Welcome to the Gary Cooper Scrapbook. Here you will find pictures, articles, movie ads, and other ephemera about one of the most talented, respected, and well loved actors of Hollywood's Golden Era.“The world of today is a far cry from the world in which Gary Cooper lived until his untimely death in 1961. The distinction between “celebrity” and “star” was also quite different. But neither of those words was in the foreground of my father’s image of himself. He always felt he was your average “Joe American.” In his film roles, he tried to portray the best an American man could be…He taught me a little Western expression when I was very young. “There ain’t never a horse that couldn’t be rode, there ain’t never a rider that couldn’t be throwed.” In some way, that informed his own way of moving through what was truly an extraordinary life.” – Daughter, Maria Cooper Janis, 2011
I love the old lady who seems drunk all the time. There’s just something innately hilarious about grannies drinking. That scene where Gary and Beryl are walking down the street and she lifts his kilt up a little in the back so her friends can see his hairy legs is so funny!! I also prefer his chest hair, but any opportunity to see those beautiful, skinny legs is welcome.
I wish there was a better copy of this one floating around out there so we could see him more clearly in the scene where he’s wedged in the little bathtub.
There are several scenes in some of his films where they are trying to fit him in something that is too small and I just love it b/c it makes him look even bigger.
You do need to see Morocco, it’s a fun movie and he plays a really sexy, smooth character – you’ll love it!! It’s part of the Marlene Dietrich Glamour Collection and you should be able to find it at Amazon for about $20. There’s one scene where we get a close up of him taking a big bite very slowly from an apple and just thinking about it I can feel my cheeks blushing right now. I’ve never wanted to be a piece of fruit so bad . I may have to post some screencaps of that.
Rocky, who would marry him three years after Morocco came out, was 17 when she and her friends went to see it and she fell for him just like the rest of us have.
You’ve brought up an interesting discussion topic Maggie.
I’m email pals with John Mulholland, film historian and Gary Cooper expert, and he’s talked about this before. When Kevin Costner was beginning his career he was compared to Gary as was Clint Eastwood in his early days. There may have been some vague similarities early on, but as their careers progressed, they went down their own unique paths.
One of Costner’s more recent films, Mr. Brooks, was about a serial killer who seems to lead a perfectly normal life. One review of the film said “imagine Gary Cooper as a serial killer”. I was floored when I read that b/c that is one thing I can’t imagine as Gary never played a bad guy.
In John’s radio show, Icons Radio that is broadcast on the internet, he and fellow film historian Meir Ribalow did two back to back episodes about Westerns. In it they discussed Gary and Eastwood quite a bit. John explained that in one of Eastwood’s films (sorry I don’t remember which one) his character walks into a bar and shoots an unarmed man to get revenge for something. They then contrasted that with Gary and how he never did anything like that in his films. They specifically mentioned the scene in High Noon where he first confronts the bad guys. He sneaks up from behind but instead of shooting them in the back, he calls out to them with his gun still in its holster. They turn around and then Gary draws and shoots one of them. Meir cracked me up when he said if that was him, he would have taken out as many as he could even if that meant shooting them in the back. But that was not in Gary’s character as Will Kane was an honorable man who always tried to do the right thing even if it may mean losing his own life.
I think another thing that makes Gary, and practically all other classic era actors different from today’s crop, is that due to the production code you would not have seen explicit sex or as much graphic violence as there is today so for me, it’s hard to imagine those people working today and thus hard to find similarities sometimes between them and the new guys and gals.
I can think of a couple of examples though if you look at Field of Dreams and Gran Torino (my fave films of Costner and Eastwood respectively). There is quite a bit of profanity in the latter, but the characters in both films have a lot of similarities to some of Gary’s characters. I would say Costner in FofD is similar to Mr. Deeds in that he has a crazy idea (building a ballpark in his corn field) but he just knows it’s the right thing to do and his faith is justified in the end. Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino reminds me of the types of characters Gary played near the end of his career – the tough, somewhat grizzled older man who deep down still has a soft heart and does the right thing.
What’s funny though is in Gary’s own time other actors were compared to him as being the new “Gary Cooper”. During parts of ’31 and ’32 when he was on hiatus recovering from being overworked by the studio, Paramount was grooming a young actor to take his place is their wayward star did not return. That actor was Cary Grant, who like Costner and Eastwood, would make his own unique reputation and mark on the film world.
