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Springfield Rifle, one of five films included in this set, may miss the bullseye as a true Gary Cooper classic, but there's a line that speaks to his enduring status as a screen icon and "American Legend." In this 1952 Western, his follow-up film to High Noon, Cooper's character has been drummed out of the army and branded a coward. Suffice to say that all is not what it seems, and an observer is asked how Coop will handle the pressure. The response: "He'll stand up." That is quintessential Cooper. He's a stand-up guy, and the "dang swangest hero," as he is hailed in Sergeant York, this collection's calling card. Directed by Howard Hawks and co-written by John Huston, Sergeant York earned Cooper an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Alvin York, a Tennessee mountain hellraiser who finds religion after surviving a lightning strike. His newfound pacifist beliefs are put to the supreme test when he is forced to enlist in WWI. Cooper also displays the (Frank Lloyd) Wright stuff as architect Harold Roark in The Fountainhead (1949), adapted for the screen by Ayn Rand from her towering and controversial bestselling novel about a "fool visionary" who refuses to compromise his principles or conform his work to popular taste. The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959), his penultimate film, finds Cooper desperately trying to clear his name before an inquiry determines what really happened aboard the mysteriously abandoned eponymous ship. Costar Charlton Heston gives him a run for Most Piercing Blue Eyes honors. Last, and least, but still entertaining, is Dallas (1950), in which Cooper stars as a Confederate outlaw who impersonates a sheriff to settle an old score. Cooper is not the most chameleon-esque of actors, but in these representative films, he displays intriguing shadings to his heroic persona. Roark in The Fountainhead has a definite dark side, while his "Reb" Hollister in Dallas is something of a rascal.

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# Sergeant York (1941) # Two-Disc Special Edition includes: # Commentary by film historiann Jeannine Basinger # New making-of featurette: Sergeant York: Of God and Country # Vintage biographical profile: Gary Cooper: American Life, American Legend # Vintage short Lions for Sale # Classic Cartoon Porky's Preview # Cooper trailer gallery # Color, 1.33, English 1.0, French 1.0 # The Fountainhead (1949) # New featurette The Making of The Fountainhead # Theatrical trailer # B&W, 1.33, English 1.0, French 1.0

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WA3121 Gary Cooper Signature Collection DVD (Sergeant York/The Fountainhead/Dallas/Springfield Rifle/The Wreck of the Mary Deare) $49.98 $39.99