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Westerns, Do You Like Them

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I cant nail my favorite western down to just one, it is a toss up between Red River (1948) or The Searchers (1956)?

Two of the finest westerns John Wayne starred and also both represent his darkest genre characterizations, where John Wayne actually takes the role of anti-hero in both.

Red River was directed by the legendary American director Howard Hawks.

The Searchers was directed by the legendary American director John Ford. Watching this film in HD is a jaw-dropper, the Monument Valley is so gorgeous it startles me.

I have to mention Sam Peckinpah as Ride The High Country and The Wild Bunch are excellent films depicting the wild west violently giving way to encroaching civilization.

Robert Altman's McCabe And Mrs Miller is a haunting film as bleak and harsh as its stunning Vancouver locations. He deconstructs the myth of the western. The Leonard Cohen score really captures the tone of the film pitch perfectly.

One cant forget other western legendary film-makers such as Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, John Sturges, Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood, etc.

Edited by Ambush Bug
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I liked the Spaghetti Westerns from the 1960's...Eastwood was quite good IMO. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and "Hang 'Em High" come to my mind.

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My parents were addicted to westerns when i was growing up and I got really sick of the TV series... However, recently I've started watching them again and I really like the older ones from the 40's and 50's... James Stewart, Audie Murphy, Alan Ladd, John Wayne, etc..

Some of my favorites:

High Noon

Shane

Destry Rides Again

3:10 to Yuma (both original and the recent remake)

McClintock

North to Alaska (not a western per se, but from that time period)

They Died with their Boots on (not overly historically accurate, but fun)

Blazing Saddles

Cat Ballou

The Halleluah Trail

I also like some recent ones:

Quigley Down Under

Silverado

Tombstone

There are others, but these come to mind right off...

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Kevin Costner directed an excellent western several years back or so, Open Range.

But his Dances With Wolves was abit too PC for my tastes.

Quigley Down Under demands mention of The Man From Snowy River, one of the best westerns from Down Under.

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The best, most recent western I've seen is Red Hill (2010).

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Everything else is below Tombstone.

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High Plains Drifter is one of my fav's, along with Young Guns. As well as many that have already been mentioned.

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I liked the Spaghetti Westerns from the 1960's...Eastwood was quite good IMO. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and "Hang 'Em High" come to my mind.

Exactly what was on my mind! Helps that they were the movies that inspired Stephen King to write the Dark Tower series, quite possibly the best book series other then Harry Potter.

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My favorites are mostly spaghetti westerns too, along with Eastwood and other revisionist westerns. "Once upon a time in the west" and the first two of the dollars trilogy for the first. Never really cared for "the good the bad and the ugly" as much. The first two Sabata movies. For East wood, "High Plains Drifter", "Joe Kidd" and I end up dropping everything half the time for "The Outlaw Jose Wales".

Other westerns: "The Big Country", "Little Big man", John Wayne's not bad. My favorite of his is probably "Mcclintock!" Which brings up western comedies, "support your local sheriff" and "support you're local gunfighter". Mel Gibson's "Maverick". (I finally saw Dirty Dingus Mcgee last week. That's wasn't too bad.)

And of course there's one of my all-time favorites, "Valley of The Gwangi" ;)

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My favorites are mostly spaghetti westerns too, along with Eastwood and other revisionist westerns. "Once upon a time in the west" and the first two of the dollars trilogy for the first. Never really cared for "the good the bad and the ugly" as much. The first two Sabata movies. For East wood, "High Plains Drifter", "Joe Kidd" and I end up dropping everything half the time for "The Outlaw Jose Wales".

Other westerns: "The Big Country", "Little Big man", John Wayne's not bad. My favorite of his is probably "Mcclintock!" Which brings up western comedies, "support your local sheriff" and "support you're local gunfighter". Mel Gibson's "Maverick". (I finally saw Dirty Dingus Mcgee last week. That's wasn't too bad.)

