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The Naked Spur (1953)

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

Director:

Anthony Mann
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Howard Kemp
Janet Leigh ... Lina Patch
Robert Ryan ... Ben Vandergroat
Ralph Meeker ... Roy Anderson
Millard Mitchell ... Jesse Tate
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

El precio de un hombre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,261,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,423,000, 31 December 1953

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,850,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-stars James Stewart, Ralph Meeker and Janet Leigh share an Alfred Hitchcock connection. Hitchcock directed Stewart in Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and Vertigo (1958), Meeker in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Revenge (1955) and Leigh in Psycho (1960). See more »

Goofs

As Roy Anderson climbs a rope up the cliff side, the cable holding him safely in place is visible alongside the rope. See more »

Quotes

Roy Anderson: [Observing how hard it will be to get Vandergroat off the mountain] Looks like you got a real interestin' problem in logistics.
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Connections

Referenced in Stars of the Silver Screen: James Stewart (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Taut, rugged western...grinning Ryan steals the show...
21 December 2004 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

I never realized what a scene-stealer ROBERT RYAN could be until I saw THE NAKED SPUR. Although JAMES STEWART is the nominal big name star, it's Ryan's charming, snake-like villain who dominates this rugged western despite strong performances from the entire cast. He obviously relishes his role and is a joy to watch.

This is more a character study of a group of desperate losers than your average shoot 'em up western and Anthony Mann has directed it with the focus on the strong clashes between each one of them. RALPH MEEKER does an outstanding job as a war deserter who is both a help and a hindrance to the group as they seek to return outlaw Ryan to Kansas so justice can prevail. Stewart's character is given strong motivation for his deeds but Janet Leigh, as the outlaw's girlfriend, has a role that is not plausibly explained.

Photographed in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, it's a rugged kind of technicolor western that gives all of the performers physically demanding roles--and all of them are more than up to it.

Stewart, Leigh, Mitchell and Meeker are all superb--but it's Robert Ryan's devious villain that will linger longest in the memory.


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