The Man From Laramie

1955

The Man From Laramie (1955)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Anthony Mann directed this brilliant psychological Western reminiscent of Shakespeare's +King Lear. James Stewart plays Will Lockhart, who is obsessed with finding the man who sold automatic rifles to the Apaches, resulting in the death of his brother. Will enters the town of Coronado, NM, ruled by the blind and aging patriarch Alec Waggoman (Donald Crisp). Unaware that he is trespassing on Waggoman's land, he finds himself accosted by Alec's sociopathic son, Dave (Alex Nicol), who brutally beats Will and is ready to kill him. But Will is rescued at the last minute by Waggoman's adopted son, Vic Hansbro (Arthur Kennedy). Will finds that Waggoman has become increasingly concerned over who will inherit his vast empire.

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Cast

James Stewart
as Will Lockhart
Arthur Kennedy
as Vic Hansbro
Donald Crisp
as Alec Waggoman
Alex Nicol
as Dave Waggoman
Cathy O'Donnell
as Barbara Waggoman
Aline MacMahon
as Kate Canaday
Wallace Ford
as Charley O'Leary
Jack Elam
as Chris Boldt
John War Eagle
as Frank Darrah
James Millican
as Tom Quigby
Boyd Stockman
as Spud Oxton
Frank Cordell
as Mule Driver
Bill Catching
as Mule Driver
Jack Carry
as Mule Driver
William Catching
as Mule Driver
Frosty Royce
as Mule Driver
Eddy Waller
as Dr. Selden
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Critic Reviews for The Man From Laramie

All Critics (9)

A complex and nuanced examination of envy, resentment and filial loyalty.

Jan 16, 2017 | Rating: 4/5

Atmospheric Western that is also filled with crime, mystery and suspense.

Aug 6, 2013 | Full Review…

This adult psychological Western represents one of the best collaborations between director Anthony Mann and star Jimmy Stewart.

Oct 21, 2012 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The fifth of Anthony Mann's five Westerns with Jimmy Stewart, The Man from Laramie looks more and more like the best of the lot.

Aug 21, 2008 | Full Review…

A revenge Western Shakespeare might have liked.

Jun 30, 2005 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Taut, brutal Western with King Lear overtones

May 20, 2004 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for The Man From Laramie

½

Beautifully filmed and chock full of the wide ranging Western vistas the genre demands, the stranger (Jimmy Stewart) comes to town to find revenge for the death of his brother. The acting is okay here but it has trouble when up against a script like outta of some juvenile detention facility, as clunky as Lincoln Logs.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

An okay movie for a western, Stewart is a great actor, and he brings the movie to life.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Like the Sons of Katie Elder, The Man from Laramie deals heavily with father/son relationships in the old west, and how the weak son fails the empire-carving father. The son Dave (Alex Nicol) isn't just weak and ignorant, he's also mean-spirited. Vic (Arthur Kennedy) is put in charge of "keeping" Dave, but Dave travels across the ranch like an oafish baby, and Vic can only keep him in line so well. But Vic has other reasons for disliking Dave, especially the fact that when the old man (Donald Crisp) dies, Dave will inherit (and likely fritter away) all the hard work he's put into the ranch. Lockhart (James Stewart) has come to to town supposedly to deliver a shipment to the general store, but his real agenda is to discover who sold the repeating rifles to the apaches who killed his brother. There are no stereotypical villains in this movie, no one is strictly speaking "evil" (except perhaps dave, who just wants to be the man his father was), they're more misguided. When the old man came out west, he had to be tough, as there wasn't any law to protect him and his property. Times have changed, and he wants his son to learn how to do the bookkeeping, but all Dave wants to do is play cowboy and spends every opportunity looking for a fight. Lockhart is shrewd and cool as a cucumber as he works towards finding his revenge, and it's a vengeance that won't be denied. The psychology of the characters is well fleshed out and puts the Man from Laramie a step above the stereotypical black-and-white westerns.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

½

James Stewart plays an army captain on the trail of gun runners who sold rifles to the Apache resulting in the death of his brother. Mann and Stewart made some great westerns together but this one somehow didn't have the spark that makes a film special for me. Stewart is as reliable as ever and Mann's direction solid, but there's something so terribly generic about this one. I think black and white suited Mann's style far better, and the plot to this film seems so formulaic and predictable that I was stifling yawns by the time it was half finished. The characters were all a little too familiar, the outcome inevitable and there's very little in the way of action along the way. Not bad by any means, but it's not in the same league as the likes of Winchester '73.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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