The Naked Spur

Directed by Anthony Mann.
With James Stewart, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh.
US, 1953, 35mm, color, 91 min.

Working in a genre that had already developed some of its strongest practitioners (Ford, Hawks, Vidor, Walsh), director Anthony Mann reinvigorated the Western in the 1950s with a series of bristling, psychologically complex dramas that defined a new type of protagonist. Most perfectly embodied in James Stewart, this "hero" was as compelling as John Wayne but possessed of obsessions, self-doubt, and emotional eccentricity. Mann and Stewart made five films together in five years, and The Naked Spur is arguably their finest collaboration. Stewart plays a bounty hunter driven by greed to capture an outlaw (Ryan) who is hiding out in the Rocky Mountains. Justly praised for the ways in which he employs landscape, Mann has been described by Jean-Luc Godard as "the most Virgilian of filmmakers."


  • The Nose

    Directed by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker.
    France, 1963, 35mm, black & white, 16 min.

A classic work by the master of pin-screen animation, Alexeieff’s The Nose is based on Nikolai Gogol’s story about a Russian major whose nose is discovered by a barber in a loaf of bread.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: N–R