Gary himself was not immune to comparison’s of actors who came before him as you can see by another article on this site. They ask if Gary is the new William S. Hart who had been a star mostly in Westerns during the teens and early 20s (and is one of my faves as well).
To sum up my thoughts on this, I don’t think there will ever be another “Gary Cooper”. Every now and then we may see flashes of him in others, but no one who is the complete package.
I said I was gonna sum up but now I’ve thought of something else . Costner is a great example of someone who had quite a bit of success but then dropped off considerably and kinda became a joke in that more often than not his films do poorly at the box office and also receive less than glittering praise. It can be hard to maintain a high level of popularity and consistency throughout a lengthy career in the entertainment world as tastes are fickle and seem to change every few years. So someone who once was a star, may now be a joke.
This never really happened with Gary. Most people would say the post war years (1946-1951) was his roughest stretch and I agree but, he was still an A list caliber star and did produce many good films during that period including Unconquered and Task Force which were probably the most well received during that time. He was also a guest on many popular radio shows and frequently mentioned on many others, especially on Jack Benny’s show, as well as being featured with articles and other tidbits in the movie mags. I have one pic on the site from 1950 with Gary and Jane Wyman receiving awards from a French magazine that did a popularity poll for movie stars which they had won. For a long stretch during the 30s and 40s he was consistently in the top ten of box office draws and in 1953, after 28 years in the business, he was ranked the number one box office star of that year. That’s some kind of staying power .
Post by maggiejones on Jul 24, 2009 16:33:35 GMT -6
WOW !! what did you say you do for a living ! So glad I'v found you. I have tried to sum up what it is, apart from his beauty and the fact that he was a fantastic actor, that hurts so much now he's not here any more in person for us. It can be painful at times. Would love your take on that
I'm a number cruncher/statistician for the state government. I know that sounds very boring but I love it. As you may have noticed, I love classic movies and when it comes to Gary, I could talk about him all day and then some.
It is hard to exactly pinpoint what it is about Gary that stands out and makes such an impression on people. He was so beloved by people all around the world during his life and still is decades after his passing. There are a lot of good looking people out there (though none quite as good as Gary) and a lot of talented actors as well but Gary just had something else that makes you want to pay attention and watch him.
I'm one of those people who have a lot of crazy dreams and I usually remember them and I tend to dream about things I like or that are on my mind so it's no surprise that I dream about Gary a lot. I have a journal that I've been keeping where I have all my Gary dreams written down. It's getting very full. In regards to your question about how it hurts sometimes not having him still around, I think I can answer that by telling you one of my favorite Gary dreams.
It started and I was getting off a plane at the airport. I had on the prettiest outfit with a camel and white dress, white coat, camel and white hat and the most gorgeous shoes in the old two tone spectator style that were also camel and white. I looked like I was dressed in a 30s style but it was actually 1961, you'll see in a minute how I knew the exact year. So I was walking through the airport and I went into the fancy V.I.P. lounge to wait for my husband to come and pick me up. Dreams are so crazy though and when Gary came in I was stunned to realize he was my husband. He was 60 (so what that he'd be 28 years my senior, I didn't care ) and he looked great. He was wearing a long sleeve baby blue polo type shirt (tucked in of course b/c he would never look sloppy in public) and a nice pair of khaki pants. He was so excited to see me and he smiled and gave me a big hug. He apologized for being late and said he was helping his pal Hemingway with something. I was trying to play it cool and I told him I missed him too and all the while I thought I was about to cry b/c I was so happy to see that he was alive and healthy since he only really lived six days after his 60th birthday. I remember thinking too "I can't believe I'm married to Gary Cooper". It was a beautiful dream.
Now here's the freaky part. I love going to antique and vintage clothes stores and a couple weeks ago while I was out and about I found a pair of shoes exactly like the ones in my dreams and they were in my size. They are Ferragamo's too which are a great brand. I feel like Cinderella with her glass slippers. ;D
It's nice of you sharing your dreams with us, Coopsgirl Nice shoes!! I'm just crazy about vintage stuff too. I love the 1920's and 1930's fashion look. I'm always wearing something that reminds me of that era.
The 20s and 30s are my fave era and I just found a couple good books at Amazon about the fashions of that era. They have lots of good color pics and stuff. I'll start a new thread in the general board later this evening and we can talk more about that stuff there if you're so inclined .
