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Thread: What About Westerns?

  1. #1
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    What About Westerns?

    Not much discussion on the forum about westerns. But there are some great ones out there. A number of people have mentioned THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, a really good film, but in my mind not even the best Leone. Video copies of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST are now hard to find in the original widescreen version which was available only on laserdisc. Itís a shame that most people see the VHS flat print (on TV yet). Anyway, hereís a list of favorite westerns:
    My Favorite Western Films:
    1. SHANE
    2. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
    3. THE SEARCHERS
    4. PALE RIDER
    5. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
    6. RED RIVER
    7. HIGH NOON
    8. MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
    9. STAGECOACH
    10. UNFORGIVEN

  2. #2
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    Westerns are a great way to escape from the concrete jungle. The Searchers is incredible. I wonder who would win if Clint Eastwood and John Wayne met at high noon in death valley?
    My money's on Blondie.

    Westerns I really admire:

    One-Eyed Jacks (You big tub of guts!)
    My Name is Nobody
    Tombstone
    Two Mules For Sister Sara
    Rio Bravo

    and of course

    BLAZING SADDLES (The sheriff is near!)
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #3
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    Hmm...

    Hmm... I'd have to say that you're missing some things:

    1. High Plains Drifter
    2. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    3. Hang 'em High
    4. Fist Full o' Dollars
    5. The Shootist
    6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

    Yeah, that's about right. I'm sorry, but I just couldn't stand Stagecoach at all.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  4. #4
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    Westerns

    If you didn't like STAGECOACH, that's OK. It definitely is one of the great westerns, though -- the first, really, of the classic westerns, and the film that started John Wayne's initial rise.

    The films you list are very good. You clearly prefer Sergio Leone's contributions. Some would say that's a whole different category, but Leone's films are quite a bit of fun. I still say ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST was by far his best spagetti western.

    I also presume that you have seen the original version of A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS. It is far superior. I know, YOJIMBO is in Japanese, and you have to read subtitles, but it is really a great film.

  5. #5
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    How the West Was Won - Epic

    I usually hate Westerns being a city folk. I loved "Cat Ballou" with Lee Marvin, but the one Western I never get tired to watching is "How the West Was Won," which I saw originally in Cinemacope on the giant screen with three different sections put together. This epic Western covers so much ground and was so huge that I really felt the whole movie all the way through. Also on my list is "Dancing with Wolves" and even "Gettysburg" but I imagine that wouldn't qualify as a Western.

  6. #6
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    I suspect that westerns have become a genre of the past, and have been replaced by science fiction. They were, however, a prime genre in the forties and fifties, and even into the sixties. The conquest of the American West just lost its vitality with the public at large once Armstrong set foot on the moon.

    Those old battles between the forces of civilization (the bank, the school, the law, towns) and the wild (the individualist, Indians, nature, open spaces) have been turned in the direction of the new frontier. But the battles are basically the same, with the real concern being within.

    Westerns could be simplistic, but even in the simple struggle between good and evil there was often very fine acting and great filmmaking. I suggest you watch SHANE as if it were an historical piece.

    Then, too, westerns might appeal most to those of us who lived through those years. I confess to that.

  7. #7
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    Anyway...

    Speaking of science fiction, remember Oblivion ? Oy vey! That was pretty unbearable.

    Er, yes, I have seen Yojimbo and enjoyed it, however the first scene was so eerily similar that it made me crack up.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  8. #8
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    The reason it "was so eerily similar" was that it was the original. A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS is the copy (and not nearly as good).

  9. #9
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    More to ponder

    Shane (probably one of the best)

    The Magnificent Seven (second best, great score by Elmer Berstein)

    Duel in the Sun

    Silverado (Great score by Bruce Broughton)

    The Big Country (the classic showdown between two "proud" men)

    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Burt Lanchaster)

    She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (the whole trilogy!)

