Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Man of the West (1958)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Man of the West (1958)

In Anthony Mann's last western:

  • the opening scene - a robbery (on a train bound for Fort Worth, Texas) - when ex-outlaw and Texan hero Link Jones (Gary Cooper), with a dark and troubled past, lost the savings of his community of Good Hope (to be used to hire a schoolteacher); he was abandoned with cardsharp con-man Sam Beasley (Arthur O'Connell) and Crosscut Saloon singer Billie Ellis (Julie London)
  • the trio's on-foot arrival at an isolated, broken-down ranch house where Link, now reformed, revealed he had once been raised and trained as a gang member to rob banks; inside, they found the thieving train robbers and their patriarchal leader Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb) - Link's uncle
  • the notorious scene of drunken, twisted and violent outlaw Coaley Tobin (Jack Lord) threatening Billie Ellis by forcing her to strip down to her underwear; he forced Link - his own cousin - to watch by sitting him on a chair: ("Come on in, Link, you're just in time...Your gal's gonna undress for us. We saved a front row seat for ya! Ha, ha, ha! It's gonna be a big show"); Coaley instructed the humiliated Billie to undress, and to force her to begin the striptease, he wielded a knife: ("You see this? (He held up his knife) Now start takin' off your clothes. What's the matter with your girl, Link? Make her do it...It's gonna be right now....Start takin' off your clothes....(He held a knife at Link's throat) You're not talkin' us out of this. Now undress. Start with the shoes. Wanna see me cut him? Huh? Ha-ha! (She removed her shoes) The stockings. (She removed her black stockings) Get up. That shirt thing, now, peel it off. (She unbuttoned her red top) I don't have to tell you what's next, do I? (She unfastened her red dress) Come on. Come on! (She removed her white blouse) How are ya enjoying this cousin? Huh? Huh?...Get that petticoat off!")
  • Link was forced to rejoin the robbers for a bank heist in the town of Lassoo (eventually discovered to be a ghost-town)
  • the concluding vengeful retaliation of Link against Coaley - by goading him into a brutal and epic fistfight (without Coaley's gunbelts or knife), and then forcing him to strip off his clothes!; Sam interceded when Coaley angrily shot at Link, and was killed; Coaley was then shot by another of Link's cousins, Claude Tobin (John Dehner)
  • by the film's end, Link had killed off a number of gang members, but found that in his absence, Billie had been raped (off-screen) and beaten; in retaliation in the film's climactic end, he killed Dock and reclaimed the stolen funds, and then Billie and Link went their separate ways

Billie Ellis (Julie London)

Knife Held to Throat of Link Jones by Coaley Tobin (Jack Lord)

Forced to Strip

Vengeful Retaliation Against Coaley


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