Top Western Movies, Part 6

Winchester ’73 (1950) / Director: Anthony Mann / Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally
In Winchester ’73 — the first of five Westerns that James Stewart made with Anthony Mann — Stewart traces a stolen rifle through several owners until he finds the killer he seeks. The final mountain shootout is famous. Other films in the Stewart-Mann partnership:

  • Bend of the River (1952) / Director: Anthony Mann / Stars: James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Arthur Kennedy, Jay C. Flippen
    A noble cowboy (our man Jimmy, of course) risks his life to recover a homesteader’s stolen supplies after gold is discovered nearby.
  • The Naked Spur (1953) / Director: Anthony Mann / Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
    In this story of revenge, greed, and longing, Stewart plays Howard Kemp, a complex bounty hunter out to nab the charismatic outlaw Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan). With Janet Leigh as Lina, representing one of the better angels.

True Grit (2010) / Directors: Joel and Ethan Cohen / Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld / Writers: Joel and Ethan Cohen
Drunken, stubborn U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Damon) help an even more stubborn (but not drunk) young woman named Mattie (Steinfeld) track down her father’s murderer (Brolin) in Indian territory. Oscar nomination for newcomer Steinfeld.

True Grit (1969) / Director: Henry Hathaway / Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Jeremy Slate
John Wayne finally got his Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn, much to the reported outrage of Dustin Hoffman, who lost out for his stellar debut in The Graduate.

Red River (1948) / Director: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson / Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan
Wayne gives one of his strongest performances as Tom Dunson, a self-made cattle baron whose adopted son, Matthew, turns against him on a cattle drive.

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