Sunday, March 17, 2013

295. The Man From Laramie

The Man From Laramie
Directed by Anthony Mann

I did not take a whole lot away from this movie so it is hard for me to write a decent review of it.  This is the third Mann-Stewart film that we have had on the list and I am afraid that we peaked a bit too early with The Naked Spur.  There was nothing particularly wrong with the movie, but it brought absolutely nothing new to the table.

This story is pretty typical for a Western.  James Stewart wants to avenge his brother's death.  His brother was killed by Apaches (naturally) so he tries to figure out who is selling supplies to the Apache.  Along the way, he locks horns with some of the locals.

Off the top of my head, I could name about ten westerns that are all slight variations on this theme.  Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this story, besides the blatant racism.  My favorite western is The Searchers, which also deals with revenge and those damn Injuns.  However, many westerns have done this kind of story better.  As is, this movie is slightly dull and very predictable.

Still, Jimmy Stewart is a great actor so the movie automatically gets points for that.  But this is an entirely dispensable western and I would recommend skipping it.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

As of last weekend, I have seen all of the Best Picture winners.  WOOHOO!  A lot of those movies were really dull, particularly the older ones, so if you are going to follow a list, I would recommend the 1001 list.  You know, if you are willing to watch around 920 more movies than you originally planned.

Considered to be the western version of King Lear.

Last of the Mann-Stewart westerns.



  1. There are way too many westerns in the 50'ies. I do not really need this one. That said Stewart will save any movie and raise it above the average.

  2. The lyrics to the title song:

    The man from Laramie
    Oh, he was friendly to everyone he met
    No one seemed to know a thing about him
    He had an air of mystery
    He was not inclined to speak his mind
    The man from Laramie

    Hal David it ain't

  3. Am I missing something from the plot? Vic (the kinda adopted son) was a god guy, wasn't he? He knew about the rifles, but didn't instigate it and only kept quiet because he didn't want to make trouble? He shot the nasty real son in self defence, pushed the old man off the horse whilst trying to help him and cops the blame for the whole thing? And then the Indians shoot him dead.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for oblique endings that don't smile sweetly at me. But this wasn't that sort of movie and the Hays Code wasn't supposed to allow that sort of thing.

    Or am I misunderstanding what happened?