The Man from Laramie


The Man from Laramie
The Man from Laramie
Directed by Anthony Mann
Produced by William Goetz
Written by Philip Yordan
Frank Burt
Starring James Stewart
Arthur Kennedy
Donald Crisp
Cathy O'Donnell
Music by George Duning
Lester Lee
Cinematography Charles Lang
Editing by William Lyon
Studio William Goetz Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) August 31, 1955
Running time 104 min.
Country  United States
Language English

The Man from Laramie (1955) is an American Technicolor Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart in the fifth and final of their Western collaborations, and their seventh collaboration overall. It was adapted from a story of the same title by Thomas T. Flynn first published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1954, and thereafter as a novel by publisher Ward Lock in 1955. It was one of the first Westerns to be shot in CinemaScope to capture the vastness of the scenery.

Contents

Plot summary

James Stewart

Will Lockhart (James Stewart) becomes entangled in the happenings of Coronado, an isolated western town, after delivering supplies there from Laramie. He immediately ends up at odds with the Waggomans, an influential ranching family. Lockhart is quietly searching for information about someone selling repeating rifles to the local Apaches; his brother, an Army cavalry trooper, was killed in an Apache attack at Dutch Creek.

Cattle baron Alec Waggoman (Donald Crisp) is haunted by dreams of a stranger who intends to kill his son. He is also gradually losing his eyesight and cannot count on his son Dave (Alex Nicol), a vicious and arrogant man who refuses to learn how to run the ranch the way his father wants it done.

Lockhart is told by Barbara Waggoman (Cathy O'Donnell), Alec's niece, that he can collect salt for free and haul it away for freight but Dave Waggoman accuses him of stealing, shoots twelve of Lockhart's mules and burns his three wagons. Lockhart returns to town, engages first Dave and then ranch foreman Vic Hansbro (Arthur Kennedy) in a fistfight. Alec Waggoman shows up and offers Lockhart restitution for his lost property.

Vic considers himself a second son to Alec and is engaged to marry Barbara Waggoman. But when push comes to shove, Alec sides with his son, being a blood relative. Alec holds Vic responsible for the damage Dave caused to Lockhart's wagons and mules (for which the old man paid $600 in restitution) and threatens to withhold it from Vic's pay. After this confrontation, Vic rides after Dave and catches him trying to contact the Apaches to sell them another two hundred repeating rifles for which the Apaches have paid in advance. Vic shoots Dave and then lets Alec believe that Lockhart was responsible.

Lockhart takes refuge with a rival rancher, Kate Canady (Aline MacMahon), who wishes she and Waggoman could declare a truce. Alec goes over some old bills and finds a bill for wire fence that is very overpriced. He suspects that it conceals a rifle purchase and sets out to discover for himself whether it was true that his son Dave was involved in selling rifles to the Apaches. Vic attempts to talk him out of it, but the old man is determined to find out the truth. Just before he reaches the wagon, he is pushed off his horse and down a hill by Vic. Assuming the old man is dead, Vic rides away.

Lockhart finds Alec and takes him to Kate to tend to his wounds. Vic is anxious because Waggoman is still alive and can identify him. He tries again to kill Alec but is thwarted by Lockhart, who pursues Vic on horseback. Lockhart finds Vic using a smoke signal to call for the Apaches to come for their rifles. Lockhart is unable to shoot him down in cold blood, but forces Vic to help him push the wagon off the hilltop and destroy the rifles. Vic rides away but is attacked and killed by the band of Apaches who paid for the rifles.

Lockhart leaves town, but admits to Barbara Waggoman that he is Captain Lockhart, a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army. Barbara intends to leave Coronado and head back east. Lockhart tells her she will be passing through Laramie on the way and to ask anyone where to find Captain Lockhart.

Cast

James Stewart and Anthony Mann

James Stewart starred in five classic western films by director Anthony Mann. In all five, he plays a man who is haunted by the past. The films are famous for their groundbreaking use of the landscape to portray the characters' feelings. Mann once said, "When you're filming a western, people don't want to see the inside of a cabin."

External links


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