The Man from Laramie is the last of the many storied collaborations between director Anthony Mann and star Jimmy Stewart, a collaboration that ran for many films throughout the 1950s. Like many of the others, this is a Western, and a rather typical one at that, so if westerns aren’t your thing, this will do little to change your mind. If you don’t mind or you even like westerns, this is a standout example, thanks to excellent filmmaking, a good story, and solid acting from all parties.
The story was unusually complex for a western, and served its purpose very well. The cinematography is very vivid, with expressive use of both color and shadow; it was really a pleasure to watch, although the very wide aspect ratio might throw some people off as being a little cramped for their vision. Like most Westerns, this film is very enamored with its scenery, opting to shoot with sprawling vistas in the background to frame each scene. Really, I could go on about the technical aspects of this film, because everything is not just there, but puts in 110% into the film.
This was a surprisingly well done venture into a genre that can get very, very samey after a while. Maybe it was because I hadn’t seen a western in a while, but I highly enjoyed this, and found it to be one of the best examples of its style. I’ll be looking forward to the next film, which thanks to cable television has aired back to back with this one, and I’ll be expecting much from it, thanks to this film and its wonderful presentaton.
Arbitrary Rating: 9/10