.The ‘something’ is joining in a stage bank hold-up…From this moment, the theme is familiar in Mann Westerns and here the mechanics of the ‘purging’ and the power of it get their best expression… Mann’s picture shifts from half-comedy to tense melodrama… Cooper stops being a hick and starts acting serious and clever… “You’ve changed,” O’Connell observes. “You act like you belong with these people.”The clash of family loyalties soon makes itself felt… The old man brought him up when he was a boy—the old man still obviously thinks something of him, since he stops an attempt on his life… But the old man is also a villain, and villainy is his prevailing climate and that is why Cooper initially made his breakaway…The difference between Cooper and his depraved relatives was significant when it comes across in the way they treat Billie (Julie London). Most Western heroes distrust women, but Cooper respects at least two: his wife and the pretty saloon singer… It makes no difference to him that in Billie’s shady past she has probably taken off her clothes for many men and gone much farther than that… When Jack Lord forces Billie to disrobe, Cooper realizes her humiliation… After beating Lord, Cooper makes him cry by stripping off his clothes in front of Billie, reminding him of how he insulted the dancehall girl: “How does it feel?!”Gary Cooper must take part in two gunfights at the end of the film… The first one in Lassoo, a ghost town which represents the life Cooper left behind… Here, Cooper reveals the very bad talents Cobb taught him… And after finding the saloon singer has been raped, Cooper goes off to find Cobb… Mann typically sets his final gun duels far away from civilization, off in the wilderness, away from all eyes…Released in CinemaScope and Technicolor, this visually beautiful dramatic Western gained instant notoriety, in 1958, because of the scene in which Julie London strips for the Tobin gang…

  • roksolana-shablii
    roksolana shablii

    Stranded in the middle of nowhere after their train is robbed, a former outlaw, a schoolteacher and a gambler take refuge with the gang that the former outlaw once belonged to in this dark western drama. Taking refuge does not come easy to the once-outlaw, played by Gary Cooper, as he has to pretend to still be a tough lawbreaker despite reforming his ways, and there is a lot of tension in the air as the gang members are equally as uneasy about his return. The plot actually has a lot in common with David Cronenberg’s ‘A History of Violence’ with Cooper having to face the violent past that he thought he left behind. Cooper never quite seems right in the role though; aside from being two decades older than his character, it is hard to ever imagine Cooper once being a hardened outlaw. As a character, he is not as well developed as Viggo Mortensen in ‘A History of Violence’ either with the train robbery happening before we even have a chance to know him. The film is also set back by a melodramatic music score from Leigh Harline that comes off as overbearing half the time. The film does have its moments though. The long distance shots of Cooper entering the supposedly abandoned cabin are great, capturing the eerie isolation of the place. The scene in which Julie London is told to strip at knife point is nail-bitingly intense too, and while he looks too young to really be Cooper’s uncle, Lee J. Cobb is delightful in the role, radiating both danger and a sense of longing, wanting so much to reconnect with the outlaw nephew he thought he lost forever.