Great Mann/Stewart collab, probably the first "adult" western along with exceptional The Gunslinger released same period. Supporting cast is ace, Mitchell and Duryea always do fine work, be it noirs or here in a western that feels like a Twilight Zone ep at times. Winters feels tacked on as screenwriters realized, "oh wait, we need a girl". Keep an eye out for young Tony Curtis and Hudson in a ridic role. 4.5 stars
Mann is probably one of the most fair directors in the american cinema. He never take side, he just show you the cruelty of the american history between indians and the white men. This film or in Devil's Doorway, he gives you what men shoot for and how many blood was shed. Of course there is an attempt to deny the white history and show who was the natives, still he didn't creat generalizations but concert acts.
It was quite fascinating to see Jimmy Stewart's transformation in westerns, from 'Destry Rides Again' to this one. I much preferred him in Destry as a non-violent man than this guy who's quite angry and violent and needing revenge. I suppose he probably was sick of being typecast as nice.
(Vu sur Arte) Impressionné par le très beau "Bend of the river" des mêmes A. Mann et J. Stewart (1952), j'ai trouvé ce film moins abouti que son successeur. Malgré un dispositif très malin (on suit le parcours de mains en mains d'une carabine), le wild west présenté m'a semblé encore bien caricatural (des indiens ridicules; tous les cowboys - hormis quelques bandits - semblent des gentlemen accomplis, etc.)
Exceptional western from Anthony Mann that gave new life to the box office power of the genre in '50 as well as new options for star James Stewart. Scripting is aces with the novelty of following an inanimate object to tell its fine tale of pursuit and revenge. Casting is good but the heavy lifting is left for Stewart. Good b&w photography by William Daniels.
Seen again yesterday after a 30 years break. It's about a search. Search for a brother, for a woman or for a rifle, Anthony Mann gives us the choice. Let's focus for once on the supporting roles, they are outstanding: Dan Duryea, Will Geer, Shelley Winters or Millard Mitchell. Highly recommended.
I was expecting Mann to break conventional racial attitudes. Well... he didn't. Possible subtext: the Winchester rifle as the mythical cult of violence? If we choose to read that way, the unquestioned racism (in casting and characterization) seems to reinforce the point.
"This is the story of the Winchester Rifle Model 1873,'The gun that won the West.' To cowman, outlaw, peace officer or soldier, the Winchester '73 was a treasured possession. An Indian would sell his soul to own one." Then Rock Hudson comes on screen as Chief Young Bull. Hilarious. Despite the non-PC Western tropes, Winchester's simple set up evolves into a complex, nuanced tale w/ excellent turns from its stars.