Red Dead Revival?

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McCabe & Mrs Miller without question. Revisionist? Sure, but an unquestionable masterpiece nonetheless. Also one of the best soundtrack to film synergies ever and a beautiful look at a part of the country under-served in the western genre.

I too think that Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid deserves a place here as well. Amongst the most entertaining and witty films of the century, it's also aged possibly better than all of the others and is very watchable even with a modern sensibility.

Another reason westerns probably died out is due to HORRENDOUS saturation.

Agreed. I think the genre's just been taking a rest rather than dying out completely, like cop films now. The Western already had a mini-renaissance back in 2007, what with There Will Be Blood; The Assassination of Jesse James; 3.10 To Yuma; and (arguably) No Country For Old Men which was a Western in all but historical period. All Oscar nominees or winners and all fantastic and unique films in their own right (only 3.10 To Yuma didn't take any risks but was still a thoroughly competent outing).

I think this bodes very well for the future of the genre and I for one look forward to what comes next.

I sorely missed "The Pale Rider" and "Shootout at the OK Corral" on this list, but hey, whatcha gonna do?

If the Dollars Trilogy wasn't on that list i'd be outraged.
Also, why isn't Magnificent Seven on there?

No Django?

You fools how many other cowboys use a machine gun?!?

But I'm glad Clint made it to the list.

This list needs Budd Boetticher and Anthony Mann.

I'm so glad you mentioned Tombstone! My father and I watch Tombstone all the time. It's one of our all time favorite movies to watch together. It's full of great quotes too!

And did anyone else like 3:10 To Yuma? The one with Christian Bale and Russel Crow? I think it might have been a re-make. Ehh I don't know. I DO know that some younger people still appreciate the Western. Me being one of them. OH and Appaloosa. That was good too :D

Yeah I've seen the new version of 3:10 to Yuma, and I got to say I loved it to pieces (including a left field turn by Luke freakin' Wilson as a racist bad guy torturing Chinese railroad workers).

As for the genre I've always been a fan of good westerns, but in my lifetime there haven't been all that many. Unforgiven, however, rocked hard. I identified with that movie long before I was old enough to feel like an old man.

Good list Bob!

I was realy surprised that Dances With Wolves was not on the list. There is almost no other example off such a deconstruction off the genre.

I love westerns, but Spaghetti Westerns. Classic American westerns from 50's etc. are so fuckin' stupid I wouldn't know where to start bashing them. They make wild west look like a jolly place to live. There are some exceptions, but only a few. And even then John Wayne is a pussy (cat) compared to Clint Eastwood.

It's a solid list, but it could be better. There are some newer westerns that are a lot better then some of the old classic westerns Bob here recommended. Older is not always better.

GASP! No paint you wagon? sorry

If anyone does want a great sppagetti western with Lee Van Cleef Have a look at "Death rides a horse". And it's in the public domain so it's free to watch right now on your computer, what more reason do you need?

Also a challange for you, I made a quiz for a failed user group so if you want to flex your western knowledge have a go.

No mention of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid huh? That's surprising because it's fucking excellent. Other than that I'd have to say this list is spot on, all of those films are excellent.

No list of westerns is complete without "The Magnificent Seven".

Actually, just cut out the middle man and make "Seven Samurai" an honorary western. And "Zulu".

This. Seriously. Why isn't "The Magnificent Seven" on this list?

I'm not usually that much for westerns, much to my husband's consternation, but for some reason I LOVE John Wayne. I think it's because his movies were always so ridiculously cheesy and fun. The bad guys get caught, at some point there is a big showdown involving the entire town, and John Wayne makes out in chaste early cinema fashion with much younger women. I will watch anything he's in with the same rapt attention I reserved for Saturday Morning Cartoons when I was a kid.

I also recommend Maverick, even if it's not a "traditional" cowboy movie. I just find it endlessly entertaining. Graham Greene, Jodie Foster, and Alfred Molina? I am SO there.

I'm still in my early twenties, and even I grew up with Westerns.

