The Westerner

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
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A minor divertissement from Wyler in between the heavyweight stuff of Wuthering Heights and The Letter, this works primarily as an affectionate reminiscence by the director of the dozens of B-Westerns he cut his teeth on in the 1920s. It's the cattlemen vs homesteaders plot, present in all its particulars, but refracted through the star personae of Cooper and Brennan. The former takes the opportunity to run through his entire repertoire - shrewd bumpkin, simpering lover, tight-lipped man of action - without much regard to consistency of characterisation. Brennan as Judge Roy Bean (a surrogate cattle baron for the purposes of the plot) is an excessively loveable villain, but he won an Oscar, so he must have known what he was doing. Toland's landscapes are superb.

Release details

Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: William Wyler
Screenwriter: Jo Swerling, Niven Busch
Cast: Gary Cooper
Walter Brennan
Doris Davenport
Fred Stone
Forrest Tucker
Chill Wills
Dana Andrews
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