It's the legendary James Stewart at his leading-man finest in this timeless western that set the standard for all that followed. Frontiersman Lin McAdam (Stewart) is attempting to track down both his father's murderer and his one-of-a-kind rifle, the Winchester '73, as it passes among a diverse group of desperate characters, including a crazed highwayman (Dan Duryea), an immoral gunrunner (John McIntire), a savage young Indian chief (Rock Hudson) and McAdam's own murderous brother (Stephen McNally). Featuring Shelley Winters as the rifle's only rival for McAdam's interest and Tony Curtis in one of his first screen performances, the gripping tale of the men (and gun) who won the West is one of Stewart's most memorable films and one of the genre's most enduring classics.
You can't always judge a DVD extra by its description. On the DVD debut of Anthony Mann's touchstone Western, the only extras listed are "Theatrical Trailer" and "Jimmy Stewart Interview." The latter would lead one to believe there is a short interview with the star. However, when you select the bonus feature, the movie starts again, this time with a full-length commentary by Stewart interviewed by Paul Lindenschmidt as they watched the film at Universal Studios. Recorded in 1989 for the laserdisc release of the movie, the Q&A session covers the movie, Stewart's career in general, and his place in the Western genre in particular. It's a lovely 90 minutes with Stewart; one just wonders why the commentary isn't properly advertised as such. The print is the same as the laserdisc--very good, but not spectacular. --Doug Thomas