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Your Western Recommendations (Less Obvious Choices)

Old 07-24-05, 10:27 PM
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Your Western Recommendations (Less Obvious Choices)

What Western movies would you recommend that are not the "obvious" choices (such as The Searchers, Tombstone, Unforgiven, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Shane, etc)?

My recommendations (if you haven't seen them)...

1.) Warlock. Excellent Western with Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Richard Widmark, and DeForest Kelley. The script was well written and the direction by Edward Dmytryk was very good. It's something of a "psychological western," but it does have its share of action - and the action scenes are done very well.

2.) Last Train from Gun Hill. Another great psychological western as two best friends reunite under the worst of circumstances. Kirk Douglas plays a Marshal whose wife is raped and murdered by the son of an old friend, played by Anthony Quinn. Douglas refuses to leave town without his prisoner, and Quinn is determined to keep his son from hanging. A great movie.

3.) Pursued. Robert Mitchum stars in a rare "Western Noir." It's basically a film noir in a western setting. A very good movie.

4.) Hang 'Em High. Clint Eastwood's first Hollywood Western. A solid supporting cast and a good script make this one very much worth watching.

5.) The Tin Star. Henry Fonda plays a former Sheriff who is reluctant to help the in over his head new Sheriff in town, played by Anthony Perkins. Directed by Anthony Mann.

6.) Silver Lode. John Payne plays an innocent man running from his past. He is one of the leading men in the town of Silver Lode until someone comes along to turn the town against him by framing him for murder. A good HUAC allegory. John Payne was one of that era's best and most underrated actors.

7.) Whispering Smith. A pre-Shane Alan Ladd Western. Fun stuff.

What are your recommendations?
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Old 07-24-05, 10:41 PM
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Old 07-25-05, 02:34 AM
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Old 07-25-05, 03:02 AM
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Old 07-25-05, 08:44 PM
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Most definitely pick up the upcoming Major Dundee; I love that movie! I actually like the original score and am glad they've kept it - in addition to the new score - for the DVD release.

Perhaps these two are obvious to genre fans but I'll mention them since they are two of my all-time favorites:
They Died With Their Boots On starring Errol Flynn
The Alamo starring John Wayne. Try and catch the roadshow version which airs on TCM (the DVD is the shorter version).

Among some recent ones, the new version of The Alamo with Billy Bob Thornton is not without merit (it does have some great scenes). Also the new version of Ned Kelly starring Heath Ledger was enjoyable to me - nothing special but enjoyable.

As for older stuff, there is just too much to mention. Maybe Ulzana's Raid and Duel at Diablo. There are still a lot of great Westerns that need to hit DVD ("Yellow Sky", "The Law and Jake Wade", Randolph Scott films, etc., etc.).

On the spaghetti side of things, A Bullet for the General is very good.

If you're a little adventurous, the Chinese film Warriors of Heaven and Earth has a significant "classic Western" influence over the first half of the film. It is available on R1 DVD.

And don't forget the Lonesome Dove TV miniseries.
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Old 07-26-05, 11:49 AM
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Ditto on Dead Man. One of Johnny Depp's best efforts and as good as 'Western Noir' gets.
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Old 07-26-05, 03:01 PM
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A sentimental favorite of mine, Windwalker, is classified as a western, although it's an Indian movie. The DVD is pretty abysmal, fullscreen and poor presentation. Not much better than VHS. Sad, really.
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Old 07-26-05, 05:55 PM
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Old 12-06-05, 10:34 PM
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Gun Fury - Raoul Walsh directs Rock Hudson! A very action packed western!
Rio Conchos - extra macho western with lots of violence!
Dead Man - add my vote to the list. Way underrated.
El Dorado - probably an obvious choice, but besides the Peckinpahs and Leones my favorite western
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Old 12-07-05, 09:32 AM
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Thanks, mike7162, as no one in my world seems to remember / like / be aware of in any way of my favorite western, El Dorado.
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Old 12-07-05, 11:43 AM
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How about the upcoming Batjac/Paramount title, Seven Men from Now
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Old 12-07-05, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by davidh777
How about the upcoming Batjac/Paramount title, Seven Men from Now
Never seen this one, though I'm looking forward to catching it and the docu on director Budd Boetticher [sp?] on TCM later this month. (That'll help me decide whether to pick the DVD up or not.) Boetticher seems to be undergoing the sort of rediscover that Anthony Mann and his westerns with James Stewart had a decade or so ago.

Although not technically a western (at least not in the usual sense), William Wellman's Track of the Cat is also worth investigating. It's an interesting experiment in the use of color, and I think it's getting released on DVD soon, too.

Fritz Lang's Rancho Notorious is worth catching on TV. Not yet on DVD, but it comes on TCM about once every other month.
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Old 12-07-05, 08:36 PM
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Old 12-08-05, 08:23 AM
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The Firefly television series.

Picked up based on the countless recommendations in the DDD sale thread and loved it. Yes, it's science fiction, so not sure it completely applies here, but it does have many Westerns influences/allusions. Great blend of the two genres.
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Old 12-09-05, 02:04 AM
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The Big Country with Gregory Peck, Carrol Baker, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Charles Bickford, Burl Ives, and Chuch Conners.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:08 AM
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I'd second the mention of The Big Country----just a beautiful, sprawling widescreen epic. Grand on every level.

Also, the Comancheros. John Wayne at his peak, big budget, colorful, magnificent cinemascope landscapes, great score, humor action.

Late 50's, early 60's was the peak of the genre for me.
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