Gary Cooper - American Life, American Legend

United States, 1989

Film
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Clint Eastwood narrates this documentary on popular American actor Gary Cooper (1901-61), who enjoyed great fame and prosperity in Hollywood, particularly during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Coop, as he is affectionately called, was the everyman of Hollywood cinema, often assuming roles as the romantic lead, upstanding citizen and cowboy, ironing out trouble and restoring peace to lawless frontier towns. Coop’s protagonists, stern and moral men, were often capable of displaying a naive quality and innocence when it came to romance. In the title role of “Mr Deeds goes to town” (Capra, 1936) Cooper played a moralistic citizen who inherits great wealth and distinguishes himself by assisting the underprivileged masses; the actor soon after became the personification of the model American male - strong, idealistic, upstanding, heterosexual and somewhat overwhelmed when in love. Other famous roles include “Meet John Doe”, “High noon”, “The Fountainhead”, “Love in the afternoon”, “For whom the bell tolls” and “Sergeant York”. This documentary chronologically follows Cooper’s career without really discussing the man behind the myth, instead presenting extensive clips from the actor’s many films and exploring his public persona. Briefly touches on Cooper’s role in the investigation by the House of the Un-American Activities, as a friendly witness, and his affair with actress Patricia Neal.

Credits

production company

Lorac Production

producer/director

Richard Schickel

Duration

00:46:00:00

Production places
United States
Production dates
1989

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

324094

Language

English

Subject categories

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Cooper, Gary

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.) - History

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Motion picture actors and actresses

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Motion picture actors and actresses - Biography

Advertising, Film, Journalism, Mass Media & TV → Motion pictures - Excerpts

Documentary

Documentary → Documentary films - United States

Family, Gender Identity, Relationships & Sexuality → Machismo

Food, Health, Lifestyle, Medicine, Psychology & Safety → Machismo

Music & Performing Arts → Acting

Music & Performing Arts → Actors

Music & Performing Arts → Motion picture actors and actresses

Music & Performing Arts → Motion picture actors and actresses - Biography

People → Celebrities - United States

People → Cooper, Gary

People → Motion picture actors and actresses - Biography

Short films

Short films → Short films - United States

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Black and White and Colour

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/80058--gary-cooper-american-life-american-legend/ |title=Gary Cooper - American Life, American Legend |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=27 October 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}