Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #209 Winchester ’73

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Movie #209 Winchester ’73

(1950, US, d. Anthony Mann)

I’ve only seen a handful of Westerns but every one of them I’ve managed to love. This film is no different. It’s running time is short and sweet but it manages to get a lot done in those few minutes. Jimmy Stewart plays Lin McAdam, a man on a hunt to capture ‘Dutch Henry’ Brown (played by Stephen McNally). On the way, Stewart manages to win a rifle. But the Winchester ’73 is not just any rifle. It’s the most coveted, expensive, accurate, and manly rifle that exists. Everyone wants it. It’s a great little story. Almost like what Madame De… did for a tale of a few earrings, Mann creates a geo-trail story of a gun, though this film did release a few years earlier. McAdam must make the decision to find the gun or continue to search for Mr. Brown, who’s relation to McAdam is only explained in the last minute of the film. It’s a classic MacGuffin set-up, but one that keeps you wondering rather than dismissing a flimsy storyline. Anchored by solid acting (and featuring a bit part by the then non-star Tony Curtis), Winchester ’73 is a very enjoyable ride through Kansas, from Dodge City and onwards.

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