Author Topic: This is the West, sir.  (Read 42291 times)


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This is the West, sir.
« on: December 28, 2012, 03:44:44 PM »
When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

(Henry Fonda, My Darling Clementine)

There's an old legend down in Kanab (little hollywood) in Southern Utah. Locals say that whenever John Wayne came to town to make a movie, he never paid cash, but always used checks. He knew that his signature was worth more than the money the checks were good for and instead of being cashed, they'd be framed and put on the walls. I don't know if it's true, but it makes for a good story. And, that's why I'm here, to watch good stories. Western author Frank Gruber said there are seven basic plots in Westerns and I'm curious to see if that's true:

1. Cavalry and indians

2. The Union Pacific or Pony Express story

3. The homesteaders or squatters theme

4. The cattle empire story

5. The lawman story

6. The revenge story

7. The outlaw story.

The movies I've chosen are taken from the Filmspotters' Top 100, individual filmspotters' top 100s and personal recommendations. Movies in green are recommended for their scores by my conductor brother. He says that John Williams' "The Cowboys" is a  mainstay in bands and symphonies everywhere.

3 Bad Men (Corndog recommended)
3 Godfathers (I have a copy)
3:10 to Yuma (1957) (Martin and smirnoff recommended)
Bad Day at Black Rock (Martin recommended)
The Big Country (Antares recommended)
A Big Hand for the Little Lady (Antares recommended)
Blazing Saddles (Bondo and Martin recommend)
Broken Arrow (oldkid recommended)
Buck and the Preacher (Martin recommended)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (ses and oldkid recommended)
Canyon Passage (roujin recommended)
Cheyenne Autumn (I have a copy)
The Cowboy and the Lady (roujin shared a clip and I was sold!)
The Cowboys
The Deadly Companions
Destry Rides Again (Antares recommended)
El Dorado (1SO recommended)
The Far Country (# 93 roujin)
The Fastest Gun Alive (Antares recommended)
Fistful of Dollars (#3 'Noke, #9 jbissell, #18 Emiliana, #19 Jared, #22 Sam the Cinema Snob, #39 Tim [still alive], #66 Devil, #92 tinyholidays, Martin recommended)
For a Few Dollars More (#35 1SO, #45 smirnoff, #57 Senor Javi, #63 munchin, #83 michael x, Martin recommended)
Fort Apache (#21 colonel_mexico)
Forty Guns
The Furies (Martin Teller recommended)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (#3 THATguy, #5 Clovis8, #6 Senor Javi, #12 tinyholidays, #14 Zarodinu, #15 Shadrik, #16 ses, #21 Filmspotters, #21 sdb_1970, #22 michael x, #29 Devil, #30 Martin Teller, #30 Melvil, #32 Jared, #36 george96, #40 Antares, #42 verbALs, #44 munchin, #45 1SO, #54 GothamCity, #55 Totoro, #56 Corndog, #62 Emiliana, #65 Sam the Cinema Snob, #74 'Noke, #99 ferris, unordered--LukeRobot and Winchester 73)
The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Bondo and Devil recommended)
Gun for a Coward (smirnoff recommended)
Gun Glory (smirnoff recommended) Co-Review with smirnoff. :)
The Gunfighter (#90 pixote)
High Noon (Martin recommended)
Jeremiah Johnson (Antares recommended)
Johnny Guitar (#34 Totoro, #87 jbissell and philip918 recommended)
Junior Bonner (Antares recommended)
Let the Bullets Fly (Martin recommended)
Little Big Man (#87 1SO)
Lonesome Dove (smirnoff recommended)
Love Me Tender (Merry Music of May Group Marathon 2014)
The Magnificent Seven (Antares and Martin recommended)
The Man from Laramie (Recommended by Anna Imhof (Letterboxd))
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Antares recommended, #16 verbALs, #32 Junior, #57 ArmenianScientist, #58 Bondo, #61 michael x, #67 Senor Javi, #86 jbissell, #97 1SO, #100 Zarodinu)
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (#69 1SO, ses recommended)
McLintock! (1S0 recommended)
Meek's Cutoff (Jeff Schroeck's top 100)
My Darling Clementine (#41 Junior, #74 roujin, Martin and Junior recommended)
No Name on the Bullet (Antares and 1SO recommended, as Audie Murphy's best)
Once Upon a Time in the West (verbALs, Antares, Devil recommended, #2 'Noke, #3 verbALs, #3 Antares,  #5 Beavermoose, #5 THATguy, #7 GothamCity, #8 jbissell, #12 Dave the Necrobumper, #15 Filmspotting, #15 Solid Blake, #16 ses, #18 Emiliana, #19 Jared, #34 pixote, #37 oldkid, #42 Devil, #43 1SO, #64 roujin, #77 Zarodinu, #82 Corndog)
Open Range (#89 smirnoff, Antares and Devil recommended, )
The Outlaw Josey Wales (Antares and Martin recommended)
The Ox-Bow Incident (#77 PeacefulAnarchy, Antares, Bondo and Martin recommended)
The Proposition (#73 Junior, Dave and Devil recommended) Co-Review with Knocked Out Loaded :)
Rio Bravo (ses and Bondo recommended)
Rio Grande (part of Ford's Calvary Trilogy)
Ruggles of Red Gap (Antares recommended)
The Searchers (#1 colonel_mexico, ses, oldkid and Martin recommended)
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (#96 Totoro)
The Shootist (smirnoff recommended)
Silver Lode (1SO recommended)
Silverado (#85 1SO (Chuck's Essentials)
The Tall T (#34 sdedalus, Devil and Martin recommended)
They Call Me Trinity (Dave recommended)
The Tin Star (1SO recommended)
Tombstone (Bondo, Devil and ses recommended)
True Grit (1969) (Martin and oldkid recommended)
True Grit (2010) (#1 smirnoff)
Unforgiven (#33 colonel_mexico, #54 1SO, Devil, Martin, oldkid and ses recommended) Co-Review with smirnoff. :)
Vera Cruz (#97 1SO)
Wagon Master (#57 sdedalus)
Warlock (1SO recommended)
The Westerner
Westward the Women (1SO recommended)
Wichita (1SO recommended)
The Wild Bunch (Devil recommended)
Winchester '73 (1SO and Devil recommended, Communal Watchlist)

