Monday, February 6, 2017

Winchester 73

Winchester 73 marked the first western by Anthony Mann where he collaborated with James Stewart. The series of films offer a different kind of west than you might find in most films before it. There's no real comic relief, there's certainly no funny Natives hanging around, it's stark world where most men would rather shoot you in the back just to steal a few coins. The film also offers a different Jimmy Stewart, he's no longer the awshucks charmer of his former years, he's an embittered man living a hard life, though still likable but I suppose that just comes naturally with ole Stewart. The main story represents this style with Stewart playing a hard man hellbent on revenge against an outlaw, unfortunately he's only one of the amoral men he will find on his journey. The film is quite effective in this tone, of dog eat dog, and well anchored by Stewart who proves himself more than capable in dealing in the darker side of mankind. The film is well focused around the straight revenge, depicting a thriller within the western setting, which it uses so well in creating this sense of danger everywhere. It's compelling film though not quite the best Stewart/Mann have to offer.

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