Gary Cooper: The Signature Collection

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:

“Sergeant York”
Gary Cooper as Alvin C. York
Walter Brennan as Pastor Rosier Pile
Joan Leslie as Gracie Williams
George Tobias as ‘Pusher’ Ross
Stanley Ridges as Maj. Buxton
Margaret Wycherly as Mother York
Ward Bond as Ike Botkin
Noah Beery Jr. as Buck Lipscomb
June Lockhart as Rosie York
Dickie Moore as George York
Clem Bevans as Zeke
Howard Da Silva as Lem
Charles Trowbridge as Cordell Hull
Harvey Stephens as Capt. Danforth
David Bruce as Bert Thomas

“The Fountainhead”
Gary Cooper as Howard Roark
Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon
Raymond Massey as Gail Wynand
Kent Smith as Peter Keating
Robert Douglas as Ellsworth Toohey
Henry Hull as Henry Cameron
Ray Collins as Roger Enright
Moroni Olsen as Chairman
Jerome Cowan as Alvah Scarret

“Dallas”
Gary Cooper as Blayde Hollister
Ruth Roman as Tonia Robles
Steve Cochran as Brant Marlow
Raymond Massey as Will Marlow
Barbara Payton as Flo
Leif Erickson as U.S. Marshal Martin Weatherby
Antonio Moreno as Don Felipe Robles
Jerome Cowan as Matt Coulter
Reed Hadley as Wild Bill Hickok
Gil Donaldson as Luis Robles

“Springfield Rifle”
Gary Cooper as Maj. Alex ‘Lex’ Kearney
Phyllis Thaxter as Erin Kearney
David Brian as Austin McCool, Raider Leader
Paul Kelly as Lt. Col John Hudson (Ft. Hedley CO)
Lon Chaney Jr. as Pete Elm, Leader of Non-military Raiders
Philip Carey as Capt. Edward Tennick
James Millican as Det. Matthew Quint
Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams as Sgt. Snow
Alan Hale Jr. as Mizzell
Martin Milner as Pvt. Olie Larsen
Wilton Graff as Col. George Sharpe

“The Wreck of the Mary Deare”
Gary Cooper as Gideon Patch
Charlton Heston as John Sands
Michael Redgrave as Mr. Nyland
Emlyn Williams as Sir Wilfred Falcett
Cecil Parker as The Chairman, Board of Inquiry
Alexander Knox as Mr. Petrie
Virginia McKenna as Janet Taggart
Richard Harris as Higgins
Ben Wright as Mike Duncan
Peter Illing as Gunderson, Mary Deare Owner
Terence de Marney as Frank
Ashley Cowan as Burrows
Charles Davis as Yules, Quartermaster on Mary Deare

Special Features:

“Sergeant York”
Two-Disc Special Edition includes:
Commentary by Jeannine Basinger
Classic Cartoon Porky’s Preview
Vintage short Lions for Sale
Cooper Trailer Gallery
Two documentaries

“The Fountainhead”
New featurette The Making of The Fountainhead
Theatrical trailer

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1) (Widescreen for “The Wreck of the Mary DeareĀ”)
French Language (Except for Dallas)
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time:
“Sergeant York” – 134 Minutes
“The Fountainhead” – 112 Minutes
“Dallas” – 94 Minutes
“Springfield Rifle” – 93 Minutes
“The Wreck of the Mary Deare” – 105 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD covers:

“Sergeant York (1941)”
Torn between religious pacifism and patriotism, Tennessee born Alvin York went on to become the most acclaimed hero of WWI.

For his portrayal of the simple backwoods farm boy who captured 132 German soldiers during the battle of Argonne, Gary Cooper (hand-picked by York to play him) also won acclaim – and his first Best Actor Academy Award.

Released in 1941 when the US was on the brink of another war, this stirring adventure inspired thousands of enlisting men. Nominated for a total 11 Oscars including Best Picture, also a winner for Best Film Editing and movingly directed by Howard Hawks, it tells of a religious man’s moral crisis, heroics and subsequent return to the rural life he loved, refusing to capitalize on the adulation heaped upon him. An ode to patriotism and the human spirit, “Sergeant York” endures as one of Hollywood’s finest hours.

