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Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper

Marlene Dietrich said about him: "Gary Cooper was neither intelligent nor cultured. Just like the other actors, he was chosen for his physique, which, after all, was more important than an active brain.".

Sam Wood directed him in four movies, The Pride of the Yankees (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Casanova Brown (1944) and Saratoga Trunk (1945).

Frank Capra directed him in two movies, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Meet John Doe (1941).

Howard Hawks directed him in three movies, Today We Live (1933), Ball of Fire (1941) and Sergeant York (1941).

Cecil B. DeMille directed him in The Plainsman (1936), North West Mounted Police (1940), The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944) and Unconquered (1947).



High Time (1960) was originally planned to be a vehicle for Cooper.

Ten North Frederick (1958) was originally intended as a Spencer Tracy vehicle, but Tracy withdrew in poor health.

After James Stewart revealed to the world that Cooper was dying of cancer, messages poured in from such friends and well-wishers as Pope John XXIII, former Vice President Richard Nixon, Henry Fonda, Pablo Picasso, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Princess Grace (Grace Kelly) of Monaco, John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Henry Hathaway, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer, William Goetz, Mary Livingstone (Mrs. Jack Benny) and Jack Benny, Gloria Stewart (Mrs. James Stewart) and James Stewart, Charles Feldma

After talking with Carl Foreman on the set of High Noon (1952), Cooper realized there had not been an attempt by Communists to infiltrate Hollywood, and later regretted his part in founding the right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.

Along with Sidney Poitier, he is the most represented actor on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time, with five of his films on the list. They are: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) at #83, Sergeant York (1941) at #57, Meet John Doe (1941) at #49, High Noon (1952) at #27 and The Pride of the Yankees (1942) at #22.

Along with actress Mylène Demongeot, Cooper set in motion the first escalator to be installed in a cinema, at the Rex Theatre in Paris on June 7 1957.

Although Cooper dismissed the new school of actors in the 1950s as "a bunch of goof balls" and could be caustic about "the Method" advanced by the Actors Studio in New York, Lee Strasberg told everyone that Cooper was a natural Method actor, he just didn't know it. Cooper did at least admire Marlon Brando's work, and became a producing partner with his father, Marlon Brando Sr..

Although he had said long ago that he would make no more biopics, he signed for The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955). It was a poor Otto Preminger film and even Mitchell's widow expressed disappointment with Cooper's performance. Possibly the story had appealed to Cooper on political grounds and Mitchell may have been a hero of his - the general who accused the government of neglecting military needs. Cooper went on Ed Sullivan's TV show to promote the film and home viewers were quite disappointed - David Shipman referred to Cooper's "effeminate mannerisms in his TV interviews".

Although he was in failing health, his friend, director Henry Hathaway, had arranged to use him in his segments of How the West Was Won (1962). Upon his death, James Stewart, his best friend, accepted the role.

An uncomfortable aspect of They Came to Cordura (1959) was that besides looking far too old for his character, Cooper was looking so ill, and was actually filming against medical advice. Towards the end of the movie he was dragged a hundred yards along the ground by a railroad handcar, something Stanley Kauffmann complained about in the "New Republic".

Appeared in 107 movies, 82 of which he starred in. Only 16 of those were filmed in color. And he starred in 14 silent movies.

Appeared in eight movies with Walter Brennan. These were Watch Your Wife (1926), The Wedding Night (1935), The Cowboy and the Lady (1938), The Westerner (1940), Meet John Doe (1941), Sergeant York (1941), The Pride of the Yankees (1942) and Task Force (1949).

Appeared in four movies with Fay Wray, The First Kiss (1928), The Legion of the Condemned (1928), The Texan (1930), One Sunday Afternoon (1933).

Appeared in three movies with Barbara Stanwyck, Ball of Fire (1941), Meet John Doe (1941) and Blowing Wild (1953).

Appeared in two movies with Marlene Dietrich, Morocco (1930) and Desire (1936).

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