Winchester 73 (TV Movie 1967) Poster

(1967 TV Movie)

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Decent Remake
FightingWesterner21 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This television remake of the Jimmy Stewart classic finds sheriff Tom Tryon and his no-good cousin John Saxon competing for the title weapon, being offered up as a prize in a shooting contest by Saxon's father Dan Duryea. When he loses, the vile Saxon kills Tryon's father and takes off with the gun and both of his cousins in pursuit.

This isn't as loosely plotted or episodic as the original film, nor as great. Still, it's a pretty good TV movie with more of a theatrical feel to it than other movies-of-the-week, with some entertaining action scenes.

John Drew Barrymore stands out and delivers an interesting, amusing performance as a long-haired member of Saxon's gang, who talks and dresses like a preacher and drives a hearse!

A couple of the actors from the 1950 version return, most notably Dan Duryea.

The Winchester looks exactly like the one from the original film, with the same etchings and brass plaque on the stock. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Universal dug through it's prop department and dusted off the same gun.
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Tepid Remake
keithhire8 January 2014
Not unwatchable, but close to it. I agree with malcomgsw, this pales in comparison to the classic from 1950, one of my personal favorites from any genre. The changes to the plot do not improve upon the original but overly complicate it - in this case less is more. John Saxon gives the best performance here, making the most of a thin script. Saxon is good at playing creeps, see him in "The Appaloosa" with Brando. Tom Tryon gives a wooden performance, shortly before giving up acting to become a writer. It was gratifying to see Dan Duryea from the earlier film, but his turn here seems tired, while in the original he was one of the more memorable villains in screen history. John Drew Barrymore's hippie character is unusual, but out of place in a western, kind of like Donald Sutherland in "Kelly's Heroes". All in all, an inferior remake of a superior film. I would, however, take issue with malcolmgsw's comment that some IMDb contributors seem to "want to eulogize the guns that are featured in films rather than dwell on their harmful consequences". We can of course, dwell on anything we want to, but while we're dwelling, what about the people living on the frontier whose lives were saved by having firearms nearby? Just saying.
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This is one awesome movie in my opinion!
garthfan4 June 2002
This is a fantastic remake of the original that starred James Stewart. John Saxon plays the bad guy and guess who plays his father, Dan Duryea who also starred in the original. I hope someday they will distribute this on VHS or DVD. If not, I hope they will at least air it again on television.
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cheap remake of masterful western
malcolmgsw8 October 2006
I don't know what it says about some of the contributors to this site that they seem to want to eulogise the guns that are featured in films rather than dwell on their harmful consequences.This is a cheap and shoddy TV remake by Universal of one of the great Westerns of all time.They have a determination to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator .It is quite apparent that they want to keep the cast list to below 10 and use all of their standing sets at Universal City.Their "Indian Tribe" seems to consist of just 2 individuals.The acting of the younger members of the cast is so wooden that you would believe that their faces are incapable of mobility.The shootout at the end is poorly staged and the whole film is a total bore which even a fine actor such as Dan Duryea cannot redeem.
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OK For What It Is
crood13 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As a made for TV movie from that time, it's OK. John Saxon is pretty good and it fits that he's the most recognizable of the main three characters.

Calling it a remake is stretching things a bit. They changed a lot, including that the titular rifle doesn't get passed around nearly as much and isn't apparently as central to the story as in the original.

The biggest change is to the relationship between hero and villain. In the original, it's a twist revealed only at the end and gives the whole thing a much more personal angle. Here, the relationship (cousins) makes the whole thing less personal. Also, they did a weird merge and split with the hero's character. Lin, played by Stewart in the original, has been combined with Wyatt Earp from that film. Some of his character was then split off into the newly created younger brother, who feel superfluous most of the time.

There's one scene which just makes the hero look incredibly stupid by walking straight into what can only be an obvious trap.