“The Fountainhead (1949)”
“Do you want to stand alone against the whole world?” Architect Howard Roark has heard the voices of safety, convention, compromise. But Roark is a man as unyielding as the mighty structures he builds. And he will sacrifice everything – the woman he loves or the project he dynamites when others interfere with his design – to maintain his individuality in a world of lockstep conformity.

Gary Cooper portrays Roark and Patricia Neal plays the troubled beauty whose desire for him almost destroys her in this emotionally and intellectually searing film scripted by Ayn Rand from her own novel. From a granite quarry to Manhattan skyscrapers to a thrilling courtroom finale with his freedom on the line, Roark does stand alone against the whole world. And that is his most towering achievement.

“Dallas (1950)”
Land, a family, a future. They’re ‘dreams fried up, short order’ for Blayde Hollister. Rightly or Wrongly, this ex-confederate from Georgia has waged his own war to settle past injustices. Now he’s a wanted man. And he can feel the law closing in on him. Big D hosts capital-E excitement when screen legend Gary Cooper plays Hollister in the brawling adventure “Dallas.” Posing as a Boston dandy, he comes to the boomtown with a gun and a plan: to smoke out the notorious Marlow brothers, then give ‘em all a whiff of gun smoke.

“Springfield Rifle (1952)”
Few actors personified the West like Gary Cooper. Here, in a Civil War-era sagebrush saga co-written by “Gunsmoke” creator Charles Marquis Warren and directed by action master Andre de Toth, Cooper plays Lex Kearny, a U.S. Army major posing as a Confederate sympathizer. Kearney’s ruse unmasks rustlers of Union horses, even though his true allegiance is revealed. The major and his troops are outmanned and outgunned but with the experimental weapon that makes one man the equal of five, they won’t be outfought.

“The Wreck of Mary Deare (1959)”
“The Wreck of the Mary Deare” is part seafaring adventure, part mystery, part courtroom drama. Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston star and Michael Anderson (“Around the World in 80 Days,” “Logan’s Run”) directs from a screenplay by famed spy novelist Eric Ambler. Richard Harris, in his first year of film acting, gives an intense performance as a seaman who may be part of a duplicitous agenda.

“Gary Cooper: The Signature Collection” is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I have to admit, before watching these DVD’s, I wasn’t very familiar with Gary Cooper’s work. What impressed me while watching them is the range of films he took part in. He did westerns, war movies, dramas, and more. He kind of reminded me of Harrison Ford in that in almost any role he took part in, you could count on him to be the good guy that wins in the end.

“Sergeant York” is a rather interesting part of his filmography. The film is credited with helping kick-start the recruiting movement for WWII. It also has applications today as it features an average, everyday American that is a conscientious objector, yet he joins in the fight to do his part in the war effort. I was a bit surprised that over half of the movie takes place in the United States amid York’s humble origins. It’s unusual for a war movie to feature so little war. In the end “Sergeant York” is a landmark war movie and an interesting biography about an American war hero.

In a complete change of gears, “The Wreck of Mary Deare” is a film from the end of Cooper’s career and features notable co-stars Charlton Heston and a young Richard Harris. Cooper, showing much greater range of acting skills, plays Gideon Patch, a ship captain who may or may not be insane. The film starts out as a dark mystery at sea, changes into a courtroom drama, then swings back to a high seas drama. The result is an intriguing mystery well worth checking out.

Between these two very different films are “Dallas” and “Springfield Rifle,” both westerns, and “The Fountainhead,” which is a drama about a famous architect. In short, if you buy this Gary Cooper collection, you’re going to get a wide variety of classic films. My father-in-law loves war movies and westerns, so this set is right up his alley. The collection also features several bonus features, all of which are on “Sergeant York” and “The Fountainhead.” You’ll find a biography about the making of “Sergeant York” narrated by Liam Neeson and a biography of Cooper himself.

If you’re a fan of classic film or Gary Cooper himself, you’ll definitely want this added to your DVD collection this holiday season.

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