And of course there's one of my all-time favorites, "Valley of The Gwangi" ;)

I can't believe I forgot to put Support Your Local Sheriff on my list!!! I absolutely love that movie...

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What about "Stagecoach", 1939. John Wayne's first "A" movie, directed by John Ford. The film made Wayne a star.

Also, "The Outlaw", 1943. Jane Russell and Jack Buetel, directed by Howard Hughes. The film was protested by the Hollywood Production Code Administration due to Russell' prominent cleavage.

...Century-Fox cancelled their agreement with Hughes to release The Outlaw. Hughes stood to lose millions of dollars. Ever the resourceful businessman, he schemed to create a public outcry for his film to be banned. Hughes had all his managers call ministers, women's clubs and housewives telling them about the 'lewd picture' Hughes was about to release starring Jane Russell. The public responded by protesting and trying to have the film banned, which turned into just the publicity Hughes needed to create demand for the film and get it released. The resulting controversy generated enough interest to get The Outlaw into the theaters for one week in 1943, when it was pulled due to violations of the Production Code. It was finally released widely on 23 April 1946, when United Artists premiered the film in San Francisco, when it became a box office hit.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/The_Outlaw

Edited by StarMountainKid
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What about "Stagecoach", 1939. John Wayne's first "A" movie, directed by John Ford. The film made Wayne a star.

Also, "The Outlaw", 1943. Jane Russell and Jack Buetel, directed by Howard Hughes. The film was protested by the Hollywood Production Code Administration due to Russell' prominent cleavage.

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/The_Outlaw

John Ford made the best John Wayne westerns, 9 in all, Stagecoach, 3 Godfathers, Fort Apache, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande, The Searchers, The Horse Soldiers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, How The West Was Won.

Stagecoach is one of John Ford's finest and a genre greatest but The Searchers quite easily fits into my top ten favorite films of all time encompassing all genres.

Other westerns by John Ford (without John Wayne) include My Darling Clementine, Wagon Master, Sergeant Rutledge, and Two Rode Together.

Howard Hawks no doubt ranks second with Red River, Rio Bravo, El Dorado, and Rio Lobo.

It may surprise you but I am not really a huge John Wayne fan but his films with these two directors ranks as SOME (edited) of the best the genre ever saw.

But I havent watched Howard Hughes' The Outlaw in its full entirety. Something I should and will do.

Edited by Ambush Bug
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Pretty much, if it has Clint Eastwood and a horse I love it. I admit it in fact, Im a total junkie. The Unforgiven is probably my favorite movie of all time. Two Mules for Sister Sarah just slays me too. If that's on TV I have to watch it.

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Pretty much, if it has Clint Eastwood and a horse I love it. I admit it in fact, Im a total junkie. The Unforgiven is probably my favorite movie of all time. Two Mules for Sister Sarah just slays me too. If that's on TV I have to watch it.

What is it with girls and horses?

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The Searchers, Shenandoah, The Wild Bunch, Jeremiah Johnson, Little Big Man, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The Unforgiven and the original Lonesome Dove for TV. :)

There was also a mini-series on TV back in the late 70's called 'Centennial' that I recall loving as a boy but I've never viewed it as an adult.

Edited by Eldorado

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if clint is in it i'll watch it, but otherwise i don't really care for westerns

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No. They're too boring for my taste. Both mom and dad enjoys them. They also enjoy John Wayne movies.

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What is it with girls and horses?

Actually, in my case, its girls and a young, lanky, handsome, Clint Eastwood. Be still my beating heart. <3 LOL.

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The Searchers, Shenandoah, The Wild Bunch, Jeremiah Johnson, Little Big Man, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The Unforgiven and the original Lonesome Dove for TV. :)

There was also a mini-series on TV back in the late 70's called 'Centennial' that I recall loving as a boy but I've never viewed it as an adult.