Corndog's Westerns Marathon

If I've left someone off or have something incorrect, please let me know. Thanks! :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 12:21:47 AM by Sandy »


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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 03:49:25 PM »
I would also recommend Unforgiven, Rio Bravo, Tombstone, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Searchers, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 03:55:43 PM »
Rio Bravo, Tombstone and The Ox-Bow Incident are both in the Bondo Collection, which is otherwise not all that friendly to the genre. Blazing Saddles I suppose and while we are talking parody, The Good The Bad The Weird is great fun for a Korean spin on the genre.


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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2012, 03:58:08 PM »
I would agree with ses about the following recommendations:

Unforgiven-- which is dark and difficult, but one of the best decontructions of the western out there.

The Searchers-- Probably the most complex western.  Most westerns want to simplify the answers and The Searchers does just the opposite of that, and is so rich because of it.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-- Westerns tend to be heavy, with important themes.  Butch Cassidy was written by William Goldman, who wrote The Princess Bride, and while it isn't THAT lighthearted, it is a lot of fun.

One more recommendation:

True Grit.  I'd go for the original (1969) with John Wayne because the chemistry between the two main characters just puts it over the top.

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 04:33:42 PM »
Looking forward to following along!
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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 04:50:40 PM »
I will add my endorsements to the Dollars movies, Josey Wales, Ox-Bow, Mag Seven and Tall T.

Unforgiven is a must.  Searchers too... I don't like it, but it's iconic.  Seconding Blazing Saddles.

High Noon should be on this list, if you haven't seen it.

A few more for your consideration:

Buck and the Preacher
3:10 to Yuma (original)
Bad Day at Black Rock (western noir)

And a hesitant recommendation for Let the Bullets Fly.  It's got some drawbacks and isn't as resonant as Wen Jiang's other works.  But like Good Bad Weird, it's a fun Asian spin on the genre.


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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 07:42:16 PM »
The Western is my favorite genre, so I am more than happy to try and sell you on some titles. Of course you can't watch all of them because nobody here tackles a marathon of that size. 

El Dorado - The breezier version of Rio Bravo. Both great films, but I return to this one more and more.
McLintock - Another fun one with John Wayne sparring with Maureen O'Hara (and Yvonne De Carlo)
Red River - Hawks, Wayne, Clift. Great dialogue, tough direction, very unique characters
Winchester 73 - The Stewart/Mann series makes for a great mini-marathon but their first collaboration remains my favorite. Also, Dan Duryea. :)
While not my favorite, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Stagecoach. It's usually the kickoff classic to any western marathon.
I 2nd ses' recommendation of McCabe and Mrs. Miller, my #72 of All Time.
And for what it's worth, Liberty Valance is my #97

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2012, 07:47:34 PM »
Red River - Hawks, Wayne, Clift. Great dialogue, tough direction, very unique characters.
I watched this recently. I don't think it gets interesting until the second half. Feels like a lesser Rio Bravo, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Ending is a bit too preachy.


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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2012, 08:19:15 PM »
I didn't enjoy Red River either, but it does have a lot of fun innuendos.

Also, a bit on the intense side, but The Proposition is in my top 100.
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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 01:14:23 AM »
Oh, these lists are super! I'm taking notes and even though I've seen some of the recommendations, I would love to revisit them. I'll see how well I get through my list and will start adding more in. Thanks ses, Bondo, oldkid, Corndog, Martin, 1SO, Sam and Junior! This is all going to be a great learning experience. :)

Liberty Valance is my #97.