Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Best Westerns

NO. Not Best Westerns.  Best Westerns.  Top Five:

"All right, I'm coming out.  Any man out there, I'm gonna shoot him.  Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I'm not only gonna kill him, I'm gonna kill his wife, all his friends, and burn his damn house down." 

Woodrow [after handing a gun to Newt]: "It is better to have that and not need it, than to need it and not have it."

[     ]  "Did you bring a horse for me?"
Snaky:  "Well, looks like we're...looks like we're shy one horse."
[     ]  "No. You brought two too many."

"I'm going to be with my brother."

"No, poetry doesn't work with whores."

Special Prize (it would've made the top 5 but I'm uncertain it fits the genre perfectly):
"Kid.  There's something I oughta tell you.  I never shot anybody before."

*I wavered here.  It's hard not including an Eastwood Classic.  I justify the inclusion of this film in terms of quality of production, acting, and the like.  


  1. Very very nice list. Especially numero uno (and yeh, numero dos as well!). "I don't deserve this." "Deserve ain't got nothin' to do with it." BLAM!!!!


    I'd have OUTLAW JOSEY WALES in the top five somewhere...but I'm scrabbling trying to think of more (well, "more" that aren't Clint Eastwood).

    Yeh, I think BUTCH... should be considered a Western. It'd likely be my number 3.

  2. "I don't deserve this." "Deserve ain't got nothin' to do with it."

    What a film!

    Yeah, Outlaw Josey Wales should be in the conversation if for no other reason than the depiction of the accuracy for which tobacco can be spit!

  3. Sadly, I haven't seen Lonesome Dove, The Proposition, or The Assassination of Jesse James. My list of favorites (which is not the same thing as my list of Best Westerns):

    1) Once Upon a Time in the West
    2) The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly
    3) the Coen brothers remake of True Grit
    4) A Fistful of Dollars
    5) The Searchers

    I feel a little sheepish not having Unforgiven on my list. I know other people who would put it at #1. I've seen it and liked it alright. But, I think I watched at least part of it with my wife, and my wife has a knack for making me feel guilty for liking semi-dark movies. We'll get twenty minutes in, and inevitably, she'll say in her wimpy, girly voice, "See, this is why I hate Clint Eastwood movies..." or something like that.

    I know John Wayne isn't exactly popular with most people who are less than 60 years old. By the time the 1960s roled around, he was old and he was playing roles that were caricatures of himself. BUT, I think to not acknowledge the greatness of John Wayne is chronological bias. When you factor in the limitations of movie-making and the fact that movies could not be made with the quality they are now, I think Wayne's greatest movies come out as good as anything ever made. If you can get yourself in the frame of mind of what it would be like to watch Wayne before there was a caricature of Wayne, I think it's easier to see his greatness.

  4. JS,

    I need to see The Searchers. I hear what you're saying about John Wayne. Trouble is, try as I might, I cannot get myself "in the frame of mind." It takes a really special film to pique my interest if it's pre-'70's or '80's. Films are just so much better now (well, I'm ignoring all the truly awful ones that suffer from poor writing). A Fistful of Dollars would perhaps be up there if it weren't a patent rip off of Kurosawa's "Yojimbo." The Spaghetti' Westerns are good but they lack the quality of even later Eastwood movies. I'd put "Hang 'Em High," "High Plains Drifter," and "Pale Rider" above all of them.

    Most people don't know about The Proposition. And most people who I know have watched it, don't care for it--in part because of the brutality. But that is one of my personal favorites. The soundtrack is the "6th man." Nick Cave hit it out of the park with that soundtrack. And the story is unusually psychologically rich for a Western.

  5. Also, not a big fan of True Grit. I forget why, though, I didn't much care for it. Maybe Monash has something to say about it.

  6. The only thing I have to say about TRUE GRIT was that I hated it. Why? Well, I suppose I expected a whole lot more from it, dialogue-wise and actor-wise. I just didn't get it. And this is coming from someone who loves the Coen Bros., generally. Just didn't like it.

    I respect the old westerns...and I respect anyone who loves John Wayne. But I was raised on Eastwood (all of the ones Tullius mentions are beautiful, BEAUTIFUL, as is The Good, The Bad & The Ugly), and so I never quite appreciated JW as much as I likely should.

    The Proposition is very good. Probably not as high on my list as on that of Tullius', but a good'un nonetheless. I'd have 3:10 to Yuma instead. I liked both the original and the remake.

  7. Part of the appeal for me of The Proposition is because it's about brothers.

    Man, I love that movie.

    "I wish to present you with a proposition. I know where Arthur Burns is. It is a God-forsaken place. The blacks won't go there, not the tracks; not even wild men. I suppose, in time, the bounty hunters will get him. But I have other plans, I aim to bring him down - I aim to show that he's a man like any other. I aim to hurt him."

  8. Charlie Burns: You want me to kill me brother.
    Captain Stanley: I want you to kill your brother.

    LOVE IT! (BTW, I've given nothing away since all this happens in the first 10 minutes.)