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Man of the West (1958)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  1 November 1958 (Japan)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,363 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 43 critic

A reformed outlaw becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers and is forced to rejoin his old outlaw band.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Man of the West (1958)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Billie Ellis
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Dock Tobin
...
Sam Beasley
...
Coaley
...
Claude
...
Trout
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Ponch (as Robert Wilke)
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Storyline

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. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

IN THE ROLE THAT FITS HIM LIKE A GUN FITS A HOLSTER! GARY COOPER as the MAN OF THE WEST (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann aus dem Westen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, when Beasley, Billie Ellis, and Link Jones are left behind by the train after the robbery attempt, they stand on the railroad tracks debating what to do next. As they do so, the shadow of the boom mic is visible above their own shadows on the ground behind them. See more »

Quotes

Link Jones: [Startled by the train engine] That's the ugliest thing I ever saw in my life!
Sam Beasley: [Sardonically] You never met my ex-wife.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jefferson Anderson: Non, je ne regrette rien (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Man of the West
By Bobby Troup
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Great Existential Western
2 December 2002 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

It is not surprising that French film critics, such as Jean-Luc Godard rated "Man of the West" so highly in 1958/59. The film is a fine example of the so-called 'existential western'. Not unlike many films noirs from an earlier period, "Man of the West" has a purely existential hero. The Gary Cooper character, Link, is not wholly defined by what he has done (who he 'was'). When Link, Sam and Billie arrive at the supposedly abandoned ranch where he had previously lived, Billie asks "when you were a boy?". "I don't know what I was" is Link's very telling reply. This character is constantly in the process of becoming. He is defined only be what he will do, and not locked into the past or even the present. Link is the man "from West of here" as he tells another character. The West in this case can be seen as the land of 'becoming', that which is not yet defined by civilization. Through the destruction of the past (by way of the deaths of Dock, Coaley, Claude and the rest) he can achieve redemption.

Gary Cooper gives one of his better performances here, not exactly impressive, but appropriate for the role. Julie London may never have surpassed this portrayal, completely believable in every scene. Other supporters are beyond reproach. While Royal Dano can be singled out for a powerful characterization accomplished without speaking a word. Only in his final moments on screen does Dano utter a sound. This was a good year for Dano--he was a major standout in "Saddle the Wind" as well.

"Man of the West": one of the most intelligent, interesting westerns ever made.


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