The Westerner (1940) - Drama, Romance, Western

Hohum Score



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

IMDB: 7.4
Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan
Length: 100 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 9 out of 58 found boring (15.51%)

One-line Reviews (35)

This constitutes an uneven blend with an apathetic romance jammed between the mix and a predictable cattlemen-hate-homesteaders plot.

) I found it fascinating from this perspective – watching it with something of the same gut level understanding that people in that time would have certainly felt.

Against them ride the cattlemen, and every cliché in the book is thrown into this part of The Westerner's story.

Entertaining and Glossy Hollywood Product, this Time its a Western.

But the performances are so intense, the relationship between Cooper and Brennan so fully-fleshed, that the context disappears, and the opening spiel about range wars and homesteaders is soon forgotten.

There are some genuinely comical moments, but parts of the story are too contrived and quaint, like the whole lock of hair element.

Incidentally, when Bean is searching for the best seat in an empty house, lenser Gregg Toland pulls off an incredible crane shot of Bean making his seating choice and the shot looks like the famous shot from "High Noon" where Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) finds himself alone in the middle of an empty street before a highly anticipated showdown.

In his initial intellectual face- off with Harden--which quickly devolves into empty feats of masculinity--Bean comes off as a fierce, no-nonsense sociopath, incapable of sentiment.

Anyhow, it has the wonderful photography one always expected from Gregg Toland, and is terrifically entertaining.

"The Westerner" is an intense and rewarding western , which is filmed on location in Arizona.

But the script is dreadfully weak, as it vacillates between two unrelated story elements, neither of which seems compelling.

The climax, in the empty theater is still more unbelievable than the first sequence.

What makes this entertaining is Walter Brennan as Roy Bean.

The film is slow at times and the outcome of the land battle is obvious.

An intriguing Western which mixed drama, comedy and romance, The Westerner was well-directed and acted.

You can usually count on William Wyler to deliver a solidly entertaining movie, cleverly mixing in elements of action, drama and comedy to good effect.

This is an outdoor epic about land war in which director William Wyler offers us a solid, absorbent and entertaining film .

The film, made by a young Wyler (37 years) is solid, absorbing and entertaining.

It is this bizarre and intense case of extreme loneliness and longing that actually makes the audience pity this person; rather than despise him.

It is only let down by the contrived ending.

Cooper tugs at it, tugs again -- and Brennan's tense, empty hands mimic Cooper's motions impatiently.

But the fascinating thing about the acting of both is how they fill the time in their scenes with facial expressions, stance and use of voice.

Wyler's direction during the fire sequence is also top notch and makes for a rather suspenseful scene.

We have an excellent action packed Western which follows a likable character (Cooper) put into a whirlwind of circumstances that he must use his wits to get out of.

Walter Brennan, as Judge Roy Bean, is a fascinating character who's burdened with a strange sense of morality and a fanatical obsession for the international stage actress, Lily Langtry.

Further, the script is talky, and the plot plods along, slowly and all drawn-out.

" The latter, a Paul Newman-starring picture made in the early '70s, was very entertaining and this older film was, too.

But, it's a great classic film that's worth watching over and over again.

The film is nicely photographed by the legendary Gregg Toland, it is also overlong, too episodic with too many lulls in the story.

In terms of drama, the prairie fire initiated by the judge's henchmen is one of the more dramatic and exciting scenes you're likely to find going this far back in the genre.

Up to the ending, the film was very enjoyable, with Walter Brennan a delight to watch.

There are a Few Unexpected Subtleties that can Surprise.

The female lead Doris Davenport is rather dull as Jane-Ellen Mathews, the daughter of one of the farmers and Harden's love-interest.

Then too, what a great glimpse of earthly heaven right before the slow fadeout.

When Cole notices the many images of the famed performer Lilly Langtry around the saloon he begins spinning a tale of his friendship with the woman, intriguing the judge and causing a suspended sentence to be handed down on the agreement t that Cole will give the judge a lock of the woman's hair that he has hidden in El Paso.