The Naked Spur Reviews
While it has some decent action sequences, mostly straight out of the western playbook, The Naked Spur is a mostly a character-driven drama. It is a battle of wills between five people, all with different agendas, views and abilities.
It is also a story of greed, which shapes many of the personal agendas. Feels a bit like Treasure of the Sierra Madre in that regard, though not anywhere near as great a movie.
Plot is a bit basic, but that is mostly fine. It is the interplay between the five antagonists that matters most.
Solid performance from James Stewart in the lead role (as you would expect). He does feel a bit miscast, as here, while the hero, he is not perfect and has a few character flaws. Hard to imagine James Stewart playing a character that was anything less than perfect.
Good support from Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan and Millard Mitchell. Ralph Meeker, as the former Army officer, is a bit hammy.
Anthony Mann, "The Naked Spur" (1953) features Mr. Stewart as far away from Frank Capra's Mr. Smith as it is possible to get. Tremendous support is provided by one of the screen's greatest villains, Robert Ryan, and cast against-type, Janet Leigh. The film also benefits from extensive location filming in the mountains of Colorado.