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The Naked Spur (1953)

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Howard Kemp is a bounty hunter who's been after killer Ben Vandergroat for a long time. Along the way, Kemp is forced to take on a couple of partners, an old prospector named Jesse Tate and a dishonorably discharged Union soldier, Roy Anderson. When they learn that Vandergroat has a $5000 reward on his head, greed starts to take the better of them. Vandergroat takes every advantage of the situation sowing doubt between the two men at every opportunity finally convincing one of them to help him escape. Written by garykmcd

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Packed with Technicolor Thrills!

Genres:

Thriller | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

26 June 1953 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

El precio de un hombre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

As Roy Anderson climbs a rope up the cliff side, the cable holding him safely in place is visible alongside the rope. See more »

Quotes

Ben Vandergroat: Here you are. Breakfast in bed.
Howard Kemp: What's this?
Jesse Tate: You better eat it *before* we tell you.
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Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: James Stewart (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Composed by Stephen Foster (1864)
Instrumental version integrated into soundtrack
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User Reviews

 
Taut, rugged western...grinning Ryan steals the show...
21 December 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I never realized what a scene-stealer ROBERT RYAN could be until I saw THE NAKED SPUR. Although JAMES STEWART is the nominal big name star, it's Ryan's charming, snake-like villain who dominates this rugged western despite strong performances from the entire cast. He obviously relishes his role and is a joy to watch.

This is more a character study of a group of desperate losers than your average shoot 'em up western and Anthony Mann has directed it with the focus on the strong clashes between each one of them. RALPH MEEKER does an outstanding job as a war deserter who is both a help and a hindrance to the group as they seek to return outlaw Ryan to Kansas so justice can prevail. Stewart's character is given strong motivation for his deeds but Janet Leigh, as the outlaw's girlfriend, has a role that is not plausibly explained.

Photographed in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, it's a rugged kind of technicolor western that gives all of the performers physically demanding roles--and all of them are more than up to it.

Stewart, Leigh, Mitchell and Meeker are all superb--but it's Robert Ryan's devious villain that will linger longest in the memory.


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