We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 31 Aug 6:25PM
Gary Cooper's Marshal Will Kane awaits the arrival of a killer in this minimilist but powerful western. A devastating rehearsal of what would come to be one of the genre's major concerns
Telling its story of a recently retired marshal who finds himself friendless and alone to face four desperadoes on his wedding day, this gripping western respects the unities of time and place. The pulsating action coincides exactly with the 85 minutes' running time, as well as brilliantly setting the marshal in isolation among the ominous wooden buildings and dusty streets of a small frontier town.
It was the high point of Fred Zinnemann's career, and Gary Cooper, in his Oscar-winning role - at 51, his handsome face lined and drawn - gives possibly the most poignant and profound performance to be found in any western.
No doubt Sergio Leone remembered the movie (in which Leone star Van Cleef makes his debut) when he embarked on his homages to the American West, while Ennio Morricone has echoed the effective use of the 'Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling' song on the soundtrack.
File under 'classic'.
Jack Reynor is Richard, a star athlete who has just left secondary school when a drunken encounter threatens to ruin his future. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, What Richard Did marks Reynor as an extraordinary new talent as a young man who quickly becomes
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