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Favorite Westerns 
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Post Favorite Westerns
Pretty simple question here. What are your favorite westerns? To start, I'll list my favorites.

The Good,the Bad, and the Ugly
Stagecoach
Once Upon a Time in the West
Unforgiven

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
Only started watching Westerns in the last few years. My favourite Westerns are probably:
The Wild Bunch,
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,
Once Upon A Time In The West,
The Assassination Of Jessie James By The Coward Robert Ford and
McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

Was never a massive fan of the John Wayne Westerns (shoot me for finding The Searchers massively overrated), though Rio Bravo was pretty good.

There's still many Westerns that I need to get around to seeing, like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Stagecoach, High Noon, non-Sergio Leoni Clint Eastwood Westerns (besides Unforgiven).

Also, I LOVED the TV Series Deadwood, and the video game Red Dead Redemption is a fantastic Western, better than most Western films that have come out in the last 30 years.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:36 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
For some reason I forgot about The Wild Bunch--I have no idea why because I absolutely love that film. I'm also a big fan of Jesse James, although I could never categorize it as a "western" per se.


The Searchers is an overrated film, but I like the vast majority of it. John Wayne's character is great; the film alone has inspired the likes of Scorsese and Coppola. With that said The Searchers isn't anywhere near a great western. I like its elements, but not most of its whole--if that makes any sense. I'm not a huge fan of John Ford--most of his filmography is mediocre--I can understand the praise the guy gets; he jump started a genre, but all in all he's just not that great of a director IMHO.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
JackBurns wrote:
The Searchers is an overrated film, but I like the vast majority of it. John Wayne's character is great; the film alone has inspired the likes of Scorsese and Coppola. With that said The Searchers isn't anywhere near a great western. I like its elements, but not most of its whole--if that makes any sense. I'm not a huge fan of John Ford--most of his filmography is mediocre--I can understand the praise the guy gets; he jump started a genre, but all in all he's just not that great of a director IMHO.


I completely agree. I can definitely understand how influential it is, and there are some breathtakingly beautiful segments in the film. But there are also long stretches that do decent into mediocrity, and to me diminish the strengths that the film does indeed have.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:52 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
Awkward Beard Man wrote:
I completely agree. I can definitely understand how influential it is, and there are some breathtakingly beautiful segments in the film. But there are also long stretches that do decent into mediocrity, and to me diminish the strengths that the film does indeed have.


Yea the subplot is really blah, but I guess you have to look at it from a standpoint that back in the day, a film had to have a sort of romance-- that doesn't excuse the subplot, it just kinda warrants why it was there.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:55 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
JackBurns wrote:
Pretty simple question here. What are your favorite westerns? To start, I'll list my favorites.

The Good,the Bad, and the Ugly
Stagecoach
Once Upon a Time in the West
Unforgiven


Looks like you, particularly with the inclusion of The Wild Bunch, tend more towards Revisionist Westerns than the classics. I'm right there with you. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has not left my Top 10 since I made a Top 10. However, I will throw in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, which is a terrific film even if it's not as good as the ones above.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:59 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
JamesKunz wrote:
Looks like you, particularly with the inclusion of The Wild Bunch, tend more towards Revisionist Westerns than the classics. I'm right there with you. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has not left my Top 10 since I made a Top 10. However, I will throw in the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, which is a terrific film even if it's not as good as the ones above.


Definitely so. My dad loves westerns, so I've seen a ton of the classics, but in all honesty most of them just don't do it for me.

3:10 to Yuma is really solid as well. Big fan.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:02 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is probably my all time favorite Western. Well-written, acted, directed, and it's got a lot of depth.

