The Virginian (1929) Review

The Virginian (1929) Director: Victor Fleming


The Virginian is an important film in the history of Gary Cooper’s career, as well as in the history of western films. Cooper plays a Virginia man (filmed in California) as the foreman in Wyoming. He gets into a scuffle with a cattle rustler named Trampas who routinely tries to thwart him. A new schoolteacher moves to town, Molly, and she and the Virginian fall in love and on their wedding Trampas returns for a shoot-out. The Virginian outdraws him and shoots him dead. Cooper later called it his favorite film.

The film is unfortunately less than memorable. Through no fault of its own the sound quality has been terribly preserved and is difficult to follow. Gary Cooper is entertaining despite the script’s many cliches. I would not recommend this film to any but true devotees of historically important western films.