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324 Ratings

Man of the West

Directed by Anthony Mann
United States, 1958
Western, Romance


On his way to hire a schoolteacher, a homesteader is left a hundred miles from anywhere when the train he is on is robbed. With him are an attractive dancehall girl and an untrustworthy gambler and he decides to get shelter nearby from outlaw relatives he used to run with.

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Man of the West Directed by Anthony Mann
It’s been knocked for casting the ten-years-younger Cobb as Cooper’s mentor, but Cobb and his grizzled, born-old demeanor (and the makeup) make it work. Sprawling California locations and character actor faces like Royal Dano’s paint in the rest of the color. You can see the heart of the movie in Cooper’s agonized expression, his bald pate visible under wispy gray plugs, standing over the henchman he just knocked out. In Mann’s Westerns, his men may be brave, but are never happy.
November 30, 2016
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You’ve outlived your kind and you’ve outlived your time, [Jones] sharply pronounces. In the context of the film, the remark is a bluntly effective bit of truth telling; as an unintentional reflection on Mann and the aims and ideologies behind a genre he so ably helped advance, it’s an affecting, melancholy metaphor.
November 28, 2014
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…Mann is canny enough to turn [the film’s] limitations to his advantage whenever he can, offering sly notations about Link’s physical discomfort on the train and using a long, tense scene inside the farmhouse to create claustrophobia before sending the characters outdoors for virtually the remainder of the picture. Once again, the hero is a dialectical contradiction, both regressing toward an unbearable past and making an anguished effort to break free from it…
June 05, 2002
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