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The Westerner (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  20 September 1940 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,359 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 17 critic

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinergaroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Westerner (1940)

The Westerner (1940) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Doris Davenport ...
Jane Ellen Mathews
Fred Stone ...
Caliphet Mathews
...
Wade Harper
Paul Hurst ...
Chickenfoot
...
Southeast
...
...
Hod Johnson
Charles Halton ...
Mort Borrow
...
Shad Wilkins
...
King Evans
Lucien Littlefield ...
The Stranger
Edit

Storyline

Cole Harden just doesn't look like a horse thief, Jane-Ellen Matthews tells Judge Roy Bean as she steps up to the bar. Cole says he can't take it with him as he empties all of his coins on the bar to buy drinks for the jury. He notices two big pictures of Lily Langtry behind the bar. Sure, Cole has met the Jersey Lily, whom the hanging judge adores, even has a lock of her hair. Hanging is delayed for two weeks, giving Cole time to get in the middle of a range war between cattlemen and homesteaders and to still be around when Lily Langtry, former mistress of Edward VII who became an international actress, arrives in Texas. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NOTORIOUS DESPERADOES They fought... for a frontier empire! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le cavalier du désert  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the New York Times review of the film on 25 October 1940, it opened at the Radio City Music Hall the night before, more than one month after the national opening on 20 September 1940. No reason was given for the apparent delay. Their credited cast list also is identical to the one in the AFI Catalog, including the character name of "Burt Cobble" for Dana Andrews. However, Variety's cast list has Andrews' name correctly as "Hod Johnson," so there is still a mystery concerning which are the original credits. See more »

Goofs

The farmers were portrayed as having filed homesteads to acquire their land in Texas when in reality, there were no homesteaders in Texas. Because Texas, an independent republic, joined the Union in l845 with full statehood status from the beginning and never went through territorial status, there was never any federal government-owned land in the state to be open under the Homestead Act. See more »

Quotes

Cole Harden: You get warrants in Fort Davis, don't you?
Judge Roy W. Bean: Yes, that's where they get 'em, but they don't know how to spell my name. It's been tried before.
Cole Harden: I'll get one. This time you'll get what's comin' to you, Judge.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "After the Civil War, America, in the throes of rebirth, set its face West where the land was free. First came the cattlemen and with them "Judge" Roy Bean, who took the law into his own hands, administering justice according to his lights. That he left his impress on the history of Texas is tribute to his greatness. Then into his stronghold moved another army, the homesteaders, who ploughed the soil, fenced in fields, to bring security to their wives and children. War was inevitable, a war out of which grew the Texas of today." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Radio Days (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forgotten Classic
29 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw the film again after a gap of 25 years recently, and it really is as good as i remembered it. So good in fact it almost made it into my list of top ten westerns. Everything about is top notch-the performances, the photography, the humour and the screenplay. It is only let down by the contrived ending. The fight scene between Cooper and Tucker is as realistic as you will see anywhere, and the scene where Cooper cuts off a lock of Davenports hair is erotically charged. Of course the two main plusses are the performances of Brennan and Cooper-each fills the frame with their presence even when they have no lines, and Brennans portrayal of Judge Roy Bean results in one of the more memorable characters in westerns. In the hand of another actor the result could have been a caricature but Brennan treads the very thin line between parody and homage perfectly.


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