VintageHome: Thanks, cori. I love my birds. I had to catch the Great Tit to get it back outside but it kept hiding from me ...eventually it found its way outside all by itself
May 22, 2013 3:08:08 GMT -6
gcfanforever: I don't always log in but I check your site very often, Coopsgirl. Love, love it!! The recent Forbes article was very good.
May 19, 2013 18:21:34 GMT -6
cori: Well, VintageHome, may be it's just only because you do it, she'll always be thankful...
May 18, 2013 10:19:22 GMT -6
VintageHome: Folks, hope you have a good weekend. It's a holiday weekend for me! Found one of my birds, a Great Tit sitting on my armchair today , the balcony door was open, looking at me as if to say: Feed Me! They know I do but apparently it wasn't enough. :
May 16, 2013 7:43:42 GMT -6
VintageHome: I think pompomfd1 "Make me a Star" is not listed in the 1930s movies section because Gary was just being himself and it wasn't really a movie he starred in (it's listed as "Self" in IMDB)
May 15, 2013 2:26:57 GMT -6
pomponfd1: Hello Coopsgirl.[br]I think there is not post "make me a star - 1932" in movies still 1930?
May 14, 2013 6:47:11 GMT -6
cori: There is no place for: “it came about casually”,[br]There is only place for states of consciousness which make us so sensitive as a highly sensitive star-tracker...[br]- MICHEL BOUJUT - I agree...
May 13, 2013 15:02:47 GMT -6
VintageHome: Well, we all have our hobbies, cori Some people collect shoes, others collect memorabilia. Some people believe in the paranormal, others refuse to talk about it..Think we'll make it to Alpha Centauri any time soon?
May 13, 2013 11:26:48 GMT -6
cori: Often, my friends say to me that "me and Gary Cooper", this veneration is not normal! I answer them: it's worse! It's paranormal! Strange but real...
May 13, 2013 9:03:03 GMT -6
VintageHome: Energy never dies so I'm certain Gary keeps on ticking in one way or another. Saw two very interesting documentaries the other day, on how people perceive certain things, how time travel works, worm holes and parallel universes. Fascinating!
May 13, 2013 6:32:22 GMT -6
Coopsgirl: Children of Divorce is not lost. There is a restored copy in the Library of Congress (U.S.). It has never been released on home video though or shown on TV so there are no available copies-yet.
May 12, 2013 14:59:07 GMT -6
pomponfd1: Children Of Divorce : this film is lost i think
May 12, 2013 11:55:48 GMT -6
regenerate31965: HAPPY BIRTHDAY,"MR. COOPER"!...WE ARE REGENERATED! WE ARE IMMORTALS! WE ARE ONE OF "THE GODS' OWN"...WE ARE GODS! WE WILL NEVER DIE...BECAUSE WE IMMORTAL...REGENERATED,ALL OVER AGAIN! SO BE IT!...DAUGHTER...AND SON OF "RAM"!
May 11, 2013 17:59:20 GMT -6
westerngirl: Here is the movie on youtube (Ten North Frederick) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_VfYgRSPlA&list=PL090E7CDBAAB21CAE
May 10, 2013 0:49:12 GMT -6
howardroarksheffield: Oh, MaxiCooper01....these are the best websites I know of where you can get Ten North Frederick http://www.ioffer.com/i/ten-north-frederick-rare-dvd-movie-1958-gary-cooper-142194065 http://www.armandmovies.com/cart/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=7
May 8, 2013 15:15:57 GMT -6
howardroarksheffield: Hay, has anyone ever seen Children Of Divorce? I spoke to a rare movies collector and even he hasn't been able to get hold of it. Which is a pain because it looks great.
May 8, 2013 15:11:44 GMT -6
cori: Valentine, I don't know exactly, but when he came in France with his family it was often in May, and in Grasse (city in the south) during May there's a annual show of roses. It's possible they visited it (and in May, it was the birthday of Rocky too)
May 8, 2013 9:30:46 GMT -6
valentine: Why these roses, where they his favorite flower. The bouquet is gorgeous!
May 7, 2013 17:42:01 GMT -6
Coopsgirl: I recorded my copy of Ten North Frederick off TV and there are probably copies like that floating around out there. I'm bummed too that TCM is not showing any of his films today. They been giving him short shrift the past couple of years.
May 7, 2013 17:27:14 GMT -6