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Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:09 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
In not particular order after The Good, The Bad and The Ugly :

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Open Range
Unforgiven
Tombstone
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Dances with Wolves
The Proposition (This is Australian)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


I saw long time Once Upon a Time in the West and definitely should see it again to give an opinion . Always looking forward to watch McCabe & Mrs. Miller but I have not had the chance yet :-)

Cheers

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:01 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
My favourite Westerns are (in no particular order):

High Noon
Winchester '73
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Once upon a time in the West
Dead Man
Unforgiven

Other very good Westerns:

Red River
Rio Bravo
The Man who shot Liberty Valance
Lonely are the Brave
Man of the West
The Man from Laramie
Bend of the River
The Naked Spur
The Sons of Katie Elder
Hombre
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Little Big Man
High Plains Drifter
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Django
The Great Silence
My Name is Nobody


Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:18 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
The Unforgiven (1992)

I think what they did brilliantly in this was essentially make a kind of tribute to all the great westerns that preceeded it; taking into account what works and how to respect the audience.

Eastwood's masterpiece.


True Grit (2010)

Another, more modern, one I enjoyed.

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:47 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
JackBurns wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of John Ford--most of his filmography is mediocre--I can understand the praise the guy gets; he jump started a genre, but all in all he's just not that great of a director IMHO.


I used to think the same thing. One of my mentors in college - a cinema professor - changed my way of thinking. She was a huge John Ford fan, and gave me great insight into his work. The way Ford designed his shots is very complex, but he did it in such a way that you didn't notice it naturally. Essentially, he hid his style in plain sight; he was a pretty masterful craftsman.

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:45 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
One of my tops in Westerns is Silverado. Another favorite is Wyatt Earp -admittedly a bit too long, I just prefer Costner's portrayal to Russell's in Tombstone. I did like Kilmer better as Doc though.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly is in my top 10 favorites however.

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:34 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
Awkward Beard Man wrote:
Was never a massive fan of the John Wayne Westerns (shoot me for finding The Searchers massively overrated), though Rio Bravo was pretty good.


You probably liked Rio Bravo because it was directed by Howard Hawks, not John Ford. :D (EDIT: Oops. I mistakenly read that as John Ford Westerns, not John Wayne Westerns. I'm an incompetent comprehender.)

John Ford catches a lot of shit from modern movie watchers, and I'm not sure it's entirely fair. I agree that The Searchers is a bit overrated (it's still great, IMO), but he's made at least 2 other masterpieces of the genre (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and My Darling Clementine), and Stagecoach is a beautifully directed film. There's an amazing video essay on the Criterion edition of the film, and if you've been around this forum long enough, you know this is about the 2143423rd time I've brought that essay up.

I don't think it's just that Ford gave the genre life, it's that he did so by making movies that appealed to a mass audience while also maintaining quite a bit of artistic integrity. He was a master and combining simplicity with depth, more so than virtually any other director that's ever lived. I don't think it's something modern audiences are particularly accustomed to, and his movies get unfairly evaluated a bit because of that. Some might say he's dated, but I think it's the hallmark of a great filmmaker/storyteller.

The Wild Bunch isn't just my favorite Western, but one of my favorite films. A lot of people criticize anti-violent films for glorifying violence, but Peckinpah understood the visceral appeal of violence, but also the ugliness of it. It's a lot more complex than "violence is bad". Plus, there's a million other things going on as well.

I also love Rio Bravo. I really can't say enough good things about that movie. It's entertaining, smart as hell, and a masterpiece if you can forgive Dean Martin breaking into song. Red River is Hawks' other great Western. Most think that's better than Rio Bravo, but I've seen the latter a few more times so I like it more as of now. Both are excellent.

All of Leone's movies are worth seeking out (haven't seen Duck, You Sucker), but he's likely one of the first directors someone getting into Westerns will come across.

I'd list more Westerns I love/like, but just take a look at Unke's list. It's pretty comprehensive and I'd just be replicating it.

I will throw out yet another recommendation for Johnny Guitar if you're interested in your Westerns being a little odd. It's got Sterling Hayden in it, which makes virtually any movie watchable, although he didn't really like the movie. It's more of a feminist Western and really interesting.


Last edited by PeachyPete on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:34 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
Overlapping with other lists noted.

