Tag Archives: Gary Cooper

An Acting Lesson: John Wayne and the “Reality of the Doing”

In one lengthy scene in Hondo, filmed in one almost unbroken take, Wayne makes horseshoes in the little outdoor smith in the yard. Geraldine Page hovers nearby. He talks to her about the Apaches, and what they are up to. … Continue reading

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July 2021 Viewing Diary

Sally, Mary and Irene (1925; d. Edmund Goulding) For some reason, I forgot to include this gem in my June viewing diary. Considered lost forever, it is one of Joan Crawford’s earliest films – and one where she is actually … Continue reading

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Podcast: Watch With Jen: a Pre-Code discussion!

Had so much fun appearing as a guest on Jen Johans’ podcast, Watch With Jen, for a discussion of Pre-Code films, the Wild West of Hollywood in between (roughly) the years 1930 and 1934. I pitched a couple of ideas, … Continue reading

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For John Wayne’s Birthday: Hondo (1953) at MoMA: John Wayne in 3D

In real life John Wayne was huge, 6’3″, with broad shoulders, a lean waist, and long ambling legs. He towered over everybody. And yet, he was always graceful. His athleticism is extraordinary, his physicality smooth and controlled. So he was … Continue reading

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January/February/March 2021 Viewing Diary

Better late than never. I moved at the end of January – a big interstate move – so I’ve been a bit, how you say, busy. Not too busy to keep up my viewing schedule but too busy to put … Continue reading

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March 2020 Viewing Diary: A Before and After List

I began this viewing diary in a time of innocence (and naivete) before social distancing became compulsory (or at least strongly suggested). We here were months behind schedule, due to the disgraceful anti-science buffoonery of the current administration, who do … Continue reading

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November 2016 Viewing Diary

Elle (2016; d. Paul Verhoeven) I loved it. People HATE this movie. One lady on Twitter said that men should be banned from making films about rape. How you would enforce such a rule is beyond me. Also: No fucking … Continue reading

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“14 watercolors ….” Howard Hawks’ Ball of Fire at the Film Forum

Not as well-known as some other Howard Hawks films (or Billy Wilder scripts, for that matter), Ball of Fire, starring Gary Cooper as the nerdy linguistics professor (only in Hollywood ) and Barbara Stanwyck as the wise-cracking two-bit showgirl Sugarpuss … Continue reading

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Seen Recently: Meet John Doe (1941), A Short Film About Love (1988), The Heiress (1949)

Meet John Doe directed by Frank Capra In his autobiography, Frank Capra opens the section on Meet John Doe with these words: Making a film out of Meet John Doe proved to be as full of surprises as breaking a … Continue reading

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Some Island snapshots

— “I cannot imagine how a casual reference to Suetonius and Petronius Arbiter can be construed into evidence of a desire to impress by an assumption of superior knowledge. I should fancy that the most ordinary of scholars is perfectly … Continue reading

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