Monday, November 28, 2005

Day 24: "Winchester '73"

Director: Anthony Mann 1950
The first of eight films (five of them memorable westerns) directed by Mann and starring Jimmy Stewart. The plot follows Stewart as he hunts for the man who killed his father--and stole his "one-in-a-thousand" Winchester. Some terrific character actors leave their stamp, particulaly the always charming, always psychotic Dan Duryea as a loony gunslinger. The ending heralded a new, Freudian take on the western (check out "Johnny Guitar" or "Forty Guns" some time). The movie also marked a turning point in Hollywood: Stewart and his agent, the all powerful Lew Wasserman, cut a deal with Universal in which Stewart would forego his salary for a cut of the box-office. Stewart and a lot of other stars became very rich as a result.


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