The Gary Cooper Collection

The Gary Cooper Collection

DVD - 2005
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Design for living: Two free-wheeling Americans share an apartment in Paris and fall in love with the same woman.
Peter Ibbetson: An architect discovers his childhood sweetheart is now the wife of the nobleman he is working for. When he is imprisoned for an accidental killing, only their rekindled love gives him hope.
The General died at dawn: A mysterious American soldier-of-fortune is determined to foil the ambitions of a ruthless enemy general planning to take over the provinces of Northern China.
Beau Geste: Three brothers join the Foreign Legion to escape a dark past. Their troubles are forgotten when they are forced to fight against all odds.
The lives of a Bengal lancer: A man joins two other Bengal lancers in the quest to protect British India's Northwest Frontier from Islamic invaders.


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Jul 17, 2009

Good – The Gary Cooper Collection. The following reviews each of the five films included in this collection of Gary Cooper’s earlier pictures. The collection was released in May 2005. Bias: I love the old black & white films and was thrilled that OPL purchased this collection for our enjoyment. Unfortunately, the problem with these particular pictures is that they are a bit dated in terms of dialogue and situations. Hence, try to place yourself in the 1930s experiencing the films for the first time.

Skip It – Design For Living (1933) 91 min. Two best friends (Fredric March and Gary Cooper) fight over the same girl (Miriam Hopkins). Though the film was ahead of its time with respect to subject matter and a thorn in the sides of the censors of the time, the film still falls flat in terms of comedy and just being dated.

Skip It – Peter Ibbiston (1935) 88 min. The film’s intent and story is timeless (childhood friends who were stripped away from each other only to discover their love for each other later in life). Again, the film seems dated in dialogue and situations. A dream sequence that lasts much too long at the conclusion of the film fells this story into mediocrity. Nominated at the 1936 Oscars for Score.

Good – The General Dies at Dawn (1936) 98 min. Gary Cooper is great in this film-noir about a man trying to deliver much needed funds to rebels in China against a ruthless dictator and general (played by Akim Tamiroff). The dialogue is punchy and the femme fatale is stunning. Fun film though the ending is a little over-handed.

Good – Beau Geste (1939) 112 min. This is an entertaining adventure about three brothers who join the French Foreign Legion. The reason for the men joining revolves around a confusing plot regarding a stolen blue water gem. Despite the sub-plot, the adventure in the Sahara Desert is very good. Sergent Markoff, their ruthless leader, has to be the best movie villain around. Example: a couple of deserters are captured completely de-hydrated. What does Markoff do? He sends them back into the desert to fend for themselves - how cruel is that? Again, the film’s dialogue and certain situations seem dated in today’s standards but still very enjoyable.

Fair - The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) 109 min. Gary Cooper plays a soldier in the 41st Bengal Lancer division of the British Army stationed in northern India. Interesting adventure story which is geared more towards the relationships between the men; especially between an officer and his son. But there is indeed a sub-plot: the British army must defend against marauding East Indians trying to force the British out. By the way, this is the film that coined the dialogue used repeatedly afterwards: “We have ways of making you talk”. It’s uttered in the last third of the film.

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