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Winchester '73 (1950)

 -  Western  -  12 July 1950 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 10,495 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 43 critic

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

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Title: Winchester '73 (1950)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dan Duryea ...
Waco Johnny Dean
Stephen McNally ...
...
High Spade
Charles Drake ...
...
...
...
...
John Alexander ...
Steve Brodie ...
James Millican ...
Abner Biberman ...
...
Doan (as Anthony Curtis)
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Storyline

In a marksmanship contest, Lin McAdam wins a prized Winchester rifle, which is immediately stolen by the runner-up, Dutch Henry Brown. This "story of a rifle" then follows McAdams' pursuit, and the rifle as it changes hands, until a final showdown and shoot-out on a rocky mountain precipice. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Montana Winchester  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the famous scene where James Stewart shoots a bullet through the washer with the postage stamp...that is not Hollywood magic. The shot is performed successfully by renowned marksman Herb Parsons. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, when Lin McAdam rides towards Dutch's cover, we see Lin's shadow projected to his right side and in the next shot to his left side. See more »

Quotes

Waco Johnnie Dean: What was I saying?
Lola Manners: You were talking about yourself.
Waco Johnnie Dean: Where did I stop?
Lola Manners: You didn't. But you can now. I already know all about Waco Johnnie Dean, the fastest gun in Texas.
Waco Johnnie Dean: Texas? Lady, why limit me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's opening prologue states: This is a story of the Winchester Rifle Model 1873 "The gun that won the West" To cowman, outlaw, peace officer or soldier, the Winchester '73 was a treasured possession. An Indian would sell his soul to own one... See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Men in Black/Wild America/Out to Sea (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solid first outing from Mann & Stewart
13 September 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Anthony Mann's "Winchester '73" was the first of several westerns that he and James Stewart did together in the 1950's. It is routinely considered one of the best of the lot, if not the very best.

The story follows a revenge-seeking gunslinger (James Stewart) who has recently picked up the trail of his quarry (Stephen McNally). The circumstances surrounding their quarrel are not immediately apparent; instead, they are revealed gradually throughout the course of the film. Meanwhile, the gun referred to in the title is the subject of a subplot wherein the rifle initially won by Stewart's character in a marksmanship contest changes hands repeatedly.

The script shows some skill in bringing the fairly simple story to life but the actors deserve much of the credit. James Stewart is stalwart in the leading role, Stephen McNally makes for a menacing villain, Millard Mitchell is ideal in tandem with Stewart, Shelley Winters makes a fine leading lady and Dan Duryea is at his slimy best as the amoral Waco Johnnie Dean.

On the technical front, Mann's direction is sharp throughout and the film boasts some nice cinematography courtesy of Oscar winner William H. Daniels. Overall, I wouldn't necessarily place the film alongside the best efforts of John Ford and Howard Hawks but it certainly holds its own among more varied competition.


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