Combustible Celluloid
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With: Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Joan Weldon, George Macready, Alfonso Bedoya, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Pierre Watkin, Joseph Vitale, Clem Bevans
Written by: Kenneth Gamet, based on a story by John W. Cunningham
Directed by: André De Toth
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 83
Date: 07/30/1953

The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Gold Standard

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

André De Toth directed this 3D Western the same year as his hitclassic House of Wax, though this new DVD collapses it back into 2D. Itwas the third of his six films with Randolph Scott. Scott plays JeffTravis, a former Civil War spy who moves to a small Arizona town andbecomes involved in a gold robbery. A typically complex De Toth hero,Travis becomes confused as to what's right and wrong, and begins playingseveral ends against the middle. The plot is a little convoluted, butScott is an engaging hero, even when he's playing a bastard. The lovelyClaire Trevor co-stars as Scott's true love and his moral compass. LeeMarvin and Ernest Borgnine play a pair of cackling villains, an act theywould play again two years later in the great Bad Day at Black Rock(1955).

DVD Details: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released this film on DVD, but with no 3D accoutrements. The now two-dimensional film sometimes looks silly with cowboys punching out the camera or sticking a flaming torch into the audience. The DVD box claims that the film is in black and white, but it's really in color and the transfer is only so-so. Because of digital re-mastering, the 3D effects now look particularly fuzzy. The only extras are optional English and Japanese subtitles and previews of other Sony Westerns.

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