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Naked Spur

Overview

The powerhouse combination of star James Stewart and director Anthony Mann score another cinematic bullseye in The Naked Spur. Stewart plays a taciturn frontiersman who loses his home while he's off fighting the Civil War. To raise enough money for a new grubstake, Stewart becomes a bounty hunter in Colorado territory. His first quarry is fugitive, killer Robert Ryan. Stewart's efforts to bring in Ryan and collect the reward are compromised by the presence of Ryan's loyal girl friend Janet Leigh and Stewart's two...
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Overview

The powerhouse combination of star James Stewart and director Anthony Mann score another cinematic bullseye in The Naked Spur. Stewart plays a taciturn frontiersman who loses his home while he's off fighting the Civil War. To raise enough money for a new grubstake, Stewart becomes a bounty hunter in Colorado territory. His first quarry is fugitive, killer Robert Ryan. Stewart's efforts to bring in Ryan and collect the reward are compromised by the presence of Ryan's loyal girl friend Janet Leigh and Stewart's two disreputable sidekicks, wily prospector Millard Mitchell and disgraced Union-officer Ralph Meeker. There's plenty of "cat and mouse" byplay between Stewart and Ryan before the brutal climax; the drama is intensified by the fact that both men are on the outer rim of total insanity. The Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Naked Spur was cowritten by Sam Rolfe, who was later one of the creative forces responsible for the similarly no-nonsense TV western series Have Gun, Will Travel.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
One of the most intense psychological Westerns of the 1950s is as much an edgily melodramatic character study as a Western. Anchored by James Stewart's anguished performance, in his third Mann Western, the five characters struggle between instinct and morality, a conflict heightened by their isolation in a Colorado landscape free of the trappings of civilization. Robert Ryan's smoothly manipulative villain may be the bounty target, but Millard Mitchell's prospector and Ralph Meeker's soldier aren't solid citizens either; Janet Leigh's Lina is the only voice of propriety. Stewart's Howard, emasculated by a treacherous wife, teeters on the brink of hysteria and excessive violence, even after he manages to reclaim the strength to kill his quarry. In a dramatic departure from the traditionally taciturn, resilient Western hero, Howard can only collapse sobbing into Lina's arms as he acquiesces to her moral imperative at the conclusion. Shot on location in the Rockies with Mann's customary pictorial beauty and violence, The Naked Spur was a vital sign of the Western's postwar turn toward revisionism and neurosis, and one of the best of Mann's five westerns with Stewart.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/1994
  • UPC: 027616052032
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Source: Mgm (Warner)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Howard Kemp
Janet Leigh Lena Patch
Robert Ryan Ben Vandergroat
Ralph Meeker Roy Anderson
Millard Mitchell Jesse Tate
Technical Credits
Anthony Mann Director
Harold Jack Bloom Screenwriter
Malcolm Brown Art Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
William C. Mellor Cinematographer
Sam Rolfe Screenwriter
George White Editor
William H. Wright Producer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2003

    Wow! A great film with star power!

    One of the more character-delving of the Mann-Stewart westerns. It just goes to show everyone that although Stewart portrayed idealistic, young men in the 1930's (brilliantly in Mr. Smith), after the war, he came back a different man with a different outlook on life. Anthony Mann knew this, like Hitchcock and Frank Capra. Jimmy Stewart is a hero\villain with his portrayal of a bounty hunter. A shocking role for Jimmy Stewart, the All-American boy next door, but he is extraordinary in this role. He has a rough, tough, and grid-iron outside but ends up being a very sensitive man with many demons at the end. The very last scene is the best of the film. Jimmy Stewart will definitely surprise you in this film (especially in the last scene).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    Best Western ever made!

    This is third effort by Jimmy Stewart and the director Anthony Mann and it's their best work together. This film is great because of the characters study, which you don't see that in modern cinema anymore. The story will keep you guessing until the brutal climax. If you love Jimmy Stewart, or flat out great cinema, go check it out.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews