An awesome rugged Western masterfully directed by Anthony Mann including his ordinary star, James Stewart . A bounty hunter called Howard Kemp (James Stewart) trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers (Millard Mitchell , Ralph Meeker) . As he tracks down a vicious and cunning outlaw called Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan) accompanied by his gorgeous sweetheart (Janet Leigh) . The ordinary dramatic framework about three men attempting to bring another back to justice is compellingly maintained . Entertainment and excitement increases until a surprising climax .
This exciting Western contains tension-filled , juicy atmosphere , thrills , suspense , gun-play and an impressive final on a high cliff which was one of filmmaker Mann's best moments . Magnificent western from the Anthony Mann/James Stewart team and their third collaboration and considered one of their best . Colour , music , scenarios , landscapes all marks well in this thrilling story about a compulsive bounty hunter who deals with four different roles . It describes a long journey in which there are extreme characters combined with psychological observations and enriched by eventual ambiguity and a tense picture about dishonesty and badness . This particular Western only starred by 5 characters contains an interesting screenplay by Sam Rolfe and being nominated for an Academy Award . By that time (1953) the picture was considered quite strong , tough , surprisingly violent and brutal ; today is deemed a classic film . And seems to be a great influence of wide range such as violence and scenarios . Filmed in Cinemascope in colorful cinematography by William Mellor ; Anthony Mann gets to take from nature the maximum impacts as rivers , valleys , mountains , being wonderfully photographed . Breathtaking background scenarios , dramatic close-up along with shining illuminations , all of them perfectly mingled with a tale full of violence , tension , intrigue and shoot'em up . When this film was released in Spain, its title was changed to "Colorado Jim" and the name of 'James Stewart's character was also changed from "Howard Kemp" to "Colorado Jim", for unknown reasons . The filming took place on location in Durango, Colorado , Rocky Mountains, Colorado, San Juan Mountains, Colorado, and Lone Pine, California . Nedless to say , the main and secondary cast is first-class . Top-of-the-range acting by the great James Stewart as a lone bounty hunter obsessed with hunting down the outlaw . There are top-notch acting from old-stagers as Millard Mitchell playing an aging prospector , as well as from Ralph Meeker as an ex-soldier and special mention to Robert Ryan as a leering killer . And delicate Janet Leigh , pretty much deglamourised here and sporting a new cropped haircut . Emotive as well as thrilling musical score performed by Bronislau Kaper .
This top-drawer Western was stunningly realized by the master Anthony Mann , infusing the traditional Western with psychological confusion , including his characteristic use of landscape with marvelous use of Rockies Mountains which is visually memorable . Mann established his forte with magnificent Western almost always with James Stewart . In his beginnings he made ambitious but short-lived quality low-budget surroundings of Eagle-Lion production as ¨T-men¨ , ¨They walked by night¨ , ¨Raw deal¨ , ¨Railroaded¨ and ¨Desperate¨ . Later on , he made various Western , remarkably good , masterpieces such as ¨The furies¨ , ¨Devil's doorway¨ and ¨Man of the West¨ and several with his habitual star , James Stewart, as ¨Winchester 73¨ , ¨Bend the river¨ , ¨The far country¨ , ¨Man of the West ¨. They are characterized by roles whose determination to stick to their guns would take them to the limits of their endurance . Others in this throughly enjoyable series include ¨Tin star ¨ that is probably one of the best Western in the fifties and sixties . After the mid-50 , Mann's successes came less frequently , though directed another good Western with Victor Mature titled ¨The last frontier¨. And of course ¨Naker spur ¨ that turns out to be stylish , fast paced , solid , meticulous , with enjoyable look , and most powerful and well-considered . This well acted movie is gripping every step of the way . It results to be a splendid western and remains consistently agreeable . Rating : Above average , the result is a magnificent Western . Well worth watching and it will appeal to James Stewart fans .
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