John "The Duke" Wayne was a staple in my house growing up. His no-nonsense sense of humor and "get-shit-done" attitude was well loved by my dad and I. It wasn't until years later when I'd realize how one-dimensional and carbon copy his characters typically were: lawman or ex-lawman who could do no wrong, spoke the truth, and shot first, who'd team up with a drunk Dean Martin and always won the heart of an angry (yet gorgeous) Maureen O'Hara. Of all his roles, the overweight, one-eyed, alcoholic, weathered old man "Rooster" Cogbern ever stood out the most (all the more memorable when cast alongside Katharine Hepburn).

I can't add anything else to your list that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread. But I'll pony up and throw an "honorable mention" on the table.

The Cowboys (1972)
Probably one of the earliest "deconstructions" of the genre by featuring a cast comprised almost entirely of child actors (and a Black actor - Roscoe Lee Browne - in a non-stereotyped role). John Wayne plays Wil Anderson, a rancher who hires on a dozen local school boys when he comes up shorthanded for the next big cattle drive. But trouble, in the form of cattle rustlers, is not too far behind, and boys must quickly learn to become men.

A coming of age story, it's essentially "Stand By Me" set on the high plains. Is it significant to the genre? Not really. But it is memorable - nay, INFAMOUS - for ONE SINGLE, SOLITARY REASON:

It is the ONLY Western film where John Wayne DIES.

Let's see... nope, nope, nope, no, nope, no, no, yes, nope, no, nope, no, and no. I have only seen one of these films: For a Few Dollars More, and I disliked it. I very much dislike the genre but I assume it's because most of the westerns I've watched were bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. I have to see Unforgiven, Hang 'Em High, Stagecoach, Good Bad and Ugly, and Tombstone one day but I doubt I'll see many more.

Damnit Bob. My list of films you've told me to see is long enough already.
All I've seen of these is the dollars trilogy and high noon.

First of all, respect for the Silverado nod.

Steve Butts:
Still, it's hard not to love Silverado.

Also, I'd like to throw out my undying love for Unforgiven. No spoilers given here, but its ending is one of my most oft-viewed YouTube favorites.

Dirty Apple:
First of all, respect for the Silverado nod.

Steve Butts:
Still, it's hard not to love Silverado.

Silverado is freakin great. And as horrible as it is, I have a special place in my heart for American Outlaws. Sometimes I think people take that movie too seriously. If you approach it as an action comedy, it's not half bad.

No Blazing Saddles?! Well, I suppose they have to watch all those other ones before a comedy.

once upon a time in the west, the great silence, a bullet for the general, four of the apocalypse.... the italians pretty much own the cowboy movie post john wayne, only clint was as good.

I just wish they had done jonah hex like the joe r lansdale books, we need more weird westerns like the overlooked minor classic Dead birds..

I love westerns, the dollars trilogy is just great, clint eastwood is just good.
Tombstone is awesome, but "Wyatt Earp" should've been there, the one with Kevin Costner.

The Partisan:

The Cowboys (1972)

A coming of age story, it's essentially "Stand By Me" set on the high plains. Is it significant to the genre? Not really. But it is memorable - nay, INFAMOUS - for ONE SINGLE, SOLITARY REASON:

It is the ONLY Western film where John Wayne DIES.

He dies in the shootest as well. The last film he made before his own death. I was actually under the impression this was the only film he died in. I guess we're both wrong.

I grew up with John Wayne movies, and to a lesser extent some of Eastwood's westerns (though I knew him better for Dirty Harry). The Cavalry Trilogy, The Searchers, True Grit, The Cowboys... all so very good, and I even say that from the perspective of a world-weary hipster douche of our generation. Personally, I love both the deconstructionists and some of the more straight-up movies from the fifties and sixties equally well. Wayne never was a superlative actor, but the man sure was a damn presence, practically a western in and of himself. Even his worst movies were fun.

Also, Red River is a worthy addition to this list, on top of the other excellent suggestions. That and Sukiyaki Western Django (I kid, but that was a good movie).

Tombstone is a great movie, I love all the steely-eye closeups before the bullets start flying. And the gunfight between Doc & Johnny Ringo (crazily-played by Michael Behan) is one of my faves.

