Winchester '73 (1950) - Plot Summary Poster


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

  • 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.

  • Lin McAdam rides into Dodge City on the fourth of July just as they are about to host a shooting contest. The prize is a perfect one-in-a-thousand Winchester 73 repeating rifle. McAdam finds himself up against his old nemesis Dutch Henry Brown. He wins the rifle but before he can leave town Brown knocks him out cold and takes the rifle. He sets off after him the the rifle changes hands several times. Brown sells it to an Indian trader, Joe Lamont, who loses it to the Indian tribal chief. The rifle changes hands several times before Dutch Henry gets it back, leading to a final confrontation with Lin.

  • Lin McAdam rides into town on the trail of Dutch Henry Brown, only to find himself in a shooting competition against him. McAdam wins the prize, a one-in-a-thousand Winchester rifle, but Dutch steals it and leaves town. McAdam follows, intent on settling his old quarrel, while the rifle keeps changing hands and touching a number of lives.


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