Gary Cooper is by and large one of the most celebrated and remembered actors of his time since simply saying his name would inspire a great deal of nostalgia in a lot of people in this day and age. In terms of being one of the best it wasn’t hard to find actors just as good as him, but trying to convince anyone that he wasn’t one of the best would no doubt instigate an argument over just how effective he was on screen and how memorable his every appearance has been. As an old school actor he’s one of those that you could honestly listen to your grandparents and even parents go on about since he made his mark long before a lot of the talented individuals that are in the industry today were even born. But there are still those that manage to pay homage to Cooper and his generation since without them a lot of what exists today might have been very different.
Here are a few of Cooper’s very best movies.
5. The Pride of the Yankees
Lou Gehrig was a man that a lot of people would go on to say one thing or another about considering how well they knew him and how well they thought of him, but to the Yankees he was something of a legend and still is since he did manage to produce the level of play that was absolutely impressive. From standing up to his mother and even converting her to the idea that he was a ballplayer to the promise he kept to a young boy upon hitting two home runs, Gehrig was the workhorse of a team that’s been seen as iconic in baseball for a long, long time now. How he went out is hard to fathom for a legend, but it’s still a legacy that lives on.
4. Friendly Persuasion
The call to violence is one that is not answered by everyone as Jess and his family show in this movie, but the saddening part is that a lot of humanity doesn’t feel the same way. During the Civil War the Union and the Confederacy didn’t often take into account who wanted to fight and who didn’t, it was a matter of gaining ground or keeping it and those that got in the way were often collateral damage that had to be tallied up later on. Jess and his family have to make the hard decision of whether to fight or not, but when he and his son go off to join the fighting his wife welcomes in the soldiers, doing what she can to keep the peace.
3. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
A lot of folks might recognize the plot of this movie since Adam Sandler came up with a remake, Mr. Deeds, and used pretty much the same story with a few changes added in to make it his own version. When Longfellow Deeds makes his way to the city after inheriting $20 million dollars from a rich uncle he finds the city life to be a lot different than what he’s used to, and upon meeting the ‘damsel in distress’ that he’s been looking for in his life he gets caught up in the ruckus and the fast pace of the city in a way that almost leaves him completely at the mercy of those that would take advantage of him. When real love finally blossoms between him and Babe Bennett however Deeds finds his strength again and makes things right.
2. Sergeant York
There’s something to be said for karma since York wanted nothing to do with the war but eventually put everything in God’s hands and did as he saw fit for his fellow soldiers. In the beginning of the movie he was a problematic and very anger-driven individual, but by the end he’d become a hardened but still compassionate commanding officer that didn’t want to capitalize on the success he’d had. In fact he turned out to be a man of very simple tastes as all he wanted to do was go home and enjoy the rest of his life. When he returned home however he found that the people of his town were ready to reward him in ways that he’d never expected.
1. High Noon
Sometimes you’ve got to stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone. Kane isn’t the type of man that is going to run from anything or anyone, even if he’s outgunned and has no one to depend on in the entire town. When he does get into the thick of it though his wife decides to shuck her religious beliefs in favor of standing by her man and helping him out when he needs her the most.
Gary Cooper was a legend, and remains so to this day.