Centennial was a mini-series based on the James Mitchner book by the same name. It was the first "grown up" book I ever read all on my own and was totally engrossed by (I think I was 10 or 11 years old). Have read it many times since. It wasn't really a "western", but more like a historial fiction account of the settling of the American west. Fantastic story, told by a great story teller. :)

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Westerns isn't a favorite genre but my dad is nuts over them, so I grew up on spaghetti westerns and John Wayne - as I love my dad, I have a soft spot for westerns mostly for nostalgic reasons of family around the tube on a Sunday watching the latest western matinee movie after lunch :wub: .

Therefore I have some faves, Calamity Jane and Cat Ballou of course, Blazing Saddles and The Good the Bad and the Ugly come to mind.

Edited by libstaK
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if clint is in it i'll watch it, but otherwise i don't really care for westerns

No. They're too boring for my taste. Both mom and dad enjoys them. They also enjoy John Wayne movies.

There is some truth in your comments, its a typical genre riddled with tired cliches and a common lack of originality. However, Anthony Mann is known for the psychological westerns, Sam Peckinpah depicted the passing of the west into civilization, Robert Altman made a couple of westerns that deconstructed the genre, John Ford is commonly considered America's greatest director, etc.

Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood both lent the western gritty realism, yet, both always chose the mythic anti-hero strangers as protagonists. Sergio Leone could turn frames in his westerns into art portraits with his ingenius use of backgrounds and foregrounds (take for instance the opening train station sequence in Once Upon A Time In The West, my favorite sequence he ever shot).

My favorite western I reiterate is probably The Searchers, and IMO its John Ford's magnum opus of westerns. It, along with Red River, is John Wayne's darkest roles in a western. Ethan Edwards the character whom John Wayne portrayed fought in the Civil War for the confederency and the film is quite blunt in its treatment of racial prejudices between whites and Native Americans in the old west most evident in Ethan Edwards. And quite simply, the cinematography in The Searchers, is a masterpiece. I can not recall any film that recaptured the awestriking beauty of Monument Valley more than The Searchers. Not even Sergio Leone bested this film.

EDIT: The opening sequence of Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West

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[/media] Edited by Ambush Bug
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Wow, that is a great sequence! I haven't seen that in a long time.

Ambush Bug, you're knowledge of the great westerns is impressive! I hope you didn't shutter when I mentioned Red Hill. Ha-ha! I say that because I know there was some controversy of whether or not the movie should even be considered a western.

It's certainly not in the same league as those you've mentioned, but I think it has a really good story.

It's contemporary, and I guess that was the reason for the controversy. I think of it as a western because the characters are western.

If your familiar with it, I'd like to know your thoughts about that.

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the original Lonesome Dove for TV. :)

Oh, yes, Lonesome Dove. :yes:

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Not really but they are definetely an improvement on Gangnam style.

There here has to be conditions when it comes to Westerns to spice them up.

You know like zombies,aliens,dinosaurs and a little bit of time travel.

The "man with no name" films are okayish because we don't know who he is and where he came from.

Even though Westworld isn't technically a western that's the best in the scenario.

Tbh I think westerns are like Marmite but I've got no problems with the scenery.

However I prefer contemporary films because I like anything that I'm familiar with.

Would the American films set at that time in the Boston/New York area be called easterns.

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Wow, that is a great sequence! I haven't seen that in a long time.

Ambush Bug, you're knowledge of the great westerns is impressive! I hope you didn't shutter when I mentioned Red Hill. Ha-ha! I say that because I know there was some controversy of whether or not the movie should even be considered a western.

It's certainly not in the same league as those you've mentioned, but I think it has a really good story.

It's contemporary, and I guess that was the reason for the controversy. I think of it as a western because the characters are western.

If your familiar with it, I'd like to know your thoughts about that.

Thank you for the kind comments regi! :)

I actually haven't seen Red Hill yet (its an Australian western, right?) but several months back I debated about ordering Red Hill on PPV, but that isn't cheap because they charge additional money for a processing fee. That's a ripoff so I thought screw that. Luckily, my local library has quite a large selection of DVDs maybe it is there.

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