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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Westerner (1940)



Reviews and Comments

During the settlement of the Old West, there was a lot of tension between the ranchers and homesteaders, because the way each wanted to use the land was quite different. The Westerner takes a look at those growing pains, telling the story of a man (Gary Cooper) who runs across the corrupt, self-appointed Judge Roy Bean (Walter Brennan, who has a knack for stealing scenes and does so here) and must use his wits to stay alive and keep peace in the town. The characters are complex, and the film is done with true conviction. What an important but thankless thing it is, the film shows us, to see both sides of a controversial issue.