A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.


Anthony Mann
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Howard Kemp
Janet Leigh ... Lina Patch
Robert Ryan ... Ben Vandergroat
Ralph Meeker ... Roy Anderson
Millard Mitchell ... Jesse Tate


Howard Kemp is a bounty hunter who's been after killer Ben Vandergroat for a long time. Along the way, Kemp is forced to take on a couple of partners, an old prospector named Jesse Tate and a dishonorably discharged Union soldier, Roy Anderson. When they learn that Vandergroat has a $5000 reward on his head, greed starts to take the better of them. Vandergroat takes every advantage of the situation sowing doubt between the two men at every opportunity finally convincing one of them to help him escape. Written by garykmcd

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Packed with Technicolor Thrills!


Thriller | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In Germany all films get dubbed, and at that time even the titles were translated. Thus it happened that in the German-dubbed version James Stewart's name is spelled wrong in the front credits, with a d in the end. See more »


In the cave face-off scene, after Stewart (Kemp) gives Ryan (Vandergroat) the pistol, in 5 subsequent scenes the pistol alternates from being inside his vest, to outside his vest, to inside, to outside, and finally to outside but leaning way over about to fall out of his pants. In the scene changes, Ryan supposedly didn't move except to lower his hands during the first sequence of the scene, but when the camera changed from Stewart to Ryan and back several times, each time the pistol position alternated from inside the vest to outside. See more »


Jesse Tate: [Referring to Vandergroat] He's not a man; he's a sack of money!
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Beautiful Dreamer
Composed by Stephen Foster (1864)
Instrumental version integrated into soundtrack
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User Reviews

I think I'm more of a John Ford Gal
21 May 2011 | by abcj-2See all my reviews

THE NAKED SPUR - (1953) - I remembered this film from my past for sure about the time Janet Leigh showed up. I saw it back in another western phase a year or two ago. It was definitely not my preferred kind of western. I prefer some moments of comic relief (not necessarily pure comedy) and a little less grit and grimace.

Jimmy Stewart was so conflicted and angry that I didn't equate him as the hero. He was way too uptight. I found him annoying and unattractive. I didn't think he and Leigh had any chemistry, and that made her part really unnecessary. For that matter, she was quite annoying and seemed to hop from man to man and not making informed choices. However, as a female stranded out west, I think she made the smarter call. Meeker and Mitchell were good, but other than to rankle Stewart's composure, I'm not sure their presence added much other than to make a bigger crowd. The real reason to watch, however, was for the one clearcut bad guy. I'll be on the lookout for Robert Ryan again. He was pure screen magic and made the film. Yes, the Hays Code causes Mann to have to let Ryan get the shorter end of the proverbial stick, but he still had a presence that made it hard to pull completely against him. Thus the need for a more clearcut hero.

I was a little hesitant about Anthony Mann if Stewart was going to keep playing the anti-hero type. I like a hero. Fortunately, "Winchester '73" put Mann and Stewart back on my radar. Now that is excellence at its peak. I think I'm more of a John Ford type gal, but I'm going to remain open-minded as I work through the Mann westerns. It appears that there are quite a few IMDb reviewers who also had some issues with Stewart. I may have to keep Stewart reserved for lighter fare as I adore him in The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, The Shop Aroundthe Corner, and many other comedies and romances. At least I have "Winchester '73" to add to my favorite westerns, but, unfortunately, not this Mann western.

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Release Date:

26 June 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Naked Spur See more »


Box Office


$1,261,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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