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
The Time an Ulcer Won the Academy Award From: HOLLYWOOD IS A FOUR LETTER TOWN by James Bacon
Whenever there is talk about Hollywood's classic westerns, the name HIGH NOON always comes up. But did you know that when HIGH NOON was first sneaked in Riverside, it was one of the great disasters of all time? It was so bad that even the producer, Stanley Kramer, wanted to forget about it. I know because I saw that first sneak. The picture was way too long because the director had a crush on a new actress by the name of Grace Kelly. About half the picture was close-ups of Grace. She may not have known that Fred Zinnemann was in love with her but that's the word of Elmo Williams, now a producer, in those days a cutter. Elmo won the Oscar for editing HIGH NOON. The original version stressed the love story between Grace and Gary Cooper - a co-plot with the tale of the killers arriving in town to kill the brave sheriff. But those close-ups of the future princess were too much. Incidentally, whenever you see a preponderance of close-ups in a movie you can always be sure that the director is in love with the star. In was a depressed bunch who came back from that sneak in Riverside. One other major fault of the movie was Cooper's ulcer. It kept burping in key scenes. I had been on the set at the Columbia ranch in 1951 during the making of the movie. Coop told me his ulcer had been giving him unusual trouble. "Jesus, I don't know whether I'll make it through the picture," he said one day over a glass of tequila at the China Trader, a restaurant near the ranch in Burbank. As I say, Kramer was so disgusted that he was all for writing off the movie. You would be amazed to learn how many movies made are never released. Elmo the cutter begged to have one weekend with the movie, a request that was granted. "I worked night and day for the whole weekend cutting that movie. I took out most of the love story and about 99 percent of the close-ups of Grace," Elmo recalls. "I confined the action of the movie to the actual hour of high noon. There were shots of the town clock. I inserted more, ticking off the time. "As the picture was cut, I could see that Coop's ulcer, a liability in the love scenes, was a huge asset in the suspense. Three killers were out to kill Coop and he was getting no help from the townspeople. It was terrifying situation and the burp only accented his terror. "Towards the end of the weekend, I knew I had a good movie. I also had a short movie. There was no exposition of the plot. I hit upon the idea of putting a song in front and over the titles. It had never been done before. I tested it with a recording of Vaughan Monroe singing 'Ghost Riders in the Sky.' That was just temporary until I could get a song in there. On Monday I talked with composers Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkin and told them that I needed a song that would both set the mood and also tell the plot before the picture got started. They came up with 'The Ballad of High Noon.'" Now, if you listen to that song even today, you don't have to see the movie to know what it's all about. The whole plot is in the song. Elmo said that he knew just the right voice to sing it - that of the old cowboy star Tex Ritter, who wasn't doing too well at that time. Tex jumped at the chance to sing the song. George Glass, who was a member of the Kramer company at the time, says that it was Kramer who inserted the close-ups of Cooper and his ulcer and the town clock. "Stanley took over the final editing," says George, "giving the movie the sense of urgency that made it, especially the inserts of the town clock." And Carl Foreman, the writer, says that Coop's not accepting credit for his acting was due to "Coop's characteristic modesty." It's true that Coop would downgrade even an Oscar, but I saw him right after he won it and this was his aside to me: "First time in the history of the Academy an ulcer ever won an Oscar." As for the editing, I believe Elmo's version. After all, he won the Oscar that year. And the other editors who do the voting know who did the work. I am sure that Kramer oversaw Elmo's work and heartily approved. Who wouldn't approve a cutter who had turned disaster into triumph? Whatever happened, it is still one hell of a picture. And now you know why studios have sneak previews. Only the audience can make a hit.
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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
maxiecooper01: I'm so surprised that TCM is not showing any Coop movies on his Birthday. Also Please let me know if or where I can purchase Ten North Frederick in widescreen. I just read it was available some time ago. I only watched it on Youtube, how sad. LO
May 7, 2013 8:59:39 GMT -6