7.5/10
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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:

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
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:

Dangerous... Judge Roy Bean... who called himself "the law west of the Pecos"... the most dreaded man on the frontier! 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

The final film role of Fred Stone. See more »

Goofs

After Cole Harden wakes up and takes his gun belt, he holds both ends in his hands as he stumbles back the bedroom. After the cut the belt is already strapped on. See more »

Quotes

Judge Roy W. Bean: Mr. Harden, it's my duty to inform you that the larceny of an equine is a capital offense punishable by death, but you can rest assured that in this court, a horse thief always gets a fair trial before he's hung.
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

Featured in The Playboys (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Funny
26 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Westerner, The (1940)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

William Wyler directed this film that shows the friendship between a cowboy (Gary Cooper) and Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan). I really wasn't sure what to expect from this film but it turned out to be a really good movie with some terrific performances and a classic comedy scene that is among the best I've ever seen. Needless to say, both Cooper and Brennan are wonderful in the film and really turn this western into a near comic masterpiece. The opening scenes, when Cooper is on trial for his life, the way he and Brennan discuss Lily Langtry is pure genius from the acting and directing standpoint. The way the two actors play off each others lines and facial gestures makes for plenty of laugh out loud moments. Wyler's comic timing in the editing and directing is top notch and really makes this scene something beautiful to watch. Wyler's direction during the fire sequence is also top notch and makes for a rather suspenseful scene. The film is a tad bit odd in how over the top it is in laughs and at the same time so serious in the way Bean acts. Doris Davenport is equally good as the tough as nail homesteader and I was shocked to see she only did one movie after this.


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