Best Movies by Farr
Winchester '73 Poster
Released Runtime Category
1950 92 Westerns
Director Language
Anthony Mann English
Shelley Winters, James Stewart, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally

Winchester '73

Watch it on:

What's it About

Lin McAdam (Stewart) is roaming the prairies, looking to settle an old score with one Dutch Henry Brown (McNally). Unfortunately, when the two meet up, they're in Marshal Wyatt Earp's jurisdiction and must surrender their weapons. The two compete in a shooting contest for a brand-new Winchester '73 rifle, the finest firearm made. McAdam wins, but through an act of treachery, loses the rifle. McAdam goes after Dutch Henry again, only this time, he wants his rifle back too. 

Why we love it

James Stewart wanted a change from his folksy, everyman roles, and in a risky move, chose a western to give his image a harder edge. Director Anthony Mann and he would collaborate on four more oaters after this outing, which proved a huge success. "Winchester" brought a new complexity of character to the Western form, literally resuscitating a fading genre. This role also revived Stewart's career by displaying the actor's impressive range: Stewart's McAdam is a dark, conflicted, angry fellow, far removed from the Mr. Smiths and Elwood P. Dowds of the world. Film also features sterling support from Dan Duryea, Millard Mitchell, and a comely Shelley Winters as a sweet-natured showgirl. Also, look fast for Rock Hudson playing an Indian brave.

Up Next

Wings of Desire

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?"