Culver City, CA: Columbia Pictures, 1955. Original one sheet for the 1955 film. The seventh of nine spectacular revisionist Westerns Anthony Mann directed between 1950 and 1960, and his fifth with James Stewart.
One of the best and leanest films by the acclaimed director-actor pairing, one you will hear come up in a discussion that always includes "Winchester '73" (1950) and "The Naked Spur" (1953). And for good reason--what ties the films together is Stewart's hell-bent, disturbed protagonist. In his excellent study of American film Westerns, Jim Hitt makes mention of Mann's shrewd adaptation : "As with most of the [Western serializations in] the "Saturday Evening Post," "The Man from Laramie" was formula all the way. While the film [adaptation] retains much of the plot, Mann and his scriptwriters concentrated on the obsessiveness of Stewart's character. His mirror image is the almost blind, megalomaniacal Alec Waggonman (Donald Crisp)...[an] old man in the process of choosing a successor to his empire." The buildup of tension and resolution in Mann's version is built from Stewart's razor-sharp sense of personal justice, leading to an ending that, as Hitt notes, "is far more in keeping with the [newly-developed] screen character of Lockhart than the novel's ending where villain and hero have the more traditional gunfight."
27 x 41 inches (105 x 89 cm), linen-backed. Near Fine.
Hitt US. Kitses US.