12 March 2016

One of the most rewarding locations

The last of five westerns director Anthony Mann and James Stewart did together was a film for Columbia Pictures, The Man from Laramie (1955). It was shot on location in New Mexico and was one of the first westerns to use CinemaScope. In a letter to Columbia boss Harry Cohn, James Stewart called the film's location "one of the toughest, and yet one of the most rewarding locations" of his career. Stewart's letter written on 6 December 1954 during the film's shooting— is shown below and accompanied a still photo made on location (shown right) which Stewart had promised to send to Cohn.

Bill Goetz, whom Stewart mentions as the guy who picked out the photo, was the film's producer. And The Man from Laramie was based on a serial of the same name by Thomas T. Flynn, which was published in The Saturday Evening Post in early 1954— hence Stewart's reference to it.


December 6, 1954
Dear Harry Cohn:
The still pictures made on location in New Mexico, where we filmed almost all of our picture, are beginning to come through the lab, and this was among the first batch.
I promised to send you a sample, so Bill Goetz picked this one out himself, insisting that this particular shot had the combined elements of tension, excitement and dramatic power of the Saturday Evening Post serial, as well as the rugged background of the Pueblo Indian country. And who am I to argue with the boss?

Fact is, we’re all quite excited — cast, crew and front office — with the results of one of the toughest, and yet one of the most rewarding, locations in my experience.
Hope the picture gives you some idea why we feel this way.
My best,
Jimmy (signed)
James Stewart
The MAN From Laramie

Source letter: Sony Pictures Entertainment Museum

James Stewart in "The Man from Laramie" and Columbia chief Harry Cohn

No comments:

Post a Comment