Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Man from Laramie (Anthony Mann, 1955)


The last of the dense, bleak, extraordinary series of Anthony Mann-James Stewart Westerns, this one pits the hardened, disturbed Jimmy against an aging cattle baron and his psychotic son while he seeks revenge for his brother's killing. A heavily involved, absorbing soap opera, it's marked by several outbursts of sadism that are still unsettling to watch. In a supporting role, the grounded and still radiant 1930s starlet Aline McMahon gives a lesson in effortless charisma and soulfulness.

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