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The Far Country
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The Far Country More at IMDbPro »

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36 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

"… And I want that coffee ground."

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
8 June 2008

Stewart is a Wyoming cattleman who dreams to make enough money to buy a small ranch in Utah ranch… His only real companion is his sidekick Ben Tatum, the great Walter Brennan… To accomplish that, they drive the cattle clear to Alaska and on to Dawson, in Canadian territory, where they sell them...

Along the way they meet the man who runs the gold-crazy town behind a dishonest lawman John McIntire... He attempts to steal them the herd... Later, in Dawson, McIntire and his gang reappear, this time interfering with Stewart's gold claim...

Captured by Mann's camera in the wonderful scenery of the Canadian Rockies, Stewart is a thoughtful loner forced into violence by his need to get rid of the treacherous actions of a corrupt entrepreneur robbing local miners of their claims…

In this entertaining, beautiful Western, Stewart has two leading ladies to struggle with: Ruth Roman, a bit too valuable to describe as a sexy woman resisting the worst vicissitudes of the territory and the more docile, the French Canadian girl Corinne Calvet who does create a nice portrait of a likable girl with the ability to form a judgment... In spontaneous manner, Stewart is lost between the ostentatious saloon owner and the wife-candidate...

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45 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Real star is the cinematography

10/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
4 March 2004

Jimmy Stewart and Anthony Mann teamed to do some of the best westerns ever made and this is one of the best.

The real star of the film however is the spectacular Canadian Rockies that serve as a backdrop for the story. Some of the best cinematography ever done in the history of film.

In all five of the westerns that Stewart and Mann did together the supporting roles were perfectly cast. No exception here, right down to parts that might only have a few lines, the characters are firmly etched with those lines.

Stewart is a cynical hard-bitten loner in this film whose only real friend is his sidekick Walter Brennan. It's Brennan's death at the hands of the villains that makes him want to finally free the gold settlement from the bad guys and incidentally redeem himself in the process.

John McIntire is the head villain of the piece and he was an under-appreciated actor with a vast range. He could play delightful old codgers, authority figures and in this case a particularly nasty and crafty villain.

One of the best westerns ever.

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Is there something you want, Mr. Gannon?

8/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
19 November 2009

Cunningly interesting Western from a director who had few peers in the genre. Much like other Anthony Mann pictures, The Far Country blends a potent pot boiling story with an adroit knowing of impacting scenery. Both of which play out amongst some of Mann's peccadilloes like honour, integrity, betrayal and of course, death!

The story sees fortune hunting partners Jeff Webster {James Stewart} and Ben Tatum {Walter Brennan} travel to Oregon Territory with a herd of cattle. Aware of the blossoming gold-boom, they plan to make a tidy profit selling the cattle in a Klondike town. Arriving in Skagway they find self-appointed judge Mr. Gannon {John McIntire} ready to meet out justice to Webster on account of Webster having fractured the law, all be it with honest cause, along the way. In punishment Gannon takes the partners herd from them, but they steal them back and head across the Canadian border to Dawson-with Gannon and his men in hot pursuit. Here beautiful women and a meek and lawless town will fill out the destinies of all involved.

Interesting from start to finish, The Far Country benefits greatly from James Stewart's bubbling {anti} hero in waiting portrayal and Mann's slick direction of the tight Borden Chase script. The cinematography from William H. Daniels is superlative, tho not done any favours by current DVD prints, and the film has a few surprises and a "will he wont he?" core reeling the viewers in. Paying dividends on re-watches for hardened genre fans, it still remains something of an essential viewing for first timers venturing into the wonderful, yet dark, Western world of Anthony Mann and James Stewart. 8/10

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

If it looks good, you're halfway there. Stewart is great, the plot routine but excellently routine...

Author: secondtake from United States
31 August 2011

The Far Country (1954)

Anthony Mann and Jimmy Stewart made a few movies together, and one is a cool black and white affair, but this is one of his searing Technicolor productions. It almost has a comic flair even as the world is cut and splintered in the first twenty minutes until the real story begins--cattle driving in Alaska. Stewart of course plays a congenial sort, but his character Jeff Webster has a history of killing a couple men and having a little vengeance in his heart, and when he is coerced into this new job you know it isn't going to go smoothly.

This is an odd story told with an odd tilt to it, and that's a good thing overall. And it's set in Alaska (near the Yukon), which gives it more of a frontier/prospecting feel than a standard Western. In addition to Walter Brennan who is his usual quirky best, the leading woman is Ruth Roman, who had a career something short of stardom, and she plays a tough but elegant frontier woman well. And there is a perky younger women (a French actress named Corinne Calvet), a kind of tomboy who has the hots for Webster. It doesn't quite work, but it's fun, and it's part of the series of conflicts all operating at the same time.

There are some small flaws you have to overlook, like the day for night that is more day than night (which is only emphasized by some brilliant night filming at the end of the movie, night for night done to perfection). But there is a bigger tension that keeps things really interesting, too. Two extremes of women after one singular guy--that's enough for any movie. And there is the sheriff and judge and power-monger in town who is ruthless with a laugh and cackle, and he makes a great villain.

I'm not interested in movies for their scenery, but it's worth noticing the amazing mountain country that is the setting here. There are also the standard moments that don't really add to the plot, but to the mood--some barroom singing, some riding through the scenery. But what really makes the movie is Stewart's role as an individualist, a man who is looking after himself first and last. Brennan acts as his conscience, reminding him to be a good guy, and Stewart, to his credit, listens.

Heroics come slowly in a Mann Western. You suspect Webster is a good person deep down, but his goodness has a slow coming out. And in a way, even by the end, the ambiguity is there--it's the good townspeople who rise up and get their justice.

A good movie, a very good Western.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Another Great Jimmy Stewart/Anthony Mann Western

9/10
Author: FightingWesterner from The Lonesome Prairie
10 January 2010

Cowboys James Stewart and Walter Brennan take their herd from Seattle to Alaska and on into Canada to stake a claim. Once there, they have to contend with seductive, shifty businesswoman Ruth Roman and ice-cold, happy-go-lucky villain James McIntire.

John Wayne may get talked about more, but his good pal Stewart made some excellent, hard-edged westerns too, some with the great director Anthony Mann. Frankly, I'd take this, with it's sturdy action sequences and fine melodrama, over North To Alaska any day!

The Far Country features some breathtaking scenery and cinematography that should definitely have been shot in widescreen.

Also, there's some strong support by the always reliable Brennan, Roman (who's great), the incredibly cute Corrine Calvet, and James McIntire, who plays one of my favorite types of bad guy, the kind that doesn't take himself too seriously.

This would make a great double-bill with another highly recommended Mann/Stewart northwest-set western, Bend Of The River.

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Wild doings in gold rush Alaska

8/10
Author: edsevcik from United States
20 December 2006

A good film with--for its time--an intense, sprawling, rather dark story somewhat reminiscent of John Ford's "The Searchers" though not so brutal. The story starts fast and doesn't let up, with several scenes of really good dialog between (Stewart's) Jeff Webster, Ronda Castle and Sheriff Gannon. This film is in some ways reminiscent of "Bend of the River" (1952), also a Mann-Stewart work, but I found it far less sentimental and more interesting. There are a few caveats: a too-quickly wrapped up (and rather sentimental) ending; 24-year-old Corrine Calvert is not very convincing as a naive French teenager, and of course the film takes place in the Mythic West, a land of fable where the real laws of nations and physics don't apply. But these are trivial concerns. James Stewart is surprisingly good as a dark, disengaged man who thinks he cares for no one but himself, and the mountain scenery can't be beat. A fine Western costume drama.

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19 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

fairly good

4/10
Author: loydmooney from san francisco
13 May 2005

The five or so really good westerns that Mann made are unequaled as an ensemble in Hollywood. Even John Ford never made that many with so much quality. The curious thing about them all is how uneven they are. Ford's My Darling Clementine is worth about two and a half of any of them. Or at least two.

The real hero of them besides Mann and Stewart is Chase. Chase being responsible for the brilliant Red River. Chase wrote far country, bend of the river, and probably some others. But none of them are as finished as My Darling Clementine, but then very few films, western or otherwise are.

Each of the five films of Mann have huge gaps, or is it six, lets see. Bend, Far, Man of the West, Furies, Winchester 73, and yep, six, Naked Spur. Each have magnificent scene after magnificent scene, with fairly glaring lapses. Yet so does Red River, which is still the single greatest western ever made. So perfection isn't everything.

But The Far Country has huge, huge holes. It's mawkish, and really comes alive only when Stewart and Mc Entire are locking horns. The rest is pretty pedestrian, with the usual exception of Mann's camera. Mann's camera is a one man course in cinematography. It is about as good an eye as anybody who ever got behind a strip of moving film. It is almost never in the wrong place, never.

The Far Country has one amazing moment. And as usual it comes from Stewart. Nobody in the history of cinema ever received physical punishment with the authority of that man. He is absolutely amazing: look at him in Bend, Far, Winchester, and Man from Laramie: in Bend has been beaten up and is hanging by a thread so believably and with such boiling hatred he looks like somebody displaced from Dachau, in Far he is shot off a raft with such violence, it looks so convincing that you wince, and of course when he is dragged through the fire in Man, well you find yourself looking for the burn marks. What an actor. Not to mention the moment in Winchester when he is beaten up early in the hotel room, also as well as anybody ever did it.

But that was Mann's territory: look at Gary Cooper fighting with Jack Lord in Man of the West. As painful as any fight scene ever recorded. Cooper while not being quite as convincing as Stewart, nevertheless is somehow his equal in looking exhausted at the end of the fight. In short, nobody but nobody but nobody ever showed the human being in extremis as well as Mann.

What a great, great director.

See every western he ever made. They are his real monuments, even if all are scetchy. But so what. When he gets roaring with his great scenes they are as good as anybody, including Ford. And his six westerns as an ensemble are the best ever done by anyone, period.

Thanks, Anthony.

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19 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Incredible Cinematography!

10/10
Author: kenandraf from Honolulu, Hawaii
25 September 2001

Classic drama/action western with incredible cinematography that is well ahead of it's time(1954). The production is very good and you can tell that it was done with pride and love.Unique peek into the American NORTHT WEST pioneers is very educational and entertaining.This movie is very under rated because most people do not like to see the reality that many "lawmen" during this particular time and place were very crooked/corrupt much like most developing countries today.The action sequences could have been more realistic though but still,this movie really covers most of the essentials.Not for an audience who wants only pure testoterone type westerns for this movie is more for those who have a sense of history and philosophy.......

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not Very Good

2/10
Author: Duncan Gosseyn from Ann Arbor, Michigan
19 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hated The Far Country. I saw it because I thought it would be interesting to see a Western that didn't take place in the American Southwest. The main problem with the movie is James Stewart's character. He's completely unlikable because he's a ruthless killer and he's too cynical. Before the beginning of the movie, he kills some of the men he was driving cattle with. I think it was because they wanted to go back to where they started with the cattle but, still, killing them was a bit unreasonable, in my opinion. He also doesn't care that one of the villains just kills someone for doing absolutely nothing. There's nothing wrong with a hero in a Western being cynical, but he was just too cynical.

But I liked Ruth Roman as an antagonistic businesswoman and Walter Brennan as James Stewart's friend. And I thought the gunfight at the end was okay and it was satisfying to see the villains get killed so I would say the movie wasn't totally bad.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

How Far Is It?

5/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
9 October 2013

Jimmy Stewart plays Jeff Webster, a loner and bachelor who, along with his sidekick/business partner Ben Tatum(played by Walter Brennan) takes a herd of cattle by ship from Wyoming to Seattle. He encounters crooked lawman named Gannon(played by John McIntire) but still proceeds through with his route to the Klondike region, where he hopes to sell his beef for a sizable profit, though, when he does arrive, decides to prospect for gold himself. The nearby town of Dawson has an increasing amount of lawlessness, which doesn't bother Jeff until it hits him personally...

Disappointing western can't measure up to either of the previous films with director Anthony Mann and star Jimmy Stewart. Result is a predictable and routine film of little interest, though everyone involved does try at least, and film isn't bad, but is unmemorable.

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