1953 was an astonishingly good year for Westerns. Not only did we have the great Shane, and the splendid Hondo, we also had The Man from the Alamo, Escape from Fort Bravo, The Stranger Wore a Gun, The Lawless Breed and many others besides. And in that year Anthony Mann and James Stewart collaborated again on the third of their powerful pictures, The Naked Spur.
The film was very violent for the time (though quite tame nowadays). You have to watch it with that in mind. Still, even though it is relatively mild for us now, it can still shock and be brutal.
The naked spur shown at the start and which Stewart uses to climb the barren rocks (the naked spurs) and which he finally tosses into Ryan's face (like Barbara Stanwyck and her scissors in The Furies) is an excellent symbol of the sharp, dangerous and painful journey he travels.
This really is a stunning film.