I’d like to think that most fans of classic films love Gary Cooper. What’s not to love, he was in westerns! But really so much more. Comedy, drama, action and that slow drawl and innocent befuddled look sure seemed to work with the ladies.

gary cooper

Vera Cruz as a kid on afternoon TV springs to mind as a first time look at Coop though it was probably Burt Lancaster I was more aware of at the time. I also recall seeing the 1935 film The Wedding Night on a late show but let’s be honest here, that did nothing for a young boy looking for adventure and excitement in his viewing world. On the flip side, seeing Ball of Fire turned out to be a joyous occasion at an impressionable age that only fueled my love of film and opened  up the world of Cooper on screen, feeding my hunger to seek out more of his films.

Time to conjure up your best slow drawl and the music of Gary Cooper’s voice as you read some of these quotes.

“If you want to call me that, smile! ”

virginian poster

“There’s a hundred ways of dyin’, brother, and I’m pickin’ my own way. ”

morocco poster

“You ask me why I’m for oppressed people? Because I’ve got a background of oppression myself, and O’Haras and elephants never forget. ”

general died at dawn foreign

“There’ll be a flag flying out there in the morning that I swore to uphold. Armies of good men have died for it gladly. It’s a battle flag and it’s a flag of victory. I’m rather proud to be under it. And I wouldn’t want to go out in the morning like you and know that I was going to be a traitor to it! ”


“Well I ain’t never *learned* Sergeant! Folks back home used to say I could shoot a rifle before I was *weaned*, but they was exaggeratin’ some. ”

sergeant york half sheet

“Make no mistake, I shall regret the absence of your keen mind; unfortunately, it is inseparable from an extremely disturbing body. ”

ball of fire

“Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. ”


“My reward, my purpose, my life, is the work itself – my work done my way! Nothing else matters to me! ”


I’d like to say I have a corner of the vault here at home just full of Coop’s one sheets but that just isn’t the case. Still, I did find one to share from the era.