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Cooper plays the most sympathetic western character I can remember. Will Kane has his wedding day ruined by the memory of a past a devotion and a promise that must take precedence over his new marriage. A promise of duty, a devotion that cannot be escaped.
What a beautiful movie. The shots of solitary Kane walking through the streets with the pitiful refrain of the title song ("do not forsake me oh my darling," as much words between Kane and his wife as between the town and Kane) are close to tear-provoking.
A western that elevates emotional involvement over the genre's classical stylistic and thematic elements. Unique and vital.
Different from the regular westerns in so many ways, yet one of the best . One of my all time fav.
Something about this movie draws you in right away and, over the span of its hour and 45 minute runtime, Cooper's increasingly desperate situation holds you until the finale despite the lack of traditional western action.
A serious man's western about moral imperatives and a town's collective social conscious.
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In 18 official lists
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This movie ranks #15 in IMDb's Western Top 50
This movie ranks #17 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #20 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills
This movie ranks #27 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
This movie ranks #27 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers
This movie ranks #32 in Taschen's 100 All-Time Favorite Movies
This movie ranks #39 in BFI's 100 Westerns
This movie ranks #61 in Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century
This movie ranks #113 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #185 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #221 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #240 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #308 in Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series
This movie ranks #379 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #406 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #441 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #463 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #469 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films