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Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen (2013)

Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen is an unprecedented look at the bond between two of the most iconic artists of the 20th century.Utter opposites... nothing in common. The cowboy and the ... See full summary »

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Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen is an unprecedented look at the bond between two of the most iconic artists of the 20th century.Utter opposites... nothing in common. The cowboy and the suburbanite. The conservative and the liberal. And yet these two artists (a word both men scoffed at) were the best of friends, right up to their deaths a mere seven weeks apart in 1961. But is the friendship of these two men really so surprising? A study of these two men is a study of the 20th century. Their internationally renowned careers (Cooper, two Best Actor Academy Awards; Hemingway, Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes) were played out over the same turbulent decades: the hedonistic 20s, the grim Depression 30s, the war-ravaged 40s, and the deceptively slumbering 50s; throughout, their public and private lives connected, parted, re-connected, intertwined, over-lapped, and collided. It is no small irony that the lives of these two men should suffer untimely ends at the dawn of the erupting sixties. ...

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Two American Icons. Actor...Writer. Utter Opposites. A Fascinating Friendship

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Documentary

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27 September 2013 (USA)  »

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Cooper & Hemingway: A 20 Year Friendship  »

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A Movie-able Feast
7 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

More than s biography yet more than a documentary, this film, in stills and motion, dramatizes the meeting and more than twenty-year friendship of two of the masters of their respective art. Gary Cooper, the preeminently earnest actor, and Ernest Hemingway, the much-imitated realistic writer, are joined in this story of a nearly forgotten America.

Unlike similar biopics this film succeeds in drawing its audience into the life and affairs—not merely sexual—of these men's triumphs, disappointments, fears, and foibles, in a way that is difficult to disengage from. Where others take a didactic, professorial stance "Tru Gen"—the subtitle taken from Hemingway's distinction of "truth from rumor", "the real from the phony"—gives us opportunity to drink from the top-shelf of two top-shelf lives.

It feels superfluous to speak of the films production values. (The narration of Sam Waterston, cinematography, sound, and the rest, are superb.) They match the storytelling as they do the two lives presented. The pacing is goldilocks-perfect, facilitating comprehension of the films many details while preserving the warmth and resonance of each episode and scene.

The sweep of the film in reportage of conduct/behavior and relation of feelings is at times staggering. We do hear from the professors and critics but they are subordinate to the close friends, professional associates, and yes, lovers.

Imagine any of the literary, painting, and film characters of "Midnight in Paris" (Woody Allen, 2010), drawn at length in intimate portraiture, and you have a glimpse of what "The Tru Gen" offers. We are treated to a full-length expose: a feast for the uninformed and the connoisseur. On third viewing the film is as fresh as the first. One cannot guzzle. You must sip and savor.


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