- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
From all the hoopla surrounding Gary Cooper's making this film "under protest" 'cause he felt his part wasn't big enough, I was expecting to see 75% Walter Brennan and 25% Coop. Actually, it's pretty much 50/50. That Cooper objected to equal screen time with an actor of Brennan's stature means that you can put "prima donna" next to "wooden" in your descriptions of this guy's professional demeanor. As for the film itself, it's good when Brennan's onscreen and dull as watered down corn liquor when he isn't. This is because the screenwriters and director William Weyler have lavished all their skills of nuance, ambiguity, and quirkiness onto Judge Roy Bean and left everyone else in the movie a caricature. (i.e. The strong, silent hero, the embattled homesteaders, the drunken loutish cattlemen etc) The love scenes between Cooper and a not very talented actress named Doris Davenport (who can do fiery but little else) are particularly forgettable. Let's give it a B minus 'stead of a C for Brennan's performance which, as Red Rain aptly commented, shoulda earned the guy a best ACTOR award from the lame ass Academy. P.S. For the short but extremely crucial role of Lily Langtry, the great producer Sam Goldwyn couldn't come up with someone a bit more, uh, DAZZLING, than some generically pretty contract player named Lilian Bond? Basically, John Huston does it better in his grittier version of the Roy Bean story by casting Ava Gardner, who is many things, but generic is not one of them. In fact, let's just say that Huston does it better than Weyler period.
- Dashiell B.
An entertaining Western from the outstanding team of producer Goldwyn & director Wyler. Brennan overshadows Cooper as the real-life Judge Roy Bean, becoming the first actor to win three Academy Awards. The story is compelling, but drags in the first half, the recreation of Texas in the Old West is amazing. A good Western to see for fans of Cooper. I give it a 4/5.
Not factual but still good film...
Man, did they ever take artistic license with this one! Roy Bean died peacefully in his own bed and was never shot to death by anyone. Wyler knew this but continued on with the film. I find that unforgivable when filming a story about a real-life person. I also do not understand why Brennan wasn't nominated for Best Actor, instead of Supporting Actor, as this film is entirely about his character which he portrayed superbly. My guess is that it was because of Gary Cooper, a huge star at the time, who acted in this film under written protest. In his protest letter, Cooper even recognized his part would be eclipsed by that of Brennan's! Just more proof that the studio system ruled the Academy Awards at the time! Disgusting error by the Academy!
The Bad and the Beautiful?
- Ann Brown
Judge Bean (Walter Brennan) and the cowboy (Gary Cooper) have the sort of chemistry best described as "lightening in a bottle." When producer Sam Goldwyn is thrown in the mix we get one of the classiest westerns ever made. Watching Judge Bean and the cowboy try to get the best of each other is a memorable experience to repeat over and over again. Don't miss this film which is truly classic in every way.
Gary cooper is the greatist actor of all times. He makes the western movies,theydidnt make him!!
This 1940 version a must see and must own.
I saw it again for the very first time a few weeks ago. The acting is superb! I understand Walter Brennen got an oscar. Gary Cooper and Walter Brennen played so well off one another's characters. The writing is great, too. Great lines like, "I once had a pet rattlesnake, but I would never turn my back on him." Walter Brennen plays the pet rattlesnake, Judge Roy Bean. He's mean and he's nuts. It's an amazing physcological western. I have ordered this movie from another source on VHS. I just had to have it.