Winchester '73 (1950)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This film tells the story of a long-standing blood feud. Hard-bitten loner James Stewart rides into Dodge City, where he participates in a Fourth of July shooting contest to win a coveted Winchester rifle. Stewart's principal opponent is surly Stephen McNally, for whom Stewart holds an unexplained hatred.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Robert L. Richards, Borden Chase
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 6, 2003
Universal Pictures


as Lin McAdam

as Lola Manners

as Waco Johnnie Dean

as Dutch Henry Brown

as Johnny `High Spade' ...

as Steve Miller

as Joe Lamont

as Wyatt Earp

as Sgt. Wilkes

as Young Bull

as Jack Rider

as Wesley

as Wheeler

as Latigo Means

as Crater

as Cavalryman

as Marshal Noonan

as Mrs. Jameson

as Roan Daley

as Masterson

as Charles Bender

as Virgil

as Boy at Rifle Shoot

as Target watcher

as Bat Masterson

as Target Clerk

as Station master

as Betty Jameson

as Stagecoach Driver

as Indian interpreter

as First Man

as Bartender

as Buffalo Hunter

as Stable Boy

as Boy at Rifle Shoot

as Bartender

as Boy at Rifle Shoot
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Winchester '73

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Critic Reviews for Winchester '73

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

Strikingly photographed in black & white, the film is directed with an eye to realistic detail, an ear for the script's frequently natural dialogue and a knack for building suspense.

Full Review… | March 17, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Stewart brings real flavor and appeal to the role of Lin, in a lean, concentrated portrayal.

Full Review… | July 9, 2007
Top Critic

Mann's first film with James Stewart, with whom he was to make a series of classic Westerns, this offers the clearest example of Mann's use of the revenge plot.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A frisky, fast-moving, funny Western in which a rifle is the apple of a cowboy's eye.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The final shoot-out remains a classic study in mise-en-scene, as Mann transforms a jagged landscape into a highly charged psychological battleground.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

With such a strong cast, the film almost turns into an ensemble film instead of a star vehicle for Stewart in his first of many collaborations with Mann.

Full Review… | March 17, 2015
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Winchester '73


One part Western (the visuals), one part noir (the script), this is one different take on the genre. Rock Hudson as an Indian, Tony Curtis as, well, Tony Curtis, a mythical firearm that drives men crazy, and reheat the Redenbacher's, cause this is good viewing.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Winchester 73 is one of those perfect classic Westerns (High Noon, The Searchers, Stagecoach, etc.) that never disappoints or lets up from the moment you pop in the disc.

The depth and complexity of James Stewart's performance is the star here, but for me, film noir auteur Anthony Mann's textured, high contrast black and white photography is a runner up, especially in the night scenes, which have the haunting and three dimensional glowing quality of the best film noir classics. Thirdly, the perfectly cast cracker jack supporting players, all hold the screen with the masterful Stewart in his prime, full of veterans like Grandpa Walton (Will Geer), and newcomers circa 1950 like Shelly Winters, Tony Curtis and Rock Hudson.

The script is subtle using natural, conversational dialogue. The acting style matches the script to a t, with almost Stanislavski-esque performance 'method' . Don't expect the wacky buddy comedy or over the top cackling villainy of some of the other later day (post WWII) Westerns. It's a well told story that wraps up perfectly and takes its time to make its big shocking revelation, adding resonance to the tragic wrenching conclusion. The 93 minutes fly by with the wall to wall excellence on display here.

Josh Morris
Josh Morris

Super Reviewer


Winchester 73 is fine, light-hearted fun. Full of charismatic performances and a simple but functional story, it never fails to please or entertain, even if it's not exactly riveting.

Kyle F.
Kyle Fowler

Super Reviewer

Winchester '73 Quotes

– Submitted by Sarfaraz A (2 years ago)

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