Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winchester '73

A marksman and his friend ride into Dodge City to enter a Wyatt Earp hosted shooting contest where the grand prize is a 1973 Winchester rifle, a "1 in a 1000" gun that is so perfect that the manufacturer won't even sell it. While in town, the man runs into the outlaw who killed his mentor and when he beats him in the shooting contest, the fiend jumps him and leaves town with the Winchester. As the marksman hunts his enemy, the rifle makes a journey of its own as it changes hands across the old west. Anthony Mann's Winchester '73 is a fast paced Western with an interesting original concept in the story of both the journey of the hero and his weapon. Jimmy Stewart gives his usual commanding performance in the lead and Shelley Winters contributes a fine performance as well as a young singer who keeps crossing paths with Stewart during the course of his journey. Also, the way the story is structured allows for some nice characterizations. I felt the mountain ridge shootout at the end was anticlimactic, but all and all this is a brisk and enjoyable Western.