'Cooper was heroic, of course, in his own mind as much as in his scripts. He was manly, tall, ruggedly handsome. He was a man for a fight.'On screen he was the ultimate all-American hero: lean, laconic and masculine, a lone sheriff battling his enemies in High Noon, or a tough individualist in The Fountainhead. Off screen he bedded a host of leading ladies and carefully honed his image, making hundreds of movies and winning two Oscars in the process. Acclaimed film writer David Thomson explores the career and the contradictions of 'Coop', the star who lived the dream in the golden age of Hollywood.