Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Gary Cooper MGM Movie Legends Collection |
The Cowboy and the Lady / The Real Glory / Vera Cruz / The Winning of Barbara Worth
Actors: Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, David Niven, Merle Oberon, Denise Darcel
Directors: H.C. Potter, Henry Hathaway, Henry King, Robert Aldrich
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 05/13/2008 Run time: 375 minutes
An Entertaining 'Look' at Legendary Gary Cooper!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 06/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame that Gary Cooper, today, is largely remembered for only "High Noon", his Hawks and Capra films ("Sergeant York" and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"), and as Lou Gehrig in "The Pride of the Yankees"; in his day, he was as sexy and popular as Clark Gable, and more esteemed as a cowboy star than John Wayne!
"Gary Cooper MGM Movie Legends Collection" offers a selection of titles that will, hopefully, spark renewed interest in this most charismatic American 'Original'. While, sadly, the collection offers little in bonus features, and, with the exception of "Barbara Worth", appears to be unremastered (which is why I only give it 4 stars), each film is very entertaining!
"The Winning of Barbara Worth" (1926), was, of course, Coop's breakthrough role, after three years of stunt work and bit parts, and is a bona fide classic. As 'Abe Lee', the young cowboy/surveyor suitor of Vilma Banky, his sexy, natural style would steal the film from star Ronald Colman (in Colman's defense, his role was more restrained, and less interesting). The film, based on a best-selling novel about harnessing the Colorado River to irrigate the desert, garnered great reviews and box office, and gave Coop a spectacular 'start'... (5 stars out of 5)
"The Cowboy and the Lady" (1938), a 'modern-day' Western comedy/romance, presented Coop the way 1930s' audiences loved him best, as a slow-talking, incorruptible cowboy irresistible to women, but a 'gentleman', in the best sense of the word! Falling for the daughter of a Presidential hopeful, posing as a maid (Merle Oberon), he marries her, discovers the charade, then storms into a posh political dinner and speaks so much 'common sense' that her family moves to his ranch! With life-long friend Walter Brennan as his sidekick, this is a real charmer! (5 stars out of 5)
"The Real Glory" (1939), released shortly after his classic version of "Beau Geste", another 'action-oriented' adventure, though lacking the "Geste" polish and style. Coop is a military doctor in the 1906 Philippines, who, with friends David Niven and Broderick Crawford, attempts to help the Filipinos fight off an army of insurgents. Action was never producer Sam Goldwyn's forte, and the film lacks the warmth of a "Gunga Din", although it does offer a rousing climax... (2 1/2 stars out of 5)
"Vera Cruz" (1954), produced by Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht, is a spectacular, large-scale western, filmed in Mexico. Ex-Confederate Cooper and bandit Lancaster are uneasy partners guarding Denise Darcel and millions in gold, during the Mexican Revolution. While the aging Coop wasn't well during production, he still gives a solid performance, although overshadowed by Burt's flashy portrayal; the film offers a
fabulous supporting cast, including Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Cesar Romero, and Jack Elam. "Vera Cruz" was a major influence on Sergio Leone, and has achieved legendary status, among fans of the genre! (5 stars out of 5)
There is a LOT to enjoy, in this Gary Cooper collection!"
Great collection of films by Coop
A. Stout | Texas | 05/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Cooper is my favorite actor and this is an excellent collection to showcase his diversity as an actor.
The Winning of Barbara Worth is a silent film made in 1926 and was his first credited screen appearance. The story revolves around a young woman named Barbara Worth, her family and other members of the town they live in out in the Nevada desert where they are trying to reroute the Colorado river in order to irrigate the town and make it more habitable. After a year of appearing in movies as a stunt rider, a 25 year old Gary lobbied to win the supporting role of Abe Lee, the son of the surveyor who is working on the irrigation project and a childhood friend of Barbara who he is also in love with. He had already been hired to be a stunt man but he wanted to try his hand at actual acting. They had already cast that part but the actor who was to play it was still finishing another movie. As it became clear he would not be able to make it they gave Gary the part. The irrigation project is successful and the river is diverted but unfortunately after a short time the system is in danger of failing and flooding the town. Gary's character must endure a 24-hour horse ride into town from the dam site to warn them. He is supposed to arrive at Barbara's house and knock on the door. When it is opened he is to say the dam is about to break and then fall flat on his face worn out from his long, arduous journey. He absolutely nailed the scene and indeed he was so good that the studio was afraid he would end up being the star of the picture and not Ronald Colman who plays the lead and is the son of the man in charge of the dam construction project. They were instructed to either cut that scene or reshoot it with Colman making the journey instead, they opted to cut it so unfortunately it does not appear in the film. However this scene as well as his others gave everyone a glimpse of the wonderul, natural acting ability Gary had even that early in his career. This movie was a huge hit when it was originally released and it has an interesting story and incredible special effects as seen when the dam does break and the town floods.