High Plains Drifter
The Good The Bad And The Ugly
Rio Bravo (always preferred Hawks over Ford)
Unforgiven
True Grit (both versions)
Once Upon A Time In The West
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


Also like: The Outlaw Josey Wales, 2007's 3:10 To Yuma, McCabe And Mrs. Miller and several others. Not counting Blazing Saddles.

JackBurns wrote:
I'm not a huge fan of John Ford--most of his filmography is mediocre--I can understand the praise the guy gets; he jump started a genre, but all in all he's just not that great of a director IMHO.


I remember reading a quote from John Carpenter that "Ford showed us the way we wished we were. Hawks showed us as we really were". What Carpenter meant was that Ford's characters were usally super devoted patriotic types while Hawks's were people doing what they did because they realized they had to do it.

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:47 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
Ones with a * are sort-of-westerns

*Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(1) Red River
(2) Little Big Man
(3) My Darling Clementine
(4) The Man who Shot Liberty Valance
(5) Fort Apache
*The Gaucho (set in Argentina, but really a western
(6) Stagecoach
(7) Destry Rides Again
(8) The Oxbow Incident
(9) Unforgiven
(10) High Plains Drifter
(11) 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
(12) Son of Paleface
(13) Blazing Saddles
(14) True Grit (Coen Brothers)
*The Mark of Zorro (1940)
(15) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
*The Mark of Zorro (1920)
(16) The Tin Star
(17) Silverado
*The Electric Horseman
(18) Dances with Wolves
(19) Geronimo: An American Legend
(20) Go West

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Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
I'm glad there's a decent Wild Bunch following here. Great movie.

I also agree that The Searchers is overrated. I haven't seen it in a while, but I remember there was a lot of implied violence. It's unfortunate that the 1950s mentality didn't allow anything gruesome on screen.

Here's a couple I like:

Rio Bravo/El Dorado
Once Upon a Time in the West... Claudia Cardinale...
Stagecoach
My Darling Clementine for the ending only. One of the best shootouts in cinema, IMO.
The Magnificent Seven


Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:50 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
unwindfilms wrote:
In not particular order after The Good, The Bad and The Ugly :

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Open Range
Unforgiven
Tombstone
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Dances with Wolves
The Proposition (This is Australian)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


I saw long time Once Upon a Time in the West and definitely should see it again to give an opinion . Always looking forward to watch McCabe & Mrs. Miller but I have not had the chance yet :-)

Cheers


I also just remembered The Big Country (1958) with Gregory Peck as another good one to watch :-)

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Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:05 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
unwindfilms wrote:
unwindfilms wrote:
In not particular order after The Good, The Bad and The Ugly :

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Open Range
Unforgiven
Tombstone
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Dances with Wolves
The Proposition (This is Australian)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


I saw long time Once Upon a Time in the West and definitely should see it again to give an opinion . Always looking forward to watch McCabe & Mrs. Miller but I have not had the chance yet :-)

Cheers


I also just remembered The Big Country (1958) with Gregory Peck as another good one to watch :-)


Place Shane in there too :-)

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Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:01 am
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Post Re: Favorite Westerns
I'm not a fan of Rio Bravo. Too long, too narcississtic, too stilted. Ricky Nelson's acting is genuinely not good. The singing scene isn't earned or motivated, it's just there. Overall, it's just way too chummy and hoaky for my taste. The production design of the town is just mediocre; that sort of thing has been done better dozens of times. There's times when the actors simply aren't convincing as 19th century people; namely Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, and Angie Dickinson. There's TV-artifice in the way they play the characters. Even Ward Bond doesn't seem quite right. The story is unremarkable and could have been paced better. Brennan is fun at first, but overstays his welcome just a tad. The best part of this movie is definitely Wayne himself; there's nothing outdated about the fun he brings into the picture. Ultimately, I prefer The Searchers and all of Mann's work. Searchers is a bit over-hyped too, but Rio Bravo would have been completely forgotten were it not for auteur theory.


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