VIDEO LIBRARIAN MAGAZINE REVIEW FEBRUARY 2015
Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen • 3.5 Stars (Out of 4 Stars)
(2014) 138 min. DVD: Passion River, Closed Captioned - Produced by Richard Zampella
Written & Directed by John Muholland
Hollywood idol Gary Cooper was cast as the lead in a slightly bowdlerized 1932 Paramount adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Ams and wound up becoming a life long friend of the iconic author, despite their superficial differences in politics and temperaments.
According to writer-director John Mulholland the easygoing, quiet, well-llked, and modest Cooper and the tempestuous, fiercely competitive Hemingway (who had famous feuds with fellow writers but evidently considered the actor no personal threat) helped define American manhood in their era and brought out the best in each other. "Coop" was the one person who could drop in unannounced on the Hemingway homestead, or correct "Papa" on his boorish behavior. Weeks after Cooper's death from cancer in 1961, the ailing Hemingway shot himself.
Mulholland's meaty saga of the lives of these two icons-who had long planned a cinematic project together but never managed to bring one to the camera – nicely meshes film and literary criticism with gossip, and assumes viewer familiarity with, for instance, For Whom the Bell Tolls and High Noon. The documentary film is especially passionate about restoring both Hemingway and Cooper to the artists' pantheon from which detractors (mostly feminists in Hemingway's case, "method" actors in Cooper's) have often tried to demote them.
Narrated by Sam Waterston, the roll-call of on-camera interviewees who have since died Is an A-list itself: Charlton Heston, Elmore Leonard, Budd Schulberg, Patricia Neal, Robert Stack, George Plimpton, and producer David Brown. DVD extras include deleted scenes and text production notes. Highly recommended. Aud: C, P. (C. Cassady)
Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen
Written & Directed by John Mulholland
Produced by Richard Zampella