Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
Raw and gritty, but not as good as I thought it would be. I did like the unique five character approach though. (First and only viewing - 7/28/2019)
one of the Best Westerns ever
In this film, James 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.
Filmed in my home state Durango, CO . This 1953 film has Janet Leigh in jeans, beautiful location shooting (and Technicolor cinematography) .
In this taut revenge Western, from Oscar-nominated script by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom, Jimmy Stewart gives one of his best performances, revealing a darker facet to his screen persona that only a superb director like Anthony Mann could bring out. I like the anti-hero aspect of James Stewart as he take on the fugitive Robert Ryan in some intense psychological warfare. Mann never failed to deliver an astonishing ending to his Westerns, but this is one of his best.
Contrary to what Iâ(TM)ve read, I donâ(TM)t think the characters in this film are really all that complicated, in fact, theyâ(TM)re all pretty simple, but to its credit, theyâ(TM)re also all far from admirable. I also liked its economy of characters â" there are only five with speaking parts, and it gives the film a lean simplicity. The scenery is the real star though, shot on location in the Rocky Mountains, with beautiful trees, rocky outcrops, and a raging river.
Leading the three who are trying to bring in a wanted man is a civil war vet (Jimmy Stewart) who was duped out of his ranch by a woman, and at first falsely represents himself as a lawman. The two others who horn their way into his plan, seeking to share the reward are a grizzled old prospector (Millard Mitchell) who has failed to strike it rich after decades trying, and a dishonorably discharged soldier (Ralph Meeker) who raped an Indian girl. The man theyâ(TM)re trying to bring in is (Robert Ryan) is wanted for killing someone by shooting him in the back. He has a young woman with him (Janet Leigh) who is naively loyal to him, and follows the schemes he hatches to try to escape. Great group, eh? This creates a realistic feel, and in a setting without the structure of community, we see the struggle between selfish and cooperative behavior, and that most primal of power dynamics, that â~might makes rightâ(TM).
This already ambiguous group get still more twisted up by Ryanâ(TM)s manipulations. He sows the seeds of doubt and pits them against each other from the start in such obvious ways, that one really wonders why heâ(TM)s not gagged or pistol whipped. The story is a bit predictable, and includes a requisite scene where a dozen Indians are gunned down with single shots to each, despite being moving targets. The love interest that develops between Stewart and Leigh is too sudden and unbelievable, though Stewart as always turns in a strong performance, particularly when he gets nasty. The trouble is, the other four performances are pretty average, the story is plodding, and the quality of the film itself is not all that great, so it became a little tedious to continue watching about halfway in.
The final action sequences towards the end are fantastic though, and made me consider a slightly higher rating. I wonâ(TM)t spoil them, but will just say that theyâ(TM)re both gripping and beautiful, involving the natural scenery and shot from excellent angles. I was less a fan of the final ending itself, which seemed to me to have an invented conflict. Because it seems so unrealistic, it weakens the moral message director Anthony Mann was trying to convey. If youâ(TM)re a fan of the genre, youâ(TM)ll probably like this film a bit better, and if not, itâ(TM)s still watchable for Jimmy Stewart, the action at the end, and the river.
The Naked Spur 1953 I thought it was an interesting film in that it was not your conventional Western. It is 5 people who you would least expect to get together. It is Jimmy Stewart going after one man for a bounty. Then he comes across a old man, then you have a Union soldier who has been discharged for morality issues and fraternization with other women he should not be. Then you have the person the bounty is for a murder who has been chased by the Bounty hunter & knows what the bounty hunter is after. Then you have the girl dating the one who has a bounty on for murder. This is not the typical western in that you have the most unexpected people working together but also you have a team working together who will turn on the other members at any time Evan within their own team in order to get an advantage. This is also not typical in that the main character gets shot. You see a chase where a Native American tribe goes after the group but their main intention is not the group but a single man who fraternized with the Indian chief's daughter. This is really enjoyable because there are a lot of plot twist. Also this film seems very believable in that I can totally believe the motivations and believability in seeing this bizarre age group and genders getting together in this situation. The writing and acting is very well done in this film. This is a very unique film in that the murder is smart enough to recognize that Jimmy Stewart is faster and better at the gun yet when it comes to the Union Soldier he is completely willing to shoot and fight in order to get his advantage. That is unique. Also it was interesting seeing a Union Soldier fight a wounded Bounty Hunter and see who won the fight. Also there were things I was not expecting to see a bunch of times in this film. I was not counting on the old man to ditch his team in order to get Gold from someone he knows is not reliable. This is also unique in that is is a Western with really only 5 cast members and a lot of Native American Extra's. Most Westerns go to western towns, has many extras and this film does not have any of that. Everything is set in Colorado on Locations that are not sets. This is a film that can be done at a affordable way in many ways because it has a limited cast and does not require any sets to be built. This film also goes into character development more than many westerns because you are trying to figure out during the entire film what is everyone's motives and what are they trying to get out of everyone.
Meh. Pretty forgettable
Western from 1953 shot in Technicolor by studio MGM and shot almost entirely on location in the rapids and mountains of Colorado, U.S.A.
Directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart as a bounty hunter aiming to earn the reward of $5000 for the capture of killer Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan).
Stewart plays Howard Kemp who is psychologically damaged after his fianceè left him and he lost his ranch property after serving in the army and going to war.
Kemp gets a couple of hangers on on the way an old gold prospector who may know the unfamiliar Colorado terrain and a soldier who was discharged from the army dishonorably.
The killer himself lives on the edge and what follows is a story of cat and mouse between the characters questioning each other's motives.
Mann films most if not all of the film on location in colour and turns what appears to be a simple cowboys and Indians story into a psychological thriller.
The lush location shoot in Colorado is put to full use.
Stewart does what he does best playing a psychologically flawed character.
I find it quite remarkable that such films from the genre were released almost weekly but now it is probably an annual event.
Disappointing. By far my least favourite Anthony Mann western I've seen.
Really awesome movie. Well-paced, great acting all around. One of the best Westerns I've ever seen. I'd challenge anyone who 'Doesn't like westerns' to not like this movie.
Interesting movie that is a bit dated. Has a psychological thriller aspect. However I felt the ending was lacking.