FLIX PIX (181) “The Iconic MAN OF THE WEST”

MAN OF THE WEST

(directed by Anthony Mann, 1958)

***** (out of 5)

*

> The great Anthony Mann directed this morally three-dimensional Gary Cooper western, about a bad man turned good, who is accidentally reunited with the gang he ran away from a decade before.  Towering Everyman Gary Cooper is forced to pretend to be the amoral man he was and not the virtuous man he now is, to protect a couple of innocents in his care from the casual cruelty of his vicious former mentor, a wonderful Lee J. Cobb, swaggering and swearing and roaring every line.  But we are not fooled.  gary Cooper is… Gary Cooper, after all!  It’s a fascinating and tense subterfuge.

. This is a thoughtful, philosophical western thriller that excels straight down the checklist:

> Great director, working in his preferred genre, functioning at the top of his game: CHECK.

> Grand natural settings and cinematography: CHECK.

> Solid, compelling storytelling: CHECK.

> Well-drawn, interesting characters to love and hate: CHECK.

> Fine acting from fine actors: CHECK.

> Excellent sense of time and place: CHECK.

> Lush, sweeping musical score: CHECK.

> FIVE-STAR CLASSIC?  5 CHECKS!

. Anthony Mann was a helluva filmmaker.  MAN OF THE WEST is a helluva film.

*

© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About KPKeelan

Fool, Philosopher, Lover & Dreamer, Benign TROUBLEMAKER, King and Jester of KPKworld, an online portal to visual and linguistic mystery, befuddlement and delight.
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