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
When Roy surprises Ben on top of the cliff they struggle and roll around, at one point they roll over softball-sized rounded rocks. Rocks like these are formed by glaciers when they are smoothed and rounded as the glacier pushes them along. They are deposited when the glacier melts away. This would be in river beds at the bottom of valleys, not on the top or side of a mountain. See more »
THE NAKED SPUR - (1953) - I remembered this film from my past for sure about the time Janet Leigh showed up. I saw it back in another western phase a year or two ago. It was definitely not my preferred kind of western. I prefer some moments of comic relief (not necessarily pure comedy) and a little less grit and grimace.
Jimmy Stewart was so conflicted and angry that I didn't equate him as the hero. He was way too uptight. I found him annoying and unattractive. I didn't think he and Leigh had any chemistry, and that made her part really unnecessary. For that matter, she was quite annoying and seemed to hop from man to man and not making informed choices. However, as a female stranded out west, I think she made the smarter call. Meeker and Mitchell were good, but other than to rankle Stewart's composure, I'm not sure their presence added much other than to make a bigger crowd. The real reason to watch, however, was for the one clearcut bad guy. I'll be on the lookout for Robert Ryan again. He was pure screen magic and made the film. Yes, the Hays Code causes Mann to have to let Ryan get the shorter end of the proverbial stick, but he still had a presence that made it hard to pull completely against him. Thus the need for a more clearcut hero.
I was a little hesitant about Anthony Mann if Stewart was going to keep playing the anti-hero type. I like a hero. Fortunately, "Winchester '73" put Mann and Stewart back on my radar. Now that is excellence at its peak. I think I'm more of a John Ford type gal, but I'm going to remain open-minded as I work through the Mann westerns. It appears that there are quite a few IMDb reviewers who also had some issues with Stewart. I may have to keep Stewart reserved for lighter fare as I adore him in The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, The Shop Aroundthe Corner, and many other comedies and romances. At least I have "Winchester '73" to add to my favorite westerns, but, unfortunately, not this Mann western.
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