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 Naked Spur (1953)


This was my third time seeing this movie, the last time being a couple years ago, and I remember thinking then that it was not quite the Western masterpiece it is usually considered to be. This time through, during the first half I was shocked at how stiff and unnatural the acting/dialog was, especially from Meeker, but pretty much everyone other than Stewart. It doesn’t have the sharpness of Mann’s other pictures until the second half, after the Indian attack. I was surprised though at how emotionally affected I was by Stewart’s turn at the end. The last time I saw the film I remember not believing it but this time it really hit home. Funny how these things change over the years.

Lasting impression: the least of all the Mann westerns I have seen