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      Winchester '73

      Released Jul 12, 1950 1h 32m Western List
      100% Tomatometer 28 Reviews 86% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings Lin McAdam (James Stewart) pursues notorious outlaw Henry "Dutch" Brown (Millard Mitchell) into Dodge City, Kansas. There, in an effort to flush out the criminal, McAdam enters a sharp-shooting contest and wins the top prize: the eponymous Winchester rifle. Brown, desiring the rifle for himself, sneaks into McAdam's room and makes off with it. After finding the rifle missing, McAdam chases Brown across the state and toward an epic confrontation. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

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      William Thomas Empire Magazine With such a strong cast, the film almost turns into an ensemble film instead of a star vehicle for Stewart in his first of many collaborations with Mann. Rated: 5/5 Mar 17, 2015 Full Review TIME Staff TIME Magazine Strikingly photographed in black & white, the film is directed with an eye to realistic detail, an ear for the script's frequently natural dialogue and a knack for building suspense. Mar 17, 2015 Full Review Martin Chilton Daily Telegraph (UK) Winchester '73 changed the way cinema audiences saw the Western, because it featured a more complex idea of the noble hero of the west -- a man plagued by personal problems and violent impulses. Rated: 5/5 Mar 17, 2015 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand [Anthony] Mann turns the wide open American west into a jagged landscape of danger and death and transforms All-American icon Jimmy Stewart into a ruthless man of the west. Jun 11, 2023 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins It manages to encompass the entire spectrum of Western tropes in a brief span of time, which is itself an entertaining endeavor by director Anthony Mann. Rated: 7/10 Aug 23, 2020 Full Review Harry MacArthur Washington Star It's a lively Western with some humor, lots of action and few noticeably dull moments. Apr 15, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (253) audience reviews
      acsdoug D Jimmy Stewart proves he can play a tough gunman in this decent Western. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 05/20/24 Full Review Alec B At a certain point it stops being about the titular gun and becomes a family tragedy which is exactly when the movie gets interesting. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/24 Full Review Franky L This is one of my favorite westerns! If you have not watched it, and you are a western film lover, put this on your watch list now. The cast is superb, starring a young Shelly Winters. We remember her from the Poseiden Adventure as Mrs. Rosen, but she was such an awesome actress in her youth. And this is a far cry from Jummy Stewart in his later films where he's the "nice guy." Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/18/24 Full Review Isaiah Y Essential viewing for any fans of westerns, partly due to Jimmy Stewart's performance. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/05/24 Full Review Matthew B It is possible that if James Stewart had retired in 1949, his reputation as an actor would have been very different. Certainly Stewart felt that Winchester ‘73 had rescued and redefined his career. It opened up the path for a whole range of challenging new roles that were to prove that Stewart was not the limited actor that some people thought he was. When Stewart teamed up with director Anthony Mann to make a western, there was some ridicule in the press about the idea of the actor playing a tough hero. Winchester '73 was certainly not Stewart's first western, but earlier outings such as Destry Rides Again were lighter in tone. However Stewart's dedication to stretching the range of his acting paid off. He practised using a rifle so that he would look more convincing. More importantly he cultivated a stronger personality. The scene where he smashes Dan Duryea on the bar, and brutally twists his arm drew gasps from the audience, and removed any doubts people had about Stewart's ability to be a convincing western hero. Stewart's career was given the fillip it needed, and the presence of Stewart did no harm for Anthony Mann either, a moviemaker who had stylishly directed a number of low budget B-movies, and was now trying to break through into A-movies. This was his second attempt, and a great success. I have said a lot about the impressive acting by James Stewart in an unfamiliar role, but it could be argued that the real hero of this movie is the titular ‘character', the rifle known as the Winchester '73. The movie opens with a shot of the rifle, and ends with a close-up of it. This particular gun is a One of One Thousand grade, an unusually well-made gun that actually was produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, as the movie says. Perhaps it is only in America that a movie could be made which fetishizes a type of gun. As the film opens we see children and even adults gazing in awe at this impressive rifle, and the film ends not when the hero gets the girl, but when the hero gets the gun. However the significance of the gun is not the just the item itself, but its role in the history of the age. As the name of the company suggests, this was a repeating rifle, as opposed to the single-shot guns of old, and it was about to transform the whole nature of military actions. As the opening caption of the movie explains, the gun would appeal to cowman, lawman, peace officer, soldier, and of course the Indians who would be only too glad to get their hands on it. The plot follows two connected strands, as the hero Lin McAdam pursues his brother who is going by the name of Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally). Lin is in pursuit of both the gun, which Brown steals, and of Brown himself, whom Lin wishes to kill to avenge Brown's murder of their father. The gun is only a later grievance. Along the way we take in Wyatt Earp, gun-running and the spirit of Little Bighorn. The movie is certainly no epic, and is not intended to be mounted that way. This is something of a relief. After the 70s it became harder to find westerns that were not long and bloated attempts to present History in the making. In the heyday of westerns, it was recognised that small-scale stories could allow more scope for tight plotting, characterisation and fast pace. Hence Winchester '73 offers only a snapshot of its age, and does not allow the story to be bogged down in solemn attempts to make a constipated epic. The story is certainly contrived to allow historical events to be shoehorned in, but always in a fun way. I wrote a longer appreciation of Winchester '73 on my blog page if you would like to read more: Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/28/23 Full Review Red T All Time Classic. The only real issue is while the editing is really well done and all the characters are really well fleshed out including Stewart, Winters, and Mitchell who are really likeable, it can sometimes feel like it lacks a direction. Particulary when Waco is killed. Winters is really good but she isn't as charismatic as Stewart & Mitchell are. The narrative is very unique though being told through the eyes of the rifle which I can't think of another western that does that and works very well for the most part. This could have focused on being just a straight revenge plot but it would become much more like other westerns and lost that unique narrative perspective. The music could've been a bit more catchy perhaps also but is really good still. Otherwise everything else is really phenominally done. This is action packed, shot gorgously, amazing special effects, and filled with likeable characters and a solid villian with a unique narrative. Anyone should give this a try once. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Winchester '73

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Lin McAdam (James Stewart) pursues notorious outlaw Henry "Dutch" Brown (Millard Mitchell) into Dodge City, Kansas. There, in an effort to flush out the criminal, McAdam enters a sharp-shooting contest and wins the top prize: the eponymous Winchester rifle. Brown, desiring the rifle for himself, sneaks into McAdam's room and makes off with it. After finding the rifle missing, McAdam chases Brown across the state and toward an epic confrontation.
      Anthony Mann
      Aaron Rosenberg
      Borden Chase, Robert L. Richards
      Production Co
      Universal International Pictures
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jul 12, 1950, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 18, 2014
      1h 32m
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