- It’s yet another solid film from Wyler
- Doesn’t use Gregg Toland as much as some of the better works from these collaborators but there are some great b/w landscapes here
- It’s an Oscar win for Walter Brennan. He’s deserving here- a large figure playing a large figure in Judge Roy Bean. He’s intoxicating, folksy, smart, edgy and dark.
- Brennan just built for a western—he really plays the same character as he does in My Darling Clementine here
- Young Dana Andrews pops up for a minute
- Dimitri Tiomkin score
- Chill Wills is great as well
- Great decor detail in the interior of the homesteader’s house
- Beautifully photographed montage of the prairie
- It’s rustling vs. ranchers/settlers again. The settling down is a metaphor for Cooper’s romance
- Pretty brutal scene of the cowboys terrorizing the settlers—a great high angle shot of the destruction
@Drake – Agreed about Brennan he is on fire here. And probably the main reason to watch this movie.
– Cooper on the other hand is just okay. I thought his deadpan manner worked fine in more comedic moments and with his ambiguity about choosing a side. But I didn’t feel that he sold the principled side of his character.
– I thought Wyler demonstrated here a good mastery of tone.
– Also, agree the Toland is underused here.
– The sequence of cowboys attacking the settlers was really well directed.
– I also want to complement Wyler on the finale shootout. I really appreciated the clearness with which he showed spatial relation between the gunfighters at different moments.
– I also felt thought the finale of the Brennan character obsession with the actress was really well done.
Overall, I think it’s a Brennan show, but Wyler directions of the three sequences that I mentioned is really what solidified the place of this movie in the archives.