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It's the legendary James Stewart at his leading-man finest in this timeless western that set the standard for all that followed. Frontiersman Lin McAdam (Stewart) is attempting to track down both his father's murderer and his one-of-a-kind rifle, the Winchester '73, as it passes among a diverse group of desperate characters, including a crazed highwayman (Dan Duryea), an immoral gunrunner (John McIntire), a savage young Indian chief (Rock Hudson) and McAdam's own murderous brother (Stephen McNally). Featuring Shelley Winters as the rifle's only rival for McAdam's interest and Tony Curtis in one of his first screen performances, the gripping tale of the men (and gun) who won the West is one of Stewart's most memorable films and one of the genre's most enduring classics.
Winchester '73 is the first in a remarkable string of six classic westerns that James Stewart made with Anthony Mann in the 1950s (followed by Bend of the River, The Man From Laramie, The Naked Spur, and The Far Country). It is also distinguished for having helped revive the western at the box office, and for being the first film in which the star forsook a huge up-front salary in favor of a share of the profits--a strategy that made Stewart rich and forever changed the way that Hollywood does business. The movie itself is pretty darned impressive, too. Stewart traces a stolen Winchester rifle through several owners until he finds the man he's looking for. The final spectacular shootout in craggy, mountainous terrain is justly famous. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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When the film was first shown to test audiences, there were titters in the crowd when Jimmy Stewart's name appeared in the credits. "Mr. Smith" in a western? Shooting people? Please. By the end of the film, the tittering was all done and Stewart had established himself as a viable western hero (although in truth the magic of these Mann/Stewart westerns is that the characters Stewart plays are hardly "heroic." They are usually driven, neurotic men, nearly shifty-eyed, with a mean streak a mile wide - bitter men, and always very, very angry and eager to kill.
The basic set-up of this film is beautifully simple: Jimmy Stewart has a prize rifle stolen from him, a Winchester Model 1973 (which at the time the film takes place was state-of-the-art in the world of firearms), and he spends the rest of the movie hunting the man that stole it.
The story unfolds, however, as the movie rolls quickly along to something much more complex, culminating in one of the finest shootouts in movie history. The two principal actors of the film, James Stewart and Stewart McNally, spent a great deal of time practicing with their rifles (in Stewart's case Mann often found him walking around the set with bleeding knuckles, the results of his hours of self-training working the classic lever-action Winchester). Their hard work paid of in a tremendous realism.Read more ›
Nope, this is another of those great lost opportunities whereby a landmark movie suffers at the hands of the distributors either too lazy or too mean to spend some money restoring the picture to it's original glory. The depth of focus is lost in the mud!!!
Shame on all those involved in this shabby release, it is NOT a fitting tribute to those who made and starred in the original. Don't waste your $$$$ on this DVD as you will be annoyed and frustrated, it is like looking at an old worn out VHS tape played through a knackered VCR on an old portable TeeVee in your kitchen. Instead badger your local Art House Cinema or Film Society to run it, get together some like minded friends,pool your resources, have yard sales, anything to raise the cash to pay to have it shown on the big screen..Just don't judge this movie by this lacklustre DVD, & to think you pay mre for a DVD as you expect it to be better quality than a VHS tape!
The interview with Jimmy Stewart as he watches the film with the interviewer is interesting, but the "Winchester" DVD overall ranks as a *MAJOR* disappointment.
Two greats, Anthony Mann and Jimmy Stewart, team up to deliver this two-fister about an obsessed man tracking a killer from his own past while his friend Millard Mitchell does his best to keep him from going over the edge. Shelly Winters does a nice turn as the poor gal. Stephen McNally is oily as the main bad guy, and Dan Duryea comes off like Johnny Udo (from the original Kiss Of Death) in chaps.
The story really heats up when Stewart wins a shooting contest in which Wyatt Earp officiates (watch for the postage stamp across the nickel - some heroic marskmanship here) and gets his prized Winchester rifle stolen for his trouble. The Winchester does a hot potato act between badmen and Indians (Rock Hudson shows up as a war chief, in a scene where Tony Curtis dons the blue wool as a cavalry buck), and finally winds up in a climactic, hair raising shootout in a jumble of rocks above the desert. You can FEEL the bullets whizzing by.
Especially love the scene where Lin encounters Waco Johnnie Dean (read: Johnny Udo)in a bar and displays a decided lack of patience for the young bad man's showboating... There aren't many places to find good old Jimmy Stewart coming off harder (but do try `Flight Of The Phoenix'...wow!).
PS - This DVD is a good buy - the print they used tends to be a little less than pristine here and there, but it has got a commentary track with Jimmy Stewart on it! How did they do this? It seems Jimmy might have been watching the Laserdisc. His anecdotes about the old studio system and incites into acting are great. Especially like the stories about his hat (used in various westerns for twenty years) and horse, Pie (same as above).
"Huh...this laser thing is very interesting..." Jimmy Stewart.
Great suprise. Great DVD.
Most recent customer reviews
One of the greatest old westerns. Would recommend it to anyone. Took a long time to get it but it was worth waiting forPublished on Nov. 24 2013 by Sandy Noel
This is a great movie for any person who likes westerns. It does take some unsuspecting turns. It's a good clean shoe for almost any age. I just wish it was in colour.Published on Jan. 19 2012 by Upstream
Universal Studios presents "WINCHESTER '73" (1950) (92 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Lin McAdam (James Stewart) and his friend High-Spade (Millard... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2010 by J. Lovins
Along with a handful of other titles, this film is right at the summit of the great American Westerns ever made. It came entirely out of the blue as well. Read morePublished on June 9 2004