Another of the westerns James Stewart made with director, Anthony Mann and once again it's an excellent western even if the happy ending does seem tacked on.
Howard Kemp (Stewart) is a bounty hunter who's been after killer Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan) for a number of years. Along the way, Kemp is forced to take on a couple of partners, an old prospector named Jesse Tate and a dishonourably discharged Union soldier, Roy Anderson. When they learn that Vandergroat has a $5000 reward on his head, greed starts to take the better of them. Vandergroat takes every advantage of the situation sowing doubt between the two men at every opportunity finally convincing one of them to help him escape.
Anthony Mann's westerns were grubby and noirish and this one is no exception - Stewart carried psychological scars that run deep and out of the diverse characters in the movie, it is he who is the most haunted. Much is made of that fact that he is a bounty hunter, something he feels ashamed of, and is hunting Ryan for cold hard cash. At the time this movie was made the bounty hunter had been mostly ignored by Hollywood and would not become popular until the Leone/Eastwood westerns of the following decade. In many ways the Mann westerns anticipate the uber-violence of the European westerns and no one could ever play intense the way Stewart could.