Friday, February 18, 2011

The Naked Spur

James Stewart gets help from old guy Millard Mitchell and ex-soldier Ralph Meeker in capturing outlaw Robert Ryan who has a 5000 $ reward on his head. On the way to the nearest city to collect the money Ryan tries to set the other men up against each other. Also starring Janet Leigh, directed by Anthony Mann.

The film is in colour, but in the pre widescreen 1,33:1 format, that feels a bit claustrophobic for a western. Mann doesn't get to use the landscape that much as part of the story. The concept for the film is simple but effective - the men slowly turning against each other, but I thought that was much better done in The Treasure of The Sierra Madre. In this film it doesn't get as ugly as it could have been. The greyhaired and middleaged James Stewart from the westerns of the fifties looks really different from the the young Stewart from the Capra films in the thirties. If you didn't know better, you'd actually find it hard to guess that it's the same actor.

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