The Naked Spur

  • 1953
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Western

Another superb western from director Anthony Mann who, along with Budd Boetticher, created an outstanding series of engrossing, thoughtful, and challenging films that helped keep the genre fresh and vital during the 1950s. Stewart is excellent as Howard Kemp, the obsessed, disillusioned Civil War veteran who returns home to find he has lost his land. To...read more

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Another superb western from director Anthony Mann who, along with Budd Boetticher, created an outstanding series of engrossing, thoughtful, and challenging films that helped keep the genre fresh and vital during the 1950s. Stewart is excellent as Howard Kemp, the obsessed, disillusioned

Civil War veteran who returns home to find he has lost his land. To raise the money needed to regain his land, Kemp decides to become a bounty hunter and enters the Colorado Territory in search of escaped killer Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan), who has a $5,000 reward on his head. Vandergroat is

accompanied by Lina Patch (Janet Leigh), a lonely young woman who wants to escape to California. While searching for Vandergroat, Kemp picks up a pair of companions; Jesse Tate (Millard Mitchell), a grizzled prospector, and Roy Anderson (Ralph Meeker), a dishonorably discharged Union soldier. The

two drifters believe Kemp to be a lawman and agree to help him capture Vandergroat; they corner the fugitive, together with Patch, on a rugged hillside and take them prisoner. When they learn that Kemp is a mere bounty hunter, however, they demand an equal share of the reward. Kemp refuses, and

Vandergroat sees a chance to escape, via a clever campaign to pit the men against each other during the seven-day trip through dangerous Indian territory back to Abilene.

NAKED SPUR is a superb, tautly directed western in which Mann's protagonists, once again, allow the desire for vengeance to consume their inherent qualities of honor and decency. The journey becomes a process of near-religious revelation that finally allows one of them to achieve a bitterly earned

state of grace.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Another superb western from director Anthony Mann who, along with Budd Boetticher, created an outstanding series of engrossing, thoughtful, and challenging films that helped keep the genre fresh and vital during the 1950s. Stewart is excellent as Howard Ke… (more)

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