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The Man from Laramie (1955)

Not Rated | | Western | 31 August 1955 (USA)
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A stranger, Will Lockhart, defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screenplay), Frank Burt (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Will Lockhart
Arthur Kennedy ... Vic Hansbro
Donald Crisp ... Alec Waggoman
Cathy O'Donnell ... Barbara Waggoman
Alex Nicol ... Dave Waggoman
Aline MacMahon ... Kate Canaday
Wallace Ford ... Charley O'Leary
Jack Elam ... Chris Boldt
John War Eagle ... Frank Darrah
James Millican ... Tom Quigby
Gregg Barton ... Fritz
Boyd Stockman ... Spud Oxton
Frank DeKova ... Padre
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Storyline

Mysterious Will Lockhart delivers supplies to storekeeper Barbara Waggoman at Coronado, an isolated town in Apache country. Before long, he's tangled with Dave Waggoman, vicious son of autocratic rancher Alec and cousin of sweet Barbara. But he sticks around town, his presence a catalyst for changes in people's lives, searching for someone he doesn't know...who's been selling rifles to the Apaches. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MAN You'll Never Forget! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'homme de la plaine See more »

Filming Locations:

Window Rock, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,300,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last of James Stewart's Western collaborations with Director Anthony Mann. See more »

Goofs

Barbara asks Will about Daniel Boone's travels. Daniel Boone never came close to the Rockies as Barbara asserted. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Will Lockhart: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa. We'll camp here for the night.
Charley O'Leary: We can go a coupla more miles 'fore sundown.
Will Lockhart: We'll camp here!
Charley O'Leary: You're the boss.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beyond the Grave (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man From Laramie
By Lester Lee - Ned Washington
Sung by a chorus behind the credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Goes way beyond just being a western--sharply seen and acted
9 September 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Man from Laramie (1955)

You have a right to expect a movie starring James Stewart, directed by Anthony Mann, and photographed by Charles Lang to be spectacular. And it is. This is one of the first full wide screen Technicolor movies, and it's one drawback might be that it is trying to apply a new format to an old and slightly tired genre. The fact it rises above its familiarity is to Stewart's credit and Mann's. Lang (who photographed an extraordinary number of great black and white films) trades stately perfect color and design for pure drama and intensity, which are very different things, but it gives a full backdrop to the high drama here.

This is a beautiful movie, for sure, in its restrained way. (The fact that it's restrained when the whole world is gaping for surging new big color movies is a small miracle in itself.) Mann did a number of westerns, for which he's most known, and a few other genre pics, but first made his name as a film minor film noir director. He seems to carry over enough of the edginess and cruelty of those noirs to make his Westerns exciting rather than epic, which is a good thing. He and Stewart worked together on five westerns, and they have taken on a life of their own, and a feeling of their own that's impressive once you click into it. One of the best noir elements to the story (which was not written by Mann) is the feeling of the lone man against the world, a great theme.

The key woman lead is a cliché, the widow hanging on against the odds in town. In this case she is a charming but slightly miscast Cathy O'Donnell, a favorite of mine who takes demur and innocent to the heights. You see from the outset that this widow and Stewart's good, hard working character are destined for some kind of meeting of destinies. And there are inevitable clichés, too, that you might get used to--the stoic Indians, the older woman as tough as nails (and a gem of a role), a patriarch with a thoughtful wise look that shows counteracting wisdom, and fistfights in the dust. It's all great stuff, in the Western mold. (One fight is right in the middle of a mooing herd of cattle, and it's pretty fun.)

You do wonder sometime at the possibility of a super nice guy sticking it out against all these obstacles, and I mean obstacles. The domineering (and sometimes evil) family led by Donald Crisp, with the always impressive Arthur Kennedy as the chief hand, seems like more than a man could handle. But the conflict is real, and the movie makes it pertinent beyond being "just" a western. And beautifully done. Even if you don't like westerns, this will grab you anyway.


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