The Westerner. Gary Cooper has been largely overlooked by postmodern film buffs, but a new DVD reissue of this 1940 film might help break through the wall of silence. Directed by William Wyler, The Westerner is a fictionalized retelling of the not-entirely-legendary tale of Roy Bean, the hard-drinking self-made Texas judge who dispensed Law West of the Pecos and had a thing for Lillie Langtry, the celebrated turn-of-the-century British actress. Walter Brennan won and earned an Oscar for his scene-stealing performance as Judge Bean, but Cooper gets plenty of licks in as a dryly amusing drifter who slips out of the judge’s noose by falsely claiming to know the Jersey Lily. Hijinks ensue, climaxing in a spectacular showdown. You’ll know who wins well before the first shot is fired, but all the fun is getting there. Gorgeous cinematography by Gregg “Citizen Kane” Toland (TT).