29 August 2012 | ma-cortes
An awesome rugged Western masterfully directed by Anthony Mann including his ordinary star , James Stewart
From Columbia Pictures , produced by William Goetz and screenplay by prestigious Philip Yordan , a Western plenty of emotion , action and shootouts ; being the last and the best of James Stewart's classic Western collaborations with Anthony Mann. From a story by Thomas Flynn for the Saturday Evening Post and its subsequent novel with the same title . A cowboy named Lockhart (James Stewart) defies the local cattle baron (Donald Crisp) and his sadistic son (Alex Nicol) by working for one of his oldest rivals (Aline MacMahon) . The obsessed cow-herder going through hell and high water to track down the stranger who sold Indians weapons which led to the death of his brother ; then excitement increases until a surprising final .
This exciting Western contains tension-filled familial atmosphere , thrills , suspense and gun-play . Magnificent western from duo Anthony Mann/James Stewart and their final collaboration . Colour , music , scenarios , landscapes all marks well in this thrilling story about a cowboy who deals with a baron land who's going blind and worries which of his two sons he will leave the ranch to . The picture has been described as a western version of King Lear adding a tautly strung outdoor Wodunnit . It describes a family tragedy in which there are extreme characters combined with psychological observations and enriched by eventual ambiguity . By that time (1955) the picture was considered very strong , tough , surprisingly cruel and brutal ; today is deemed a classic film . And seems to be a great influence of wide range such as violence and scenarios , both of them influenced in Spaghetti Western as well as outdoors similar to Almeria landscapes . Filmed in Cinemascope with colorful cinematography by Charles Lang supported by assistant Henry Jaffa , Mann gets to take from nature the maximum impacts , as desert , river , mountains , being wonderfully photographed . Impressive background scenarios , dramatic close-up along with shading illuminations , all of them perfectly mingled with a tale full of violence , tension , intrigue and shoot'em up . The filming took place on location in New Mexico , there were built two ranch : Big Barb and Half Moon , next to Santa Fe . The technician and artist team was formed by numerous actors and 142 technicians . Producers hired 18 mules , 24 horses and 800 cows and building a great ranch of 32 miles length . Nedless to say , the main and secondary cast is first-class . Top-of-the-range acting by the great James Stewart as a lone avenger obsessed with hunting down the men who sold guns to the Indians that murdered his brother . There are top-notch acting from old-stagers as Donald Crisp playing an aging ranch baron and Aline MacMahon as an old spinster and special mention to Western usual secondary Jack Elam as a sinister gunslinger . Delicate Cathy O'Donnell (Ben Hur) was widely felt to be badly miscast as Barbara Waggoman and seems a little lost among the movie's many shots and brawls. Emotive as well as intriguing musical score by George Duning performed by Morris Stoloff , including a notorious theme tune .
This top-drawer Western was stunningly realized by the master Anthony Mann , including his characteristic use of landscape which is visually memorable . Mann established his forte with magnificent Western almost always with James Stewart . In his beginnings he made ambitious but short-lived quality low-budget surroundings of Eagle-Lion production as ¨T-men¨ , ¨They walked by night¨ , ¨Raw deal¨ , ¨Railroaded¨ and ¨Desperate¨ . Later on , he made various Western , remarkably good , masterpieces such as ¨The furies¨ , ¨Devil's doorway¨ and ¨Man of the West¨ and several with his habitual star , James Stewart, as ¨Winchester 73¨ , ¨Bend the river¨ , ¨The far country¨ , ¨Man of the West ¨. They are characterized by roles whose determination to stick to their guns would take them to the limits of their endurance . Others in this throughly enjoyable series include ¨Tin star ¨ that is probably one of the best Western in the fifties and sixties . After the mid-50 , Mann's successes came less frequently , though directed another good Western with Victor Mature titled ¨The last frontier¨. And of course ¨The man from Laramie ¨ that turns out to be stylish , fast paced , solid , meticulous , with enjoyable look , and most powerful and well-considered . This well acted movie is gripping every step of the way . It results to be a splendid western and remains consistently agreeable . Rating : Above average . Well worth watching and it will appeal to James Stewart fans .