August 29, 2015

#SUTS - Gary Cooper

TCM's Summer Under the Stars features a star a day every day in August. August 30 features the films of Gary Cooper beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 a.m. the next morning. I'm pleased to be taking part in the 2015 TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon. Please check out Journeys in Classic Film and read some great articles by Kristen and also follow the links to other interesting material on the classic stars featured this month on TCM.

Gary Cooper Fast Facts

Born: Frank James Cooper on May 7, 1901 in Helena, Montana
Died: May 13, 1961 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California (prostate cancer with metastasis to colon, lungs and bones)
Wife: Veronica Balfe (professional name Sandra Shaw) (December 15, 1933 - May 13, 1961) (his death) Daughter: Maria Veronica Balfe Cooper Janis (born September 15, 1937 in Los Angeles, California)

Did You Know?

Height: 6' 3"

Upon seeing him, a professor in the theater department at Grinnell College recorded "shows no promise."

Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, riding, swimming, scuba diving, hiking, tennis, golf, archery, skiing, boxing, driving fast cars, and taxidermy.

He played six real-life characters on screen: Wild Bill Hickok, Marco Polo, Sgt. Alvin C. York, Lou Gehrig, Dr. Corydon M. Wassell and Gen. Billy Mitchell.

Often cited James Stewart as his closest friend.

Was the original visual basis for pulp hero Doc Savage.

A Farewell to Arms (1932) in Snapshots I

A Farewell to Arms (1932) in Snapshots II

Peter Ibbetson (1935) in Snapshots I

Peter Ibbetson (1935) in Snapshots II

It's a Big Country (1952)
D: Charles Vidor, Richard Thorpe, John Sturges, Don Hartman, Don Weis, Clarence Brown, William Wellman. Ethel Barrymore, Keefe Brasselle, Gary Cooper, Nancy Davis (Reagan), Gene Kelly, Keenan Wynn, Fredric March, Van Johnson, James Whitmore; narrated by Louis Calhern. Dore Schary's plug for America uses several pointless episodes about the variety of people and places in U.S. Other segments make up for it in very uneven film.

Today We Live (1933)
D: Howard Hawks. Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Robert Young, Franchot Tone, Roscoe Karns. Stilted William Faulkner story of WW1 romance and heroism; despite star- studded cast, not much. Faulkner co-wrote the screenplay. Torpedo attack scenes were directed by Richard Rosson.

Friendly Persuasion (1956)
D: William Wyler. Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Marjorie Main, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton, (Peter) Mark Richman, Walter Catlett, William Schallert. Charming account (from Jessamyn West novel) of Quaker family struggling to maintain its identity amid confusion and heartbreak of Civil War. Warm, winning performances in this beautifully made film. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin. Though no screenplay credit appears, film was written by blacklisted Michael Wilson; he received posthumous credit in 1996. Remade for TV in 1975 with Richard Kiley and Shirley Knight.

One Sunday Afternoon (1933)
D: Stephen Roberts. Gary Cooper, Fay Wray, Neil Hamilton, Frances Fuller, Roscoe Karns, Jane Darwell. Cooper is at boyish best in this original version of James Hagan's play about a turn-of-the-century dentist and how his infatuation with a sexy vamp (Wray) who weds his rival almost ruins his marriage and his life. Touching and lovingly made piece of Americana, exuding period charm and atmosphere, though darker in tone than the two Warner Bros. remakes by Raoul Walsh: as The Strawberry Blonde in 1941, then under the original title as a 1948 Technicolor musical.

Meet John Doe (1941)
D: Frank Capra. Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington, James Gleason, Gene Lockhart. Overlong but interesting social commentary, with naive Cooper hired to spearhead national goodwill drive benefitting corrupt politician Arnold. Wordy idealism can't bury good characterizations; usual Capra touches exulting populism. Virtually all existing prints (from reissue) run 123m. Also shown in computer-colored version.

Task Force (1949)
D: Delmer Daves. Gary Cooper, Jane Wyatt, Wayne Morris, Walter Brennan, Julie London, Bruce Bennett, Stanley Ridges, Jack Holt. Well-made but unremarkable story of a Naval officer's career, tracing aircraft carrier development. Originally shown with some scenes in color.

Wreck of the Mary Deare, The (1959)
D: Michael Anderson. Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston, Michael Redgrave, Emlyn Williams, Cecil Parker, Alexander Knox, Virginia McKenna, Richard Harris. Sticky going: skipper of sunken ship accused of negligence, cleared at inquest by testimony of salvage boat captain. Special effects are real star. Script by Eric Ambler. CinemaScope.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
D: Frank Capra. Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander, Douglass Dumbrille, Mayo Methot, Raymond Walburn, Walter Catlett, H. B. Warner. Cooper is Longfellow Deeds, who inherits 20 million dollars and wants to give it all away to needy people. Arthur is appealing as the hard-boiled big-city reporter who tries to figure out what makes him tick. Capra won his second Oscar for this irresistible film, written by Robert Riskin (from Clarence Budington Kelland's story "Opera Hat"). Later a short-lived TV series. Remade in 2002.

Sergeant York (1941)
D: Howard Hawks. Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias, Stanley Ridges, Margaret Wycherly, Ward Bond, Noah Beery, Jr., June Lockhart. Excellent story of pacifist York (Cooper) drafted during WW1, realizing purpose of fighting and becoming hero. Oscar-winning performance by Cooper in fine, intelligent film, balancing segments of rural America with battle scenes. John Huston was one of the writers.

Love in the Afternoon (1957)
D: Billy Wilder. Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier, John McGiver. Forget age difference between Cooper and Hepburn and enjoy sparkling romantic comedy, with Chevalier as Audrey's private-eye dad. McGiver lends good support in witty comedy set in Paris. Wilder's first film cowritten with I.A.L. Diamond, and a tribute to his idol, Ernst Lubitsch.

Dallas (1950)
D: Stuart Heisler. Gary Cooper, Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran, Raymond Massey, Barbara Payton, Leif Erickson, Antonio Moreno. Action-packed post-Civil War Western, with Reb Cooper branded an outlaw, coming to Texas on a mission of revenge.

Gary Cooper: American Life, American Legend (1991)
D: Richard Schickel. Cast: Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood takes viewers behind-the-scenes to learn how one of Hollywood's most American stars, Gary Cooper, was born.

Gary Cooper on Lux Radio Theatre

"The Virginian" - November 2, 1936 - Gary Cooper, Charles Bickford, Helen Mack, John Howard

"Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" - February 1, 1937 - Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander

"The Westerner" - September 23, 1940 - Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport

"North West Mounted Police" - April 13, 1942 - Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, Preston Foster

"The Pride of the Yankees" - October 4, 1943 - Gary Cooper, Virginia Bruce, Edgar Buchanan

"The Story of Dr. Wassell" - October 23, 1944 - Gary Cooper, Barbara Britton, Carol Thurston, Alan Hale - This is a rehearsal of the actual broadcast.

"Casanova Brown" - December 11, 1944 - Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Joan Bennett

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" - February 12, 1945 - Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Akim Tamiroff

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