Man of the West

Overview

Anthony Mann's final foray into the western genre is a disturbing examination of man's baser instincts, rising in intensity to the level of Shakespearean tragedy. The film begins as seemingly naive Link Gary Cooper leaves his family to take a train to Fort Worth. Also on the train is saloon singer Billie Ellis Julie London, who is compelled by con man Sam Beasley Arthur O'Connell to cheat Link out of his money. But the con comes to naught when the nefarious Dock Tobin Lee J. Cobb and his gang rob the train. Link ...
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Overview

Anthony Mann's final foray into the western genre is a disturbing examination of man's baser instincts, rising in intensity to the level of Shakespearean tragedy. The film begins as seemingly naive Link Gary Cooper leaves his family to take a train to Fort Worth. Also on the train is saloon singer Billie Ellis Julie London, who is compelled by con man Sam Beasley Arthur O'Connell to cheat Link out of his money. But the con comes to naught when the nefarious Dock Tobin Lee J. Cobb and his gang rob the train. Link takes Billie and Beasley to Tobin's cabin, where it is revealed the mild-mannered Link is Tobin's nephew and a former member of his cutthroat gang. Dock Tobin draws up a plan to rob a bank which the outlaws find agreeable, but they're reluctant to have Link rejoin their group. Soon it becomes apparent why they feel this way; when Link rejoins his old gang, his shy demeanor falls away and his outlaw instincts rise to the surface.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
In his last true Western, Anthony Mann matched the archetypal title with a story about a hero's effort to descend into his outlaw past so that he can exorcise it from his present. Mann initially makes light of Link's discomfort with civilization, before isolating him, saloon girl Billie, and gambler Sam in the wilderness, where their entrance into Dock's dark outlaw lair reveals Link's family-trained past as a hardened criminal, a past abandoned for upstanding married life. Underlining Link's psychological state as he plans to kill the gang, the widescreen landscapes move from more verdant surroundings to the rocky Mojave Desert and a ghost town, as Link's obsessiveness matches his enemies' psychosis. Along with a fistfight and the climactic shootouts, Mann emphasizes Western brutality through the sexual violation of Billie, as she is forced to strip on screen and raped off-screen by Lee J. Cobb's twisted patriarch. To be a defender of civilization, Link must kill his past family, revealing the moral relativity of the no-longer-unquestionably-heroic man of the West. Man of the West was widely overlooked by American critics, although then-film critic Jean-Luc Godard named it one of 1958's best films in the influential French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/4/2014
  • UPC: 738329142025
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kl Studio Classics
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 11,206

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Link Jones
Julie London Billie Ellis
Lee J. Cobb Dock Tobin
Arthur O'Connell Sam Beasley
Jack Lord Coaley
Royal Dano Trout
John Dehner Claude
Robert J. Wilke Ponch
J. Williams Alcutt
Guy Wilkerson Conductor
Frank Ferguson Marshal
Emory Parnell Gribble
Tina Menard Mexican Woman
Joe Dominguez Mexican Man
Chuck Robertson Rifleman
Technical Credits
Anthony Mann Director
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Hilyard M. Brown Production Designer
Ernest Haller Cinematographer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Victor Heerman Editor
Richard V. Heermance Editor
Emile LaVigne Makeup
Walter Mirisch Producer
Richard Moder Asst. Director
Reginald Rose Screenwriter
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
Yvonne Wood Costumes/Costume Designer
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