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Man of the West (1958)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,073 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 33 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Link Jones
...
Billie Ellis
...
Dock Tobin
...
Sam Beasley
...
Coaley
...
Claude
...
Trout
...
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:

26 December 1958 (France)  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Philip Yordan had previously written a novel entitled "Man of the West", but it bears no relation at all to this film. Yordan's novel was filmed as Gun Glory (1957). See more »

Goofs

When Link and Trout arrive at Lasso, their shadows are to the right of screen, indicating mid-morning. As they get to the bank, their shadows are nearly under them, indicating the sun nearly directly overhead or a time of around noon. The shadows are in the same place when Trout flees from the bank. However, when Trout reaches the edge of town and dies, the shadows are again to the right of screen and are in the same direction when Link finds him, and when Claude and Ponch arrive in town. See more »

Quotes

Claude: We're gonna kill you, Link. That's a promise!
Link Jones: You sound a little shaky, Claude. Are you nervous?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Crazy Mama (1975) 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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