7.5/10
4,036
56 user 19 critic

The Westerner (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 20 September 1940 (USA)
Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Dead End (1937)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart
High Sierra (1941)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis
The Letter (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Kentucky (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Romeo and Juliet story set amidst horse racing in Kentucky. The family feud of lovers Jack and Sally goes back to the Civil War and is kept alive by her Uncle Peter.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Loretta Young, Richard Greene, Walter Brennan
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An ambitious lumberjack abandons his saloon girl lover so that he can marry into wealth, but years later becomes infatuated with the woman's daughter.

Directors: Howard Hawks, William Wyler, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea, Frances Farmer
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a town boss confiscates homesteader's supplies after gold is discovered nearby, a tough cowboy risks his life to try and get it to them.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Arthur Kennedy
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the life and career of famed baseball player Lou Gehrig.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A stranger, Will Lockhart, defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Chickenfoot
...
Southeast
...
Lily Langtry
...
Hod Johnson
...
Mort Borrow
...
...
King Evans
...
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:

THE RAW UNTAMED ADVENTUROUS WEST...LIVES AGAIN! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le cavalier du désert  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Cooper never liked the film and said "You can't make a western without a gunfight" He walked off the film and refused to start work on it. It was only after long battles with Goldwyn that he started work on it but always said that he wished he'd never made it. 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 A Coy Decoy (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"That's My Ruling."
16 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Samuel Goldwyn's The Westerner would be considered a good western about that old familiar topic in westerns, the cattlemen versus the homesteaders. Gary Cooper is his usual tall in the saddle hero whose presence brings about a general righting of wrongs.

Except that Mr. Goldwyn had the presence of mind to cast Walter Brennan as Judge Roy Bean, local head honcho of the area around Vinegarroon, Texas. With William Wyler directing Brennan etches an unforgettable film portrayal of a man who's both ruthless in enforcing his will on the territory and a likable sort of cuss once you get to know him.

Brennan has one weakness, as the legends have it in the west, he's crushing out big time of famed English actress Lily Langtry. When Gary Cooper is brought into Brennan's courtroom which in off hours is also a saloon, a little quick thinking on his part upon seeing Langtry's portrait over the bar saves his life.

Despite Cooper's friendship with the judge, he's also taken an interest in homesteader Fred Stone's daughter, Doris Davenport. It's inevitable that Cooper and Brennan come to a parting of the ways.

Wyler who is not a director of westerns per se has directed a couple of good ones and this is one of them. There are some good action scenes here, there are some scenes laced with humor when Brennan is around, and the romance is nicely handled.

Dana Andrews and Forrest Tucker got their first notice in The Westerner as well in small parts. But it's Brennan's show.

Walter Brennan won his third Best Supporting Actor Oscar with this film. This was the fifth year the Supporting Player categories were being awarded by the Academy and Brennan won numbers one and three previously.

Western fans will like The Westerner in any event and others will watch it to see a master craftsman in Walter Brennan at his job.


30 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Paul Scheer lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch the show