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The Essentials - April 2006
Remind Me
 Winchester '73

Trivia and Fun Facts about WINCHESTER '73

Winchester '73 was the first post-war western starring James Stewart to be released. It was not, however, the first one he filmed after returning to acting following his war service. Broken Arrow (1950), directed by Delmer Daves, was actually filmed first. 20th Century Fox head Darryl Zanuck held back release of the film so that it could be reedited, and he also wanted to see the public's reaction to Stewart in a cowboy role.

Winchester '73 was Tony Curtis' last film which carried his billing as "Anthony Curtis." Beginning with his next film, Kansas Raiders (1950), his billing became Tony Curtis.

James Stewart picked out a horse named Pie in 1949 to use in the film Winchester '73; he became very fond of the horse – the company that supplied Pie and other animals to film studios would never sell the horse to Stewart, yet Pie was available to Stewart for every western he made for the next twenty years. On the set of The Cheyenne Social Club (1970), Stewart's friend Henry Fonda presented the actor with a watercolor painting of Pie.

Rock Hudson would work again with Mann and Stewart, in Bend of the River (1952). By this time he was fourth-billed, and had a featured role as a gambler, Trey Wilson.


High-Spade Frankie Wilson (Millard Mitchell): We've hit a lot of towns, Lin. What makes you think he'll be here?
Lin McAdam (James Stewart): He'll be here.
High-Spade: We've been wrong before.
McAdam: He'll be here.
High-Spade (indicating the prize Winchester in a window): On account of that?
McAdam: If he isn't here already, that gun'll bring him.

Wyatt Earp (Will Geer): It seems as when the Winchester people are turning out these here guns, every so often, maybe one gun out of every ten or twenty thousand – well, it comes out just perfect. Now naturally, it ain't for sale. I would give a year's wages for that gun, but money won't buy it. It wouldn't be right to sell it. So the Winchester people have given it a name. They call it "One of a Thousand."

Earp: Looks like you fellas might've learned [shooting] from the same man.
McAdam: He taught quite a few folks how to shoot. Trouble was, he taught 'em how – he didn't tell 'em what to shoot at.
Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally): Maybe he figured a man should know that – without tellin'.
McAdam: Yeah – that was his big mistake. He lived just long enough to find it out.

Young Bull (Rock Hudson, to Indian Trader): All white men are thieves. In peace, they steal our land. In war, they kill our women. And you are a white man. If you want my gold, bring me the guns with which Crazy Horse and the Sioux of the North made their war at the Little Big Horn.

McAdam (giving a gun to Lola before an Indian attack): Say, uh… Just in case…
Lola Manners (Shelley Winters): I know how to use it. (There is a long look between the two, then): I understand about the last one.

Sgt. Wilkes (Jay C. Flippen): You're a man after my own stamp. Wish we'd have had you with us at Bull Run. We might not have run so fast.
McAdam: Well, I wanna tell you something. I was with you at Bull Run. So was High-Spade.
High-Spade: Only we was on the other side.

Waco Johnnie Dean (Dan Duryea): What was I saying?
Lola: You were talking about yourself.
Waco: Where did I stop?
Lola: You didn't. But you can now. I already know all about Waco Johnnie Dean, the fastest gun in Texas.
Waco: Texas? Lady, why limit me?

High-Spade: Well, that's the way it was. The old man sired two sons. One was no good... never any good. Robbed a bank...a stagecoach. Then when he came home and wanted to hide out, the old man wouldn't go for it. So Dutch shot the back.

High-Spade: Did you ever wonder what he'd think about you hunting down Dutch Henry?
McAdam: He'd understand. He taught me to hunt.
High-Spade: Not men. Hunting for food, that's alright. Hunting a man to kill him? You're beginning to like it.
McAdam: That's where you're wrong. I don't like it. Some things a man has to do, so he does 'em.

High-Spade: Where's that Steve boy? Drinkin' whiskey?
Lola: He's dead.
High-Spade: Sudden, wasn't it?
Lola: Very. He was killed by that gentleman standing at the bar. The one that's looking at us.
High-Spade: Don't seem right for people to go around killing nice folks like…
Lola: He's not "people". He's Waco Johnnie Dean.

Compiled by John Miller



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