MOROCCO
1930, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Josef Von Sternberg

“You’d better go now, I’m beginning to like you,” purrs cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich to cocky young soldier boy Gary Cooper. If you’re going to see just one Foreign Legion movie, make it MOROCCO: Dietrich (in her first American film appearance) and Cooper are downright gorgeous, and Von Sternberg transforms the two-bit cantinas and barracks of Mogador into a splendid landscape of light & shadow.


BLUEBEARD’S EIGHTH WIFE
1938, Universal, 85 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch

Gary Cooper plays multimillionaire Michael Brandon, who changes wives as if they were underwear (or, in this case, pajama tops) until he marries the daughter (Claudette Colbert) of an impoverished marquis. As lucrative as divorce would be, the young woman is determined to be the final Mrs. Brandon. Director Ernst Lubitsch’s first pairing with the Charles Brackett-Billy Wilder writing team was a match made in heaven.


HIGH NOON
1952, Paramount, 85 min, USA, Dir: Fred Zinnemann

No movie hero ever walked taller than Gary Cooper in HIGH NOON. As Marshal Will Kane, he’s ready to turn in his badge and settle down with his new wife (Grace Kelly) until he learns a criminal is arriving on the noon train bent on revenge. When the locals turn a deaf ear to Kane’s pleas for help (even deputy Lloyd Bridges refuses), the lawman must face a gang of killers alone. This iconic Western, named by the AFI as one of the 100 greatest films of all time, won four Oscars, including a Best Actor award for Cooper and Best Song for “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’.” With Katy Jurado. Favorite film of former president Bill Clinton, who screened it a record 17 times at the White House.


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