Monday, August 16, 2010

A list of Westerns

"The English have Shakespeare, the French have Moliere, the Russians have Chekhov. The Western is ours.” ~Robert Duval
A few weeks ago I volunteered to come up with a list of good cowboy/Western films for someone who enjoys the serialized Westerns like Gunsmoke and Have Gun—Will Travel. So far, I’ve come up with the list below—let me know what I've missed or should add.
~Open Range
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The Searchers
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True Grit and Rooster Cogburn
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Lonesome Dove
~High Noon
~Shane
~Magnificent Seven
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Classic John Wayne films like The Sons of Katie Elder, Big Jake, El Dorado, Rio Bravo, and McLintok!
Below are films I personally appreciate, but would recommend with reservations due to the violence and adult content.
~Tombstone
~Unforgiven
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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
~Fist Full of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
~Pale Rider
As I’ve said before, I think Westerns are a wonderful genre, with themes and motifs that make for fertile ground when it comes to exploring what makes us human, why we do what we do, and how the world works around us—all the makings of a good story. And that’s brought God-talk into these open spaces, both in terms of some of the films above as well as other places.

(Image: Touchstone, from Open Range)

4 comments:

Gregg said...

hmmm....Silverado, Wyatt Earp, Outlaw Josey Wales, Two Mules for Sister Sarah, Readheaded Stranger, Barbarosa and my personal favorite, High Plains Drifter...

Gregg said...

not to mention Joe Kidd & Hang em High...

Gregg said...

and dont forget, The Cowboys...

Carmen Andres said...

heh, i'd add TMfSS and Silverado to the second list (though Silverado is less in the classic Western genre, imho :). and while i really have appreciated Eastwood's Westerns, i think Pale Rider and the speghetti westerns stand out (along with Unforgiven as a filter through which to revisit them). As to The Cowboys, i've never liked that film, heh--maybe because there's not enough John Wayne :)

as i compiled the list, i began to realize just how wide a variance there is within the genre when it comes to kind of stories it tells. it was interesting to filter through them based on the person's attraction to a certain segment of it (hence the first list). the second list developed because i simply couldn't leave out at least a sample of the broader aspects of that genre that are closest to those preferences :)