The Tall American: Gary Cooper (1963) [Short]

USA (MIFF 1964 , The Tall American)
Director: Donald B. Hyatt

N.B.C's memorial to Gary Cooper emerges a com­prehensible and authentic portrait, hewn to a simple theme, that the man who portrayed folk heroes in motion pictures had, himself, become a folk hero — America's ideal of the ideal American, "both physically and spiritually tall".

The actors life and legend is traced from a happy boyhood in Montana to his first job in Hollywood as a stunt rider, his roles in the silents, and his growth as a box-office idol and ihe international image of American manhood. The film includes stills and excerpts from his films, including the first, The Winning Of Barbara Worth: the trial from Mr Deeds goes To Town; the showdown of High Noon, the climactic stint of heroism in Sergeant York and the farewell speech in Pride Of The Yankees. Skilfully edited with these excerpts is candid footage of the man himself, including his testimony before the Un-American Activities Committee, and home-made movies showing a whimsical side to his nature.

As well as an illumination of its subject's life and character, the film is of great interest to students of the cinema.

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