    Destry Rides Again (Stewart and Dietrich)

    How the West Was Won (great score by Alfred Newman)

    McLintock! (silly, but a fun Wayne to watch)

    and of course the standards, Red River, The Searchers, Stagecoach (both versions are interesting), Winchester 73, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Butch Cassidy, etc....

    Hallelujah Trail (another fun one)

    Cat Ballou

    Pat Garett and Billy the Kid

    Bite the Bullet

    The Wild Bunch

    A Man Called Horse

    Little Big Man

    all those wonderful Clint Eastwood films with western locals...

    Can you tell? I really love westerns...especially the obscure ones like all the B pictures made by Randolf Scott and Audie Murphy and Roy Rogers and even Wayne made quite a few...

    I could go on and on with stars like Robert Mitchem, Jimmy Stewart, Walter Brennen, Andy Devine, Henry Fonda, and all the titles long forgotten: My Darling Clementine, The Ox-Bow Incident, Cheyenne Autumn, Broken Lance, The Man from Laramie, Broken Arrow, etc. etc.

  10. #10
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    The Searchers
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    The Wild Bunch
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    One-Eyed Jacks
    The Man who Shot Liberty Valance
    My Darling Clementine
    The Good the Bad and the Ugly
    Johnny Guitar
    Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    (other essentials; Stagecoach, Red River, High Noon, Shane, The Naked Spur, Rio Bravo, Ride the High Country, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Little Big Man, McCabe and Mrs Miller, Dances with Wolves, Unforgiven, Dead Man)

  11. #11
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    My Top 10 in alphabetical order

    DEAD MAN (1997) Jarmusch
    JOHNNY GUITAR (1954) Nicholas Ray
    MAN OF THE WEST (1958) Anthony Mann
    MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALENCE (1962) Ford
    McCABE AND MRS. MILLER (1971) Altman
    THE NAKED SPUR (1953) Mann
    RANCHO NOTORIOUS (1952) Lang
    RIO BRAVO (1959) Hawks
    THE SEARCHERS (1956) Ford
    SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949) Ford

  12. #12
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    I must say that I think Shane is one of the worst films of all time, but to each his own. My own list of favorite Westerns would be as follows.

    1. A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Leone)
    2. Dances With Wolves (Costner)
    3. The Searchers (Ford)
    4. The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah)
    5. Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone)
    6. Unforgiven (Eastwood)
    7. Three Godfathers (Ford)
    8. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford)
    9. High Noon (Zinnemann)
    10. Rio Bravo (Hawks)

  13. #13
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    How The West Was Won

    Definitely not a fan of Westerns, however, I have watched a number of times and with compelling interest, How The West Was Won. I feel that this epic, Cinerama experienced film was and continues to be one of the finest full-screen big motion picture westerns ever made.

  14. #14
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    I thought the reply would never come. I waited over 13 months for it! Welcome wpqx.
    My top 10 is dominated by movies from that 10-year span 1949-1958 when the genre reached its artistic peak. Canons are personal and subjective, but it's unique to find a spaghetti trilogy at the top. Even Leone would be a bit coy about that placement. Costner's film is well-intentioned but bland and in need of a trimming. I don't know about your viewing experience, but talking in general, I think it's obvious that westerns cannot be fully appreciated on home video. Unless the western masterpieces directed by Ford, Hawks and Mann are screened more regularly in theatres, I'm afraid they will be increasingly underrated by subsequent generations of film buffs.
    Saying "Shane is one of the worst films of all time" is hyperbole, I hope. Otherwise, it's a decidedly extremist view.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 07-25-2004 at 11:14 PM.

  15. #15
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    You know, I keep forgetting about how much I liked McCabe and Mrs. Miller. I really ought to see that again.

    Glad to see this thread revived. I recall having fun with it oh so long ago.

    I finally got to see Once Upon A Time in the West, and I'm going to add it to my list. I really thought it was great. I'm going to put an updated list up here soon.

    By the way, another one I caught recently was Unforgiven. Can someone please tell me how this won a bunch of Oscars? I don't think it was bad, but Best Picture material? No way!
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

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