Man of the West (1958)
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The cynical and dark nature of the story make this feel like one of the late film noirs, and the existential subtext of a man haunted by his past crimes makes this an impressive deconstruction of Western heroic archetypes with some excellent cinematography. Cooper is OK but about twenty years too old for the part, and there are a series of plot conveniences that weaken the film a bit.
This is absolutely a noir, dressed up as a western. The story and characters are harsh and bleak, and Gary Cooper plays an antihero who cannot escape his dark past.
Really didn't age well. The fight scenes were a bit much.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #53 in BFI's 100 Westerns
This movie ranks #227 in Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series
This movie ranks #328 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #433 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #471 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #561 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #580 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #871 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films