As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook
This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.
The Man from Laramie (1955)
Going through the Jimmy Stewart/Anthony Mann westerns presents two great film arguments in my mind: 1. Is Anthony Mann the greatest Western director? (I feel that he is at least good competition for John Ford and Budd Boetticher). 2. What is the ultimate collaboration in the five films this star and director made together? For the first, I have yet to see The Tin Star, Devil’s Doorway, and Man of the West, but The Furies (which I have seen) certainly helps Mann’s case as the master of the genre. The second question is equally as tough and The Man From Laramie which reaches to the same tragic heights as The Furies could certainly be argued as “their” masterpiece. What I enjoyed most in it this time were the breathtaking visuals, another great cinematic patriarch from Donald Crisp, and the action which Mann shoots with so much ferocity.
Lasting impression: there is one shot of Jimmy Stewart walking towards the camera as it dollies back before he starts the first fist fight which keeps playing over and over again in my head.