Gary Cooper's first all-talking film. He felt that sound would ruin him, believing his voice was not adequate to the task. This film turned him from a promising young leading man into a star, although he was not considered a superstar until Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).
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Cooper later referred to this as his favorite role.
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As in the novel and the play that the movie is based on, the Virginian's name is never mentioned.
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Future western movie icon Randolph Scott, from Virginia, was hired as a dialect coach to teach Gary Cooper a Virginia accent, and also has a small non-speaking part in the film.
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One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 2, 1936 with Gary Cooper reprising his film role.
Stunt horsemen Spike Spackman got a bad cut and Bill Hurley fractured his ankle during a scene where several rustlers cross a stream.
Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1929 enter the U.S. public domain in 2025.