The Naked Spur

Movie Details

Year1953
DirectorAnthony Mann
Key CastJames Stewart, Janet Leigh
MPAA RatingApproved
Film TypeNot Rated
Genre(s)Western, Thriller
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Jimmy Stewart and Anthony Mann Team Up Again for “The Naked Spur”

A critically acclaimed and gritty high-water mark of a famous filmmaking relationship, 1953’s “The Naked Spur” saw director Anthony Mann and leading man Jimmy Stewart again team up on a troubled and complicated Western adventure.
 
Jimmy Stewart portrays the bounty-hunter Howard Kemp, hot on the trail of a wanted murderer, Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan), in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado a few years after the close of the Civil War. With the lure of a $5,000 reward, he ends up enlisting the help of two other morally ambiguous loners: an old prospector named Jesse Tate (Millard Mitchell) and a discharged Army Lieutenant, Roy Anderson (Ralph Meeker). The unlikely trio eventually apprehends Vandergroat, along with the daughter of one of the outlaw’s deceased friends, Lina Patch (Janet Leigh).
 
Psychological maneuvering soon sets in as the party attempts to haul Vandergroat back to Kansas, site of his alleged crime. Kemp’s motivations are tied up in his own personal history; a Civil War veteran, he had his farm sold out from under him while he was in service by his then-fiancée, and he yearns to get the land back. Henderson has his own troublesome back story: He’s pursued by a band of Blackfeet Indians for his liaison with a chief’s daughter. Vandergroat, meanwhile, is no idle captive, and works to set the three reward-seekers against one another—and he has no qualms about using Leigh toward this end.
 
The performances of the notable cast are strong—Stewart excels in one of his brooding Western anti-hero roles—and the scenery, anchored by the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, is genuine and often jaw-dropping.
 
The writers of “The Naked Spur,” Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom, were rewarded at the 1954 Academy Awards with an Oscar nomination for “Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.”
 

 
• “The Naked Spur” is one of many fine western movies that Jimmy Stewart made with director Anthony Mann. Together, they made a total of five classic western films.
Winchester ’73
Bend of the River
The Naked Spur
The Man from Laramie
The Far Country
 
• “The Naked Spur” was filmed on location in Durango, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. The stunning cinematography by William Mellor captures the magnificence of this location extremely well.
 
 
• “The Naked Spur” was selected to the National Film Registry in 1997. Only 25 movies are selected each year for this national honor because of their artistic, cultural or historical importance to the United States.
 

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The Naked Spur
Movie DVD

In “The Naked Spur” movie, Jimmy Stewart stars as bounty-hunter Howard Kemp, hot on the trail of a wanted murderer, in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

James Stewart - The Signature Collection

James Stewart
The Signature Collection

The Naked Spur is one of six movies available in this special collection of movies starring Jimmy Stewart.
Contains:
The Naked Spur
The Spirit of St. Louis
The FBI Story
The Cheyenne Social Club
The Stratton Story
Firecreek


Plus additional bonus material!

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