The Real Glory was made in 1939 and is set in the Phillipines during the early 1900s. Gary plays an army doctor named Bill Canavan and his outfit is part of a small group of soldiers that are left on the island to try and help the natives defend themselves from other warring tribes. It is a very good adventure story with lots of scenes shot in the jungles and also in raging rivers. There's a nice love story mixed in and the characters are well developed and very likeable.
Vera Cruz was made in 1954 by Burt Lancaster's production company and he costars with Gary in this very entertaining western set in and filmed in Mexico. Gary and Burt play two men who sell their services as soldiers of fortune to the highest bidder during the Mexican revolution of 1866. They end up on the side of the emperor and are charged with protecting a lady friend of the emperor on her journey to Vera Cruz. However it gets complicated when the two men realize that along with the beautiful woman they are also transporting a large chest of gold that is going to be used to buy weapons. They along with the woman played by Denise Darcel hatch a plan to make off with the gold themselves. Burt and Denise for selfish reasons but Gary intends to give it to the people who are fighting to oust the emperor. There are many wonderful scenes including displays of fancy sharp shooting at the emperor's palace and also of a festival in a small Mexican town with brightly colored costumes and decorations. Wonderful acting performances all around and a very entertaining film.
The Cowboy and the Lady was released in 1938 and is a very funny, charming story about a wealthy young woman played by Merle Oberon whose father is running for president. She has a very boring life and is not allowed to have much fun so one night she rebels and goes to a night club to dance but unbeknownst to her it's also a gambling den which is raided by the police. In order to keep her out of any more trouble her father sends her to his house in Palm Springs. Here she meets a cowboy played by Gary who is in town for the rodeo. He's from Montana (in real life he was from Montana) and he's making the rodeo circuit looking for a wife. She pretends to be a ladies maid so no one will discover her real identity of a presidential candidates daughter and she and Gary fall in love. He proposes to her but she brushes him off because she knows her father wouldn't approve of her marrying a cowboy. Her heart gets the better of her however and she catches the boat he's sailing to Galveston on just as it's leaving. While on the trip they get married and she decides to head back home to Palm Springs while he finishes up his tour with the rodeo then they will meet back up at his Montana ranch. However before that can happen he discovers that she lied to him about who she was. But don't worry, it has a happy ending and is just a joy to watch. My favorite scene is of Gary on his ranch pretending to play house in the new home he's building. It's just a frame so all the workers on the ranch can see him pretending to seat his wife at the dinner table and then also pretending to eat. When he's caught he invites them all inside and serves them imaginary drinks!!!"
FILM HISTORY LESSON REQUIRED
Buster49 | Utica, NY | 07/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The title "Gary Cooper MGM Movie Legends Collection" is totally midleading here. Gary Cooper was never a part of MGM's hammy stable of contract players in the traditional sense although he did do some films for that studio. The films here aren't among them. "Vera Cruz" was released through United Artists. The other 3 titles were Samuel Goldwyn films also released through United Artists. Sam Goldwyn was never part of MGM. Film history readings will explain, to those interested, how his last name wound up as part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
In my opinion, MGM has always been about self-aggrandizement and I guess they'll get it any way they can take it. That's too bad as it can create confusion for even arm-chair film researchers studying the old studio system of filmmaking. I always think of post-Thalberg MGM as the "blow-hard" studio with its process packaged films (although there are a healthy number of exceptions).
This Gary Cooper/United Artists collection features 4 terrific films that I highly recommend. I saw a clean print of the rare "The Winning of Barbara Worth" on the big screen a couple of years ago and Cooper's star quality is instantly apparent.
I highly recommend this set."
For Silent Fans , BARBARA is WORTH it.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 11/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must confess that even though I am a silent film enthusiast with quite a collection of silent films on VHS and DVD (and a number of reviews on Amazon), I had never heard of THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH. Now that I have seen it the surprise is even greater. Made by Samuel Goldwyn in 1926 and featuring Gary Cooper in his first credited film appearance, this movie is an outstanding example of a late American silent film. Not a classic but a well constructed, well acted and well photographed film presented here in a pristine print with color tints and a score performed by legendary organist Gaylord Carter. The speed transfer is occasionally too fast but never enough to detract from what you're watching.
The director was Henry King who made the silent classic TOL'ABLE DAVID in 1921 and whose career lasted well into the sound era with other classics such as THE SONG OF BERNADETTE, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH, and THE SUN ALSO RISES. The casting shows what silent films were truly capable of. Joining Cooper are Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky as the romantic leads which would have been impossible in the sound era as Hungarian actress Banky could barely speak English and Colman's voice was much too urbane to be believable in a Western setting. The story of Western boom towns and the building of a faulty dam which results in massive flooding is based on the novel by Harold Bell Wright and is still relevant today.
Director King knows how to handle both the action scenes and the quieter moments which were his real specialty. THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH is part of the 4 DVD set GARY COOPER: MGM MOVIE LEGENDS COLLECTION which features 3 sound features THE COWBOY AND THE LADY, THE REAL GLORY, and VERA CRUZ which was directed by Robert Aldrich. If you love Cooper then by all means get this set for your collection. If you just want the silent then look for used copies of BARBARA WORTH elsewhere on Amazon."