Cooper, Gary: Influential Directors: Capra, Hathaway, DeMille, and Hawks

Gary Cooper’s most frequent and favorite director was Henry Hathaway, with whom he made seven pictures, beginning with Now and Forever (1934) and ending with The Garden of Evil (1954).  One of Cooper-Hathaway’s best collaborations was The Lives of Bengal Lancer, in 1935.

Frank Capra made two significant films with Cooper, which were instrumental in shaping his screen image as a distinctly American hero, fighting big business and political corruption, in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Meet John Doe (1941).

Other important directors include:

Cecil B. DeMille, 4 films, including The Plainsman in 1937.

Howard Hawks, 3 films, including Sergeant York and Ball of Fire, both released in 1941.

Sam Woods, 3 films, most notably The Pride of the Yankees in 1942.

Lewis Milestone directed Cooper early on in his career, in The Virginian (1929), and Fred Zinnemann late in his career, in High Noon in 1952, for which Cooper received his second Best Actor Oscar.

One of Cooper’s most commercially popular film in the 1950s was Friendly Persuasion, directed by William Wyler, in 1956.