Best Movies by Farr
The Naked Spur Poster
Released Runtime Category
1953 91 Westerns
Director Language
Anthony Mann English
James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell

The Naked Spur

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What's it About

Kansas rancher-turned bounty hunter Howard Kemp (Stewart) faces a stubborn obstacle in his effort to return fugitive killer Ben Vandergroat (Ryan) for a $5,000 reward: old timer Jesse Tate (Mitchell) and dishonorably discharged cavalryman Roy Anderson (Meeker) turn up at an opportune moment to help Kemp corner Ben and his feisty gal, Lina (Leigh), and now they want a share of the money. But it's a long way from the Indian-inhabited Colorado Mountains to Kansas, and everyone, it seems, is watching out for number one.

Why we love it

Filmed in Technicolor in the gorgeously rugged Rocky Mountains, Mann's gritty, thrilling Western hinges on the hidden motives of its five protagonists, each of whom is running from a sordid past. In a none-too-wholesome role, Stewart is brilliant as a bitter war veteran whose fiancée abandoned him while he was away at the front-and made off with the title to his ranch. Mitchell's no-luck miner and Meeker's unsavory, no-account soldier vie with Kemp as Ryan, cackling like a jackal, sets all parties against each other while plotting his escape. The radiant Leigh rounds out the cast playing Lina, a misguided gal longing for a new life in California who falls for Stewart. "Spur" is a tough, bristling horse drama by noir director Anthony Mann.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"