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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Winchester '73 (1950)



Reviews and Comments

Jimmy Stewart and director Anthony Mann teamed up several times and made some great westerns together. They were smaller time films than the epic John Ford/John Wayne collaborations -- most were exciting, action-packed stories, yet which were personal and personable and had a firm handle on character. On screen, and in particular in his westerns with Mann, Stewart is easy both to relate to and look up to. He's an American hero and a human being.

Winchester '73 is their first and best film together, shot in gorgeous black and white and almost flawless staging and pacing. As its title may suggest, the story is that of a rifle and the people involved with it. Jimmy Stewart wins it early on in a marksmanship contest, but an angry runner up steals it. Stewart isn't about to let this slide, especially since said runner up happens to have murdered Stewart's father. Solid performances by all, crisp dialogue, and great camera work make this film a minor classic.

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