MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,091 this week

The Naked Spur (1953)

Passed  -  Thriller | Western  -  3 August 1953 (Sweden)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 6,517 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 33 critic

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

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 41 titles
created 03 Aug 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 26 Apr 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 08 Mar 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 05 May 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Naked Spur" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Naked Spur (1953)

The Naked Spur (1953) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Naked Spur.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a town boss confiscates homesteader's supplies after gold is discovered nearby, a tough cowboy risks his life to try and get it to them.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Arthur Kennedy
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A self-minded adventurer (Jeff Webster) locks horns with a crooked lawman (Mr. Gannon) while driving cattle to Dawson.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Ruth Roman, Corinne Calvet
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A stranger defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp
Night Passage (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A fired railroad man is rehired and trusted to carry a 10,000 dollar payroll in secret, even though he is suspected of being connected to outlaws.

Director: James Neilson
Stars: James Stewart, Audie Murphy, Dan Duryea
Thunder Bay (1953)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shrimpers and oilmen clash when an ambitious wildcatter begins constructing an off-shore oilrig.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland
The Tin Star (1957)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, Betsy Palmer
Broken Arrow (1950)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget
Firecreek (1968)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A peace-loving, part-time sheriff in the small town of Firecreek must take a stand when a gang of vicious outlaws takes over his town.

Director: Vincent McEveety
Stars: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This is the story of David Marshall 'Marsh' Williams, the real life inventor of the world famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in WWII. It all started when Marsh, who was one to do ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Hagen, Wendell Corey
Malaya (1949)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Newspaperman Royer convinces government officials of a plan to obtain rubber by stealing it out from under the Japanese. Carnahan is let out of prison to help.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Valentina Cortese
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The US Army is under pressure from the desperate relatives of white prisoners of the Comanches to secure their rescue. A cynical and corrupt marshal, Guthrie McCabe, is persuaded by an army... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Packed with Technicolor Thrills!

Genres:

Thriller | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1953 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

El precio de un hombre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish register number #39090 delivered on 22-9-1953. See more »

Goofs

In the cave face-off scene, after Stewart (Kemp) gives Ryan (Vandergroat) the pistol, in 5 subsequent scenes the pistol alternates from being inside his vest, to outside his vest, to inside, to outside, and finally to outside but leaning way over about to fall out of his pants. In the scene changes, Ryan supposedly didn't move except to lower his hands during the first sequence of the scene, but when the camera changed from Stewart to Ryan and back several times, each time the pistol position alternated from inside the vest to outside. 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.
See more »


Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Composed by Stephen Foster (1864)
Instrumental version integrated into soundtrack
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Great Western with *real* characters for once!
22 September 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What I imagine makes THE NAKED SPUR stand out among other Westerns is its close, intimate focus on a small band of characters--for once, the motivations of the cynical bounty-hunter, the luckless gold prospector, the brash ne'er-do-well, the slick outlaw are actually all explored and explained as best as psychology can allow. The focus isn't on the action, though there's plenty of that too; one really gets the idea that the action is peripheral to the character development, to the glimpses of history given by snatches of dialogue. James Stewart turns in a riveting performance as Howard Kemp, the embittered rancher turned bounty-hunter, who is seeking outlaw Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan) for the $5000 price on the latter's head. What Howard doesn't gamble on is the people added on to his journey along the way--the prospector Jesse Tate (Millard Mitchell), who's been running after gold all his life but has never managed to catch up to it; the reckless ex-soldier Roy Anderson (Ralph Meeker), discharged from the army for being 'morally unstable'; and the young feisty Lina Patch (Janet Leigh), Ben's companion.

Throw this bunch of opposites in a trek back to Abilene, Kansas is a recipe for great drama: for example, the mini Indian massacre Roy brings about that gets Howard shot in the leg; the rock avalanche Ben starts to try to escape after sending Lina to distract Howard... even the even-tempered, apparently rational and loyal Jesse being so blinded by his life's pursuit that he frees Ben in return for gold and certainly winds up regretting it. Throughout the trek, one sees Ben's true duplicitous side, as he charmingly manipulates each and every other member of the group into distrusting one another. He knows Howard as well, from back in Abilene, and he is the one who lets us in on some of Howard's painful past. (Brilliantly illustrated by the fevered dreams Howard suffers from while still in shock from the bullet in his leg.)

The entire small cast is excellent. Ryan is slimily charming, Mitchell plays Jesse straight and honestly, Leigh brings off a rather thankless, almost characterless role well (her character is probably the least well developed in the film). It is James Stewart, however, who really deserves special mention for his portrayal of Howard Kemp... particularly since he'd first thought that he was supposed to be playing the role of Ben Vandergroat, and had to be talked into taking the risk and playing Howard Kemp. One can certainly see why: Stewart's stock-in-trade is as the undeniably good hero, with whatever--if any!--psychological darkness (see George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life) always lurking just beneath the surface but never enough to damage the character's positive standing in the audience's eyes. So of course, it's not easy to accept Stewart as the cynical, rude Howard at first--this probably is the least sympathetic character he has ever played, since the cracks in his tough, mean veneer come very seldom during the course of the film (and kudos to the writers for not having Stewart's innate goodness shine through more often and therefore use the audience's sympathies for the actor to bring some for the character).

Howard is driven and relentless, as evidenced with the near psychosis he brings to his task of capturing Ben. From his sullenness when Ben reveals how much the capture really is worth, through to the final exciting sequence when Kemp pulls himself up the rock to face his nemesis (thereafter making it clear why the film is given the title of 'The Naked Spur'), Howard Kemp is evidently a man who no longer trusts even *himself* to do the good thing. Quite a twist on the James Stewart persona, and certainly one he pulls off with great aplomb. His final scene with Janet Leigh, as Howard has to decide whether he can stand to lose his future to his past, definitely stands proud as some of Stewart's greatest work.

I watched this film largely because of a great review I'd read of it for Stewart's performance, and there is no denying that that is surely a good enough reason to watch this film. Stewart outdoes himself. Still, I got a lot more than I'd bargained for, because this really is an excellent, psychologically-charged Western as well--the kind that makes you feel and think, and it's only the better films that make one do that.


58 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Smart and compact, but deeply flawed? luise-6
Best Western? missrljane
Only 5 castmembers scheelj1
Finally on DVD seattlemariner
Originally in 3D? allthumbs
What happened... caitrp10
Discuss The Naked Spur (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page