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Winchester '73 (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 12 July 1950 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Waco Johnny Dean
Stephen McNally ...
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High Spade
Charles Drake ...
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John Alexander ...
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James Millican ...
Abner Biberman ...
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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

Taglines:

The Gun That Won The West!

Genres:

Drama | 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of filming, James Stewart was anxious to appear in more challenging roles, as he was worried that the general perception was of him as a limited actor. He found director Anthony Mann very helpful in breaking that perception. See more »

Goofs

When Sgt. Wilkes welcomes Lola, his neck cloth repeatedly changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Lola Manners: You never know when a girl might need a bullet.
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 Babel (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like the rifle it's named after, "One in a Thousand"
18 July 2004 | by (King Co., WA, United States) – See all my reviews

For the viewer who comes upon it long after its making, "Winchester '73" has something in common with "Casablanca." While you watch it, you get this feeling that you're looking at a string of clichés encountered so often in the genre; then you realise that the clichés became clichés only after being copied from this particular film, and that they were so widely copied because this film was so great. In other words, it's a seminal work.

"Winchester '73" is a joy to watch. The broad lines of the plot are somewhat predictable, but mostly because you've seen them copied so many times in later movies, and nevertheless it still contains a number of twists which surprise you. The dialogue, the pacing and Mann's direction are excellent. Stewart shines in particular, and if you're a fan this is a "must-see," but he is not alone in delivering a good performance. Remarkably, many of the most thoughtful and/or witty lines go to minor characters. Because this makes these characters (much) more than cardboard cutouts, it lent additional realism to the film.

This is a remarkably underrated film, and well worth keeping an eye out for. The DVD also contains an interview with Stewart which provides some background on the film.


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