With the original easily available, there's no real reason to watch this one.
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Amateurish western, pretty embarrassing film
redwhiteandblue17766 December 2017
There must be a terrific laundry in this town. Every actor's clothes are perfectly cleaned and pressed except for John Saxon. Appears the costume lady just went down the movies studio's "cowboy clothes" department and pulled out something from the 1950's for everyone. Secondly, I take part in shoot competitions and have never seen anyone who could shoot as well as these guys. Totally unbelievable. Thirdly, the depictions of "Indians" is an insult to real native Americans. It's hard to understand why movie studios would put money into this kind of amateurish film. I gave it a 2 only because it had some nice scenery.
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Remake of a Classic Western
gerryn-101-9319425 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First, let me say that I am a big fan of the 1950 Winchester 73 movie starring Jimmy Stewart, Shelly Winters, Steven McNally, Millard Mitchell (High Spade, Stewart's sidekick), and Dan Duryea (Waco Johnny Dean, (McNally's sidekick). McNally and Stewart are brothers. I have enjoyed it many, many times. One of the gems in this movie is the short performance by John McIntyre as an Indian gun runner at the Tascosa trading post. Finding this version on TV, I decided to give it a try.

Dan Duryea, who played Waco Johnny Dean, in the original movie is introduced as Bart McAdam, the father of an angry and bitter Dakin McAdam (John Saxon) early in this version. Bart has convinced his brother, Ben McAdam (Paul Fix) to offer the prized Winchester as the reward for the shooting match in hopes of attracting Dakin, recently released from prison, to the contest. Sheriff Lin McCadam, (Tom Tyron), Ben's son and Dakin's cousin is rebuffed when he tries to make nice with Dakin when the meet just before the contest.

After the initial stage of the contest, only Dakin and Lin are left in the contest. They take turns driving nails into a board (With the fabled rifle). Lin wins when he hits a dime thrown in the air. Dakin sulks away. He confronts his uncle, Ben McAdam (Lin's dad) who is just starting to engrave the rifle, kills him and leaves to follow his gang to Tascosa. Bart tries to convince Lin that the shooting was self defense.

Lin tries to convinces Dan McAdam, son of Ben, (David Pritchart) to accept a deputy badge instead of just hunting down Dakin, but Dan rides out for Starett's the night before his father's funeral. At the burial, Bart tries to convince Lin that the shooting was self defense.

When Dakin arrives at Starett's he meets John Dehner (High Spade Johnny Dean)- (The John McIntyre gun runner role in the original, not Stewarts sidekick Hi Spade). Dehner and Gavin play poker, finally for THE gun. Dehner wins. Dehner angers An Indian, who kills him, taking the Winchester. Dakin is trailing behind and attempts to regain the rifle. The Indian shoots his horse, but Dakin gets Dehner's handgun. David arrives at Starett's just before Dakin returns. Starett runs them off, giving Dakin a 30 minute head start. Dakin takes David's horse, leaving him on foot. When Lin shows up later, he leaves David on foot at Starett's.

The Indian attacks a small group of Mexicans and Lin comes along. He engages the Indian one on one, killing him. Not realizing the Indian had his rifle, he rides off. Thinking the rifle to cursed, the Mexicans decide to take it to the padre for blessing.

Soon Dakin has caught up with his gang in Tascosa, where they plan to commit a robbery. Lin walks in to Joan Blondell's Catina and confronts his cousin Dakin. Meanwhile, Bart & Ben have caught the stage and have arrived in Tascosa. Bart convinces Lin that Dakin will surrender in the church at midnight. David smells an ambush. Leaving David behind, Bart and Lin meet Dakin in the church, and up pop Dakin's gang. Now we learn that the robbery is to be the church's holy treasures. As the robbery is completed, the Mexican family bring the Winchester into the church to be blessed. Dakin urges the young girl to bring him the gun and Bart knocks him aside to grab the gun. Dakin recovers and wounds Bart (his father). In the ensuing fight, as Dakin tries to kill Lin, David finishes off the 2 members of the gang, recovering the treasures. Dakin and Lin, fighting on the church grounds outside end up with Lin shooting his cousin. This was a better than average made-for-TV western, but did not measure up to the original Winchester 73. The original was better written, better acted, better directed, and had a more realistic storyline.

Waco Johnny Dean was the sidekick of Dutch Henry Brown, the estranged brother of Lin McAdam in the original movie. Tom Tyron is his cousin, Lin McAdam.
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