Dennis Hopper Western Filmography
I count Dennis Hopper’s appearances in at least two Western Classics: Gunfight at OK Corral with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas (1957); and True Grit (1969) with John Wayne. Even if Western movie fans didn’t count these movies as Classic, it would be recognized that Hopper had appeared with three of the Greatest Western Movie Stars of all time: Wayne, Lancaster and Douglas.
Some Western fans may also include Hang ‘em High (1968) with another of the Greatest Western Actors of all time: Clint Eastwood; and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) with John Wayne (again), Dean Martin and Earl Holliman.
Among Western TV Shows. Gunsmoke and Bonanza would well be considered Classics. Cheyenne ? (Note: Hoppers roles in the TV Westerns were as a Guest Star – not a regular.)
Even so, not a bad legacy for one the legendary bad boys of the Entertainment industry.
The Professionals …
The Professionals / Laurel Award
Three 1966 Academy Award Nominations:
Best Director: Richard Brooks
Best Adapted Screenplay: Richard Brooks
Best Cinematography: Conrad Hall
The film won two Motion Picture Magazine Laurel Awards in 1967, for Best Action Drama and Best Action Performance for Lee Marvin.
In Germany, it was one of only four movies to receive a Golden Screen award (the others were Doctor Zhivago, Merveilleuse Angélique and You Only Live Twice) in 1967.
The Professionals / Lee Marvin
“Maybe there’s only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?”
- Burt Lancaster / The Professionals
The Professionals …
Lee Marvin moves into full blown stardom – becoming a legitimate box office titan – in one of the greatest Westerns ever made (My Favorite) starring along side Western Film Greats Burt Lancaster, Jack Palance, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Claudia Cardinale, Ralph Belamy … What a cast!
Following Cat Ballou (Oscar) this is one of 4 Westerns remaining in Marvin’s Western filmography: Monte Walsh / 1970 (with Jack Palance); Paint Your Wagon / 1969 (with Clint Eastwood); Emperor of the North / 1973 (with Charles Bronson).
A true Western Star.
The Professionals posters
The Power of Projection
‘Projection’ they call it. Some actors have it. Most never will. It’s the ability to take a simple line of dialogue and make it sing; have impact; the knack of making a whisper into a shout. All the great Shakespearean actors have it: Olivier, Burton, Dench, Jacobi, O’Toole …
YET … out of the unwashed West emerged several notable thespians who entered the stage via a different door: Hollywood.
Among them was Burt Lancaster …
Watch Burt in this famous clip from The Unforgiven: (1961)
Sign language scene - The Unforgiven
How many actors could pull that off?
Vera Cruz: Burt Pitches – Coop Catches
Vera Cruz also has some inspired dialogue: ‘one-liners’, verbal sparring, quotes – delivered by two masters: Cooper and Lancaster.
Coop meets Burt:
Coop meets Burt
Coop meets Burt’s Gang: “Follow him boys. We was leaving anyways”
Burt straightens things out: “Anybody else string with Charlie?”
Tell me I’m wrong, but damned if that doesn’t look like a very young George Kennedy (uncredited) standing just to Charlie’s right.
Burt sums things up: “Looks like we tied up with the wrong outfit.”