7.5/10
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56 user 21 critic

The Westerner (1940)

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

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Jo Swerling (screenplay), Niven Busch (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Cole Harden
Walter Brennan ... Judge Roy Bean
Doris Davenport ... Jane Ellen Mathews
Fred Stone ... Caliphet Mathews
Forrest Tucker ... Wade Harper
Paul Hurst ... Chickenfoot
Chill Wills ... Southeast
Lilian Bond ... Lily Langtry
Dana Andrews ... Hod Johnson
Charles Halton ... Mort Borrow
Trevor Bardette ... Shad Wilkins
Tom Tyler ... King Evans
Lucien Littlefield ... The Stranger
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le cavalier du désert See more »

Filming Locations:

Green Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is the first of five roles for Walter Brennan in support of Gary Cooper. The last was Task Force (1949) in 1949. 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

Version of The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If ever an Oscar was deserved...
30 May 1999 | by dabrams-2See all my reviews

I first watched this movie because of Gary Cooper (after seeing "The Pride of the Yankees," the man could do no wrong in my book). While Coop is great in "The Westerner," it is -- lock, stock and blazing barrels -- Walter Brennan's performance as Judge Roy Bean that steals the show. What a deeply nuanced character! Here's an example of an actor making a villain a likeable, endearing character. Brennan richly deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar.


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