Also, out around that same time and one I'll watch anytime I see it on tv is Sam Raimi's "The Quick and the Dead". The gunfights were amazing to watch, the quick-cuts between the gunfighters and the clocktower; the bizarre characters (who you believe would be just crazy enough to get into the gunfight competition to begin with.) Hackman plays a great bad guy here, too; just an evil bastard who you don't have one bit of sympathy for, he's not bad because he was wronged or anything of the such; he's just a bad seed and always has been (at least from what we see in the flashbacks.)

"Spotted Horse cannot be killed by a bullet!"

Hmmmm, I'm a man who enjoys westerns as well, can't hurt to make a few suggestions of my own.

You already mentioned "The Searchers", I agree, THE best Western ever made.

A more modern one would be "Hidalgo" not strictly a western, but fitting in with some of the best traditions westerns left behind, and Viggo Mortensen gives a haunting portrayal of a cowboy at the end of the wild west.

"Jeremiah Johnson" is one of the classic films that fits into my "western but not" category. Robert Redford plays a city boy who goes into the Rockies to become a mountain man, and this film shows his process.

"The Cowboys" is a western that one would think would be appropriate for all ages, but this "boys becoming men" film is incredibly powerful stuff. *spoiler* it's also one of three movies in which John Wayne dies.

And for a comedy look no further than "Blazing Saddles", in my opinion, Mel Brook's second best film

Finally something I'm surprised that I didn't see on here was "Firefly" Joss Whedons prematurely canceled potential masterpiece was like taking a cake made of western, lavishingly including sci-fi icing, and adding some fantasy and horror sprinkles.

The remake of 3:10 to Yuma made me believe for a brief instant that the Western was returning in all its glory, but I don't think I've seen a trailer for a Western since. Damn you false hope.

Pale Rider may be one of my personal favorites, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one I will always hold dear in my heart.

Also, why has no one mention The Man from Snowy River?

Going through my collection i can't believe Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid isn't on the list. Pekinpah, Kristofferson, Coburn and even Dylan. Bob, you really should have made this list a 3 part with 15 movies each to cover all the gems in depth.

*wanders off to load a 12-gauge with pennys*

Obviously this genera has passed it's peak, but let's not forget about some of the great westerns that have been made this century. Appaloosa showed us all that shoot-outs could be fun even if they only lasted 3 seconds, and as long as you weren't concerned with the specific "West" part of western, Australian made The Proposal was a gem to be hold.


Unforgiven is my favorite western.

That ending shoot-out, and Clint's following speech is probably among one of my favorite moments in cinema history!

Bob, you stated clearly that this wasn't a complete list, nor a "best of". So fine, we could niggle all day about our favorite movies that should have been on there, but that misses the point. It was a quick and dirty list to get people going on some key movies.

I have one complaint though. You state correctly that the late 70's through the 80's were a poor time for the genre, but then neglect the few gems that came out in that period. Silverado and The Grey Fox come to mind. Donchathink?

I would like to add and recommend The Good, The Bad, The Weird. It's a Korean homage to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly set in China in the late '30s. Not your typical Western setting, but this "Oriental Western" captures the spirit perfectly, and is a ton of fun to watch.

I'm surprised Once Upon a Time in the West wasn't chosen. The freaking harmonica gets me every time.

After Red Dead Redemption whetted my appetite for cowboys, I went and watched Sergio Leone's Man Without a Name trilogy. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. Also young Clint Eastwood as a cowboy is the sex for reals.

Then it was onto Eastwood's cowboy stuff.

I also watched Yojimbo for good measure, and loved it.

Also, Red River is a worthy addition to this list, on top of the other excellent suggestions. snipitty

Yes, Red River, and Once Upon a Time in the West should have been on that list. Yes I would have picked The Outlaw Josie Wales over High Plains Drifter, but despite what a lot of Escapists are suggesting, The Magnificent Seven shouldn't be on the list. John Sturges just doesn't know what to do with all those characters and they tend to get lost. It's a story of Yul Brynner and Steven McQueen and... some other guys, Oh and Eli Wallach. I also think you can dump A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More and just recommend the superior The Good The Bad and The Ugly, because the first two just don't stack up to the magnificence of the third.

I am quite happy to say, I have seen and enjoyed all of these movies.

Some things I will need to thank my father for, an enduring love of the western - definitely one of them!

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