The Naked Spur

Director: Anthony Mann
Year Released: 1953
Rating: 2.0

For some strange reason, I never really got into this James Stewart western - I'm thinking it has to do with the total lack of a sympathetic character (I ended up siding with the Robert Ryan character - and he's the villain! - which is a tip-off that something is amiss). I was nagged throughout by a sneaking suspicion it was going to go where I feared it would - into Treasure of the Sierra Madre territory - and to my disappointment, it did. I also kept thinking there's something missing in the story, perhaps better character development (what's there is a bit shallow), perhaps more intriguing dialogue (what's there is average if not below average). Janet Leigh's function is simply to be a tossed-around object/plot function with a few forgettable lines. For those interested: there's also a gratuitous scene involving killing a dozen Native Americans for the John Wayne-yeeehaahhh hell-of-it.