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 <email@example.com>
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 »
When Sgt. Wilkes welcomes Lola, his neck cloth repeatedly changes between shots. See more »
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 »
I was very impressed with this film. I would have to rate it as one of the better classic-era westerns. I say that for the whole thing: the acting, mature dialog, no- nonsense story and excellent cinematography.
Director Anthony Mann, who did several well-photographed film noirs around this same era, also made some westerns such as this one. It has that same film-noir look. Mann and Jimmy Stewart collaborated on several westerns during this period. . If you like this movie, I recommend the Mann-Stewart film "Bend Of The River."
In a nutshell, the story is about a man, "Lin McAdam," (Stewart) who owns this prestigious Winchester 73 rifle, a weapon he won fair-and-square in a contest. It is then stolen and passed on from villain to villain. All of those villains are interesting characters.
Aiding Stewart act out this interesting tale are Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Millard Mitchell, Charles Drake, Will Greer and J. C. Flippen. All of them are fun to watch. It was a bit of a stretch, however, to see Rock Hudson playing an Indian ("Young Bull"), but you can't have everything.
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