Directed by Anthony Mann
On the surface, this looks a really cliche western. You got James Stewart as a reluctant hero, the flat bad guys, and the blond dame that is tougher than she looks. However, this is actually a deeper movie that I thought it was going to be. Which is good news for me because that means a longer blog post and more procrastination!
So this movie is basically about a gun. The film follows the gun as it changes hands many times. Kind of like the Ring of Power. Everybody wants it, but only Frodo will be able to handle its power and bring it to Mount Doom. Ahem. I meant James Stewart.
It goes without saying that the acting is excellent. The directing is pretty inspired too; of course, Ford will always be the champion Western director, but Anthony Mann does a good job too. Wow, that sounded way more condescending than I wanted it to be. He's good, all right? Let's just move on.
Anyway, like I said at the beginning, there are plenty of cliches in this film. However, cliches in westerns are part of the charm of the genre. There are really great characters in this film. This review sucks but watch it anyway. What can I say? I'm tired!
Jimmy Stewart took a percentage of the profits from the film instead of the regular acting fee. He was one of the first actors to do this and started a trend that would ultimately end the studio-actor relationship.
Saved Jimmy Stewart's career as he was worried he was